TITLE: Living with Pain (December 17, 2012)
By Sally Stap
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Some days are great. I thank God for my life and appreciate every step that I have been able to take forward. Iím grateful to be alive. However, other days are a struggle, just to take one step. Itís difficult at times to even take a breath. Sometimes, however, that is all that I can start with. A breath. Then truly one step. Then back to bed. I have learned the definition of two steps forward and one back. Taking a ďstep at a timeĒ isnít always quite that simple. Itís another day of waking up. It is another night of going to bed. Taking one more step sometimes means holding back tears throughout another grocery shopping trip or letting tears fall until they run dry. And then you do laundry. One foot in front of the other sometimes means laughing again. Even as it takes you by surprise. Even as it feels foreign and nervous.
Some days one step at a time can be as simple as a finger. Picking up a finger to touch the soft fur of a faithful dog. A hand to pick up the leash. Feet to venture out for a walk in the woods. A mouth that turns up in just a bit of a smile at a dog's enthusiasm to return to an old haunt. A nose that recognizes the smells of the woods and awakens the senses to normalcy. Ears that hear the silence of the forest. Sometimes I walk in the woods to take steps forward. Once I start to take steps, one at a time, they increase in speed and rhythm. Then my breathing levels. Once I start to walk and breathe, my brain starts to take steps forward. Putting one foot in front of the other is hearing the wind in the leaves. Itís smelling the pine needles in the woods. Itís actually going for a walk in the woods instead of curling up in a ball under the covers. What if I were to tell you that one step at a time does lead to somewhere?
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