Pain and Illness – “You just have to live with it”

by Maree Savins, New South Wales.

Throughout my life there have been many times where I have been ill or in pain, and have gone to the doctor only to be told that: “you just have to live with it”. Sometimes the nature of my illness or medical problem was known within the medical fields and sometimes it was a mystery.

For example, in my late teenage years I suffered from extreme nausea. My General Practitioner (GP) recommended an endoscopy to investigate the nausea and the results showed nothing in particular. My illness was put down to home-sickness as I had moved away from my family home in Northern New South Wales to Queensland. I was told that I “would just have to live with it.

Ten years later I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance by a different GP. By changing to a gluten-free diet, my nausea resolved. This meant, that I didn’t have to live with it.

A further physical problem developed a few years ago, where I experienced regular heart palpitations. It felt like my heart was violently kicking or even turning over in my chest. I lived with the heart palpitations for 12 months before I mentioned it to an esoteric practitioner who suggested I see my GP. Taking that kind of care was not something that I did unless I had to. I was very dismissive about medical care at that time and my level of self-regard was also poor. Self-care became the topic of our sessions for quite a while. We discussed how seeking medical advice was part of self-care, and that it was necessary for me to embrace more loving ways, as for many years I had lived a very stressful and turbulent life.

I saw my GP who referred me to a Cardiologist (heart specialist) who performed numerous tests, which showed that my heart would double beat causing an intense ‘kicking’ or ‘turning over’ sensation. The Cardiologist reassured me that it was OK, and said that I would “need to learn to live with it.” He advised this condition would not shorten my lifespan and, if anything, it would just be an annoyance.

As I continued to develop self-care and more loving ways with the support of esoteric practitioners, I could see that there was a wall of protection I had built up around my heart so that I did not have to feel hurt or rejection from others. Unfortunately when I put up the wall to stop any hurt coming in, I stopped myself from letting love in and out as well. I was not very loving with myself, and I held back expressing my love to others as I did not like the feeling of vulnerability that came with being so open.

It was time for this all to change and my palpitating heart was a great reminder.

As a year or so passed and I learned to become more gentle and live more harmoniously in my day-to-day life, I realised that my heart did not ‘kick’ anymore. If it did ‘kick’ on an occasion, I would immediately look at how I was living and feeling that day. By making different choices, I did not have to learn to live with this condition.

The most recent medical problem occurred in September last year when I was involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in an injury to my lower back, which also affected my legs. An MRI indicated that I had two bulging discs in my lumbar area. In addition to seeking support from my GP, I visited an esoteric physiotherapist and an esoteric massage therapist.

Several care providers told me that my back was now compromised and that I may never be pain-free. I was told once again by my GP that I would “just have to live with it” but, with a commitment to rehabilitation, I could maybe expect some improvement. Accordingly, I committed lovingly to my rehabilitation program including gentle movement exercises, hydrotherapy, walking, and taking medication to help with the pain.

I had always been able to heal from my ailments in the past – even when I was told that I “just had to live with it – but this time I was not so sure whether this would be my experience.

After an initial shock and perhaps a touch of denial at the news, I began to become more aware of what the pain in my body was teaching me.

Once again I began to look at myself and how I was living. I could feel that I was experiencing a high level of nervous energy in my body that was quite apparent as I lay down to sleep. I could easily sleep 12-13 hours per day if I could get it, and was barely able to function on 10 hours. Over the preceding five years of attending Universal Medicine events and receiving support from numerous practitioners, life had become more lovely and simple, and yet the nervous energy continued.

When I looked a little deeper I saw that I was running away from how I was feeling inside. I didn’t like feeling the nervous energy, so typically I kept myself racy and distracted by what the world offered with study, work, projects and stress. I treated each day as something I had to ‘get through’ – however this wasn’t living life joyfully, this was a giant checklist of tasks that I had to tick off with a false belief that then it would all be better. As new tasks were added to the list, I felt panicked and made myself live and work faster in order to get to the place where I could feel ‘better’. Of course this only served to increase the nervous energy. I could also sense that I was carrying an un-dealt with sadness and I didn’t like feeling this either.

Nowadays, not a single day or hour or moment goes by without the pain reminding me to take more time and re-connect to my body – the very thing that I have struggled with my whole life. And yet what I have found is that re-connecting to my body was a real key to reducing and dealing with this uncomfortable nervous energy.

My body has become my number one priority. Pain talks very loudly and I do now listen.

My back injury ensures that I now move with care and consideration, that I make myself comfortable in my seat, that I honour the need to stand, that I ask for help to lift heavy things and that I learn to say “No”. Indeed, this injury has become an amazing blessing – one which perhaps I needed to correct the way I was living, in order to learn to care for myself more deeply than ever before.

