Elul Reflections: Taking Stock of What Hurts–and Why

Amichai Lau-Lavie writes: The toothache started about two days ago, gentle at first. By Saturday night, though, it had upgraded from nagging ache to actual pain. With it came the harsh reality check that I haven’t been to a dentist in at least a year….So, on Saturday night, I did what I could: I went online to read about pain management, and how pain affects our mind and our soul. I particularly liked this quote from Marcel Proust:

“Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.”

… I’m focusing on the body, reflecting on what I can do to be in better shape inside and out. In doing so, I’m reminded that pain, whether we like it or not, can be a portal to understanding the changes we need to implement in our lives. Too often though, we choose to look the other way, pretending our discomfort is unrelated to our choices and our actions…

For me, right now, the toothache is a wake up call, a reminder to make sure that I‘m taking good care of my body, and taking the time to review my health by myself: what’s hurting, what needs attention, where are the pains—and, if possible, why are they occurring?..

I want to suffer less this coming year. I’m starting the new week by scheduling doctor’s appointments and making sure my body knows: I’m heard, I’m taken care of, and I’m loved. Thank you body for working so hard. Sorry for neglecting, but I’m on it now.

By Amichai Lau-Lavie|August 12, 2013 in his journey into the High Holidays.  Lau-Lavie is founder of Storahtelling and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. His blog is a daily dose of inspiration to get you focused and ready for the new year, featuring daily intentions, simple tasks, and tools for living better.  Originally published on www.tabletmag.com , adapted for BlogRS.

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