In this instance, it may be true that I will need to learn to live with the pain. I have come to accept this, but at the same time I feel open to allowing the future to unfold as it will.

I am not driven to beat the odds and return to all that I used to do before the accident, as is often the case when we beat an illness or recover from an injury. In fact, even though I experience varying levels of pain throughout the day, I am enjoying the changes that I have made to my daily routine and in how I feel inside as I live each day.

I have learned to value what conventional medicine provides, as clearly it has supported me to detect, understand and recover from the physical side of my medical issues. Whilst I now turn to medicine more willingly than ever before, I have experienced how this can be supported by esoteric medicine, which for me is to explore what is happening on a deeper energetic level and to look at how I am living, including the choices I am making.

By combining conventional medicine with esoteric medicine, I became more responsible and realised that there was much that I could do to support my own healing. In fact, the healing experience was far more loving, supportive and powerful. I clearly see that what I do and how I choose to move and live each day really does matter.

Sometimes it takes an illness, disease, injury or pain to bring us to a halt, so that we stop the pattern of recreating our own disharmony.   I have learned that if we listen to our body, it shows us a way to truly live.

1,125 thoughts on “Pain and Illness – “You just have to live with it”

  1. Maree, reading this has brought to my attention, the depth of care that is needed when an illness strikes. I currently am experiencing something and in all honesty, it needed to happen with my old habits/behaviours I was indulging in. As unpleasant as it is, and sometimes frightening, the body is presenting the truth, and our job, is to listen, otherwise it will speak louder to you.

    Great reminder to listening to the body, and perfect timing to reflect how we are living.

  2. Many people who ‘just live with” an ill-health condition, accept it as the way it is, see it as their lot and look no further for answers to whatever the problem is. Not actively dialoguing with our bodies with an intent to find root causes can lead to a build up of multiple ill-health conditions. When curious with our bodies, caring, loving and supported by medical and other health practitioners, we can bring ourselves back to health and live with vitality.

  3. “By combining conventional medicine with esoteric medicine, I became more responsible and realised that there was much that I could do to support my own healing.” I love this combination. It is bizarre that we are not guided to consider our own responsibility in the outcomes of our healing when this practice supports the medical profession as well as ourselves.

    1. I agree Lucy. Over stretched National Health Services do little to address one problem at source. If we were all educated to be responsible for our own health from an early age, we would not become adults chronic ill-health conditions and a drain on precious health service resources. We all have an equal part to play in the nation’s health and to ignore our part is foolhardy.

  4. Sometimes it’s not simply a case of physical pain that is the crippling part but the emotional pain that is being exposed through the physical. That I have found Esoteric Medicine a great support for healing. Once that’s cleared the physical clears up pretty quickly.

  5. There is one thing about pain and that is it, “talks very loudly”, but from my own experience it is fairly obvious that many of us don’t listen to its messages until it is so loud it is impossible to ignore. It has taken me a while, but these days I am committed to listen as soon as it appears, and although sometimes I don’t like what it’s telling me, I know that if I ignore it, it is the health and well-being of my body – and my life – that will suffer.

    1. Ingrid, I am currently going through a phase in my life, where I did not want to listen to the signals of my body, and it is ‘impossible to ignore.’

      Listening is vital to self-care of the body and our health and wellbeing, there’s no ignoring, arguing or negotiating, it is that simple.

  6. We can never underestimate the power of simply being gentle in our movement. Just the other day, while I was filling up my hot water bottle, I realised that I hadn’t even just for once splashed hot water on my hand while doing that this winter. It used to happen more often than not, and I would be bracing myself in anxiety before, during and if it does happen, after in pain – and I can only thank my own continuous choice to be gentle.

  7. “You just have to live with it” Possibly the worst advice ever, it really does not account for the fact that our choices dramatically impact our health and our bodies have an incredible capacity to heal. For example, if I eat chocolate I get a really bad headache, that’s not something I need to live with, that’s an adjustment I need to make in my life.

    1. I love the matter of fact honesty of your comment. We can pretend we are victims or we can realise the capacity we have to make adjustments and enjoy the outplay of those adjustments.

  8. I often wonder when a doctor says that “you’ll have to live with it, whether they really know that for sure or they are saying that because they have no idea how to heal the issue you have presented them with. I, too have had those words spoken to me, but by taking responsibility for my own healing and embracing the combination of western and esoteric medicine, I am no longer living with the painful issues. But, if in some way the pain or discomfort begins to make a reappearance, an in depth and very honest look at how I have been living soon shows me the reason why.

  9. A beautiful realisation that when we drive the vehicle of our body carelessly we have to take responsibility for when we have an accident that brings us to a stop.

  10. I now appreciate far more how the body communicates to bring attention to what is needed to be honestly looked at when we push beyond the body’s natural limit and make choices that leads to the body hardening and moving in disharmony and in contra to its natural rhythm.

  11. It is a good point to make, that beyond being told that you will just have to live with the pain, there is a whole plethora of choices and movements that you can make which are empowering.

  12. “And yet what I have found is that re-connecting to my body was a real key to reducing and dealing with this uncomfortable nervous energy.” Beautifully said as this opens the door to becoming more aware of our choices and how they affect our body, which means there is much that we can do to help ourselves.

  13. ‘you just have to live with it’ This feels so disempowering. We never just have to do anything and putting up with things, I know from experience, just keeps us far below the threshold of our potential. We can always make a difference and when we begin to put the value of our beingness before all else we begin to treat ourselves with more love and care and our self worth naturally goes up, our standards change and we realise we are not living with ‘it’ any more for the ‘it’ has changed as we have changed.

  14. Women seem to encounter much more bodily pain than men on a day-to-day level but when surveys are done they don’t seem to report higher levels of pain. I wonder which it is – genuinely higher pains or me being wrong?

  15. Maybe one day the doctors can add to the line of “you just have to live with it” that it depends on our own willingness to look at every part of our lives and how we are living and our willingness to be loving with ourselves if we are going to have live with it forever and to what degree the impairment will be.

  16. When we embrace more loving ways to hold and treat ourselves the body responds and opens up our awareness to understand how we harm ourselves with our daily choices when we have disconnected from our body and what we are truly feeling within. Listening to and honouring what our body is truly communicating allows us to build a deeper and true relationship with ourselves so that we know and appreciate our delicateness and value our true worth.

  17. Pain is a divine conversation from our body, it keeps us paying attention and as you have shown it actually brings us to an appreciation of our body, even if it is retrospectively. Esoteric healing therapies can support us to translate those conversations.

  18. This expression – you just have to live with it – can be a curse that caps our willingness to be an investigator and to pose the question “I wonder why?”. Surely we should always question and always wonder if there is more than we are aware of to understand about anything, otherwise we sit in an arrogance that confirms ‘you just have to live with it’.

  19. ‘You just have to learn to live with it’ basically says there’s nothing we can do – maybe so if we limit ourselves to think that the doctor and what they can administer is the only thing that would heal our illness and disease, but we ourselves play a big part in this, too.

  20. ” Unfortunately when I put up the wall to stop any hurt coming in, I stopped myself from letting love in and out as well.” I did the same Maree and putting up walls doesn’t work anyway. Learning to open my heart and let love in as well as out is the way. When we are transparent open and loving nothing can truly get to us, although it may surely feel that way.

  21. Only though extracting the deepest ill can we truly heal and live a changed life. Nothing changes if the root is not sought and healed.

  22. Sometimes we can feel resentment towards our bodies for not being able to do what we want it to or carry on in the same way but rarely do we see our illnesses and disease as a message from the body to take a closer look at our lives.

  23. It’s funny being told that we will just have to live with it – there is a stark reality, and a deep underlying truth to that point… but of course we are the ones that define how we are living each day. And it’s that way of living that has the power to change our relationship to everything.

    1. They probably mean “you have to endure and nothing can be done” – which doesn’t seem a very useful message.

  24. Seeing our health conditions as something we ‘just have to live with’, a random act of fate that we have no control over… if we accept this then we are settling for disempowerment, setting ourselves up to outsource the consequences of our choices, instead of being willing to look at the ‘why’ underneath what has happened.

  25. Our bodies really are our best friends, our guidebook on how to live life, what to do, when and how to do it.. in every detail. It’s what we do with its constant and living feedback that counts: ignore and override, or honour and respect it? And feel the the consequences of either choice: depleted or revitalised.

  26. The acceptance shown in this blog is huge. It shows how whatever we experience can be a gift, a way to bring us to a more harmonious way of living and reminds us that life offers exactly what we need to live in true rhythm with our body.

  27. Our body speaks to us so loudly, but how often do we listen – until the symptoms or pain become intense. We don’t just ‘have to live with it’, as so many doctors tell us. There is a way of living that connects us more deeply to the energetic cause and allows us to heal, or if not, then to understand and accept why we have the illness we do.

    1. And how early do we pick up the signals? How bad does it need to get before we are prepared to take the necessary steps? I’m reminded of lung patients, oxygen in one hand but cigarette in the other, driving their bodies to destruction because they are not able to make the changes their bodies are telling them need to be made.

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