What Physical Therapy Taught Me

Oh man, there was that pain again. My knee was really bothering me as was my SI joint. I’d had reoccurring pain in my knee since my early 30s and in my SI joint since my early 20s. Physical therapy really helped me in both trouble spots, taking away most of the pain. It was there in PT that I learned that what hurt was wasn’t necessarily the problem but rather my body’s way of compensating for the real issue. By stretching all those ligaments regularly and working on building up my core muscles the pain was greatly reduced and even eliminated.

Life happened and I got busy with two young toddlers. Keeping my core strong and stretching my body was happening every day unconsciously. Years went by and I started a business that had me sitting a great deal during the day while the girls were at school. My stress increased and the pain returned. When it got bad enough I remembered my stretching and strengthening exercises and began doing them regularly. The pain subsided. You’d think I had learned my lesson and would keep up with the exercises. Yeah no. It’s funny how when the pain goes away so does the memory of what got you there. So when the pain resurfaced last year I changed my habits and committed to doing those PT exercises regardless if I was in pain or not.

It got me thinking that my life hasn’t been much different. I’ve had hurt emotions, mental strain, deep heart pains, lingering questions, and been stretched thin by life itself. Very much like my physical body, the pains I’ve felt inside, at times, have been my soul’s way of compensating for the real problem. The result has been behavior, actions, and beliefs I’ve chosen to take.

So if my physical body saw improvement when I strengthened my core and stretched regularly what could I learn from that? My core is my spirit, the tabernacle of Christ in me through the Holy Spirit taking up residence there. If I strengthened my connection to the Holy Spirit then my soul would naturally benefit and, then too, would my mind and body. How could I do that? For me, making sure I have regular “coffee time” with God through prayer and reading of His Word have been those strengthening exercises. I’ve also had to allow Him to stretch me regularly, much like my ligaments. I am trying not to fight these sometimes uncomfortable experiences, instead believing He knows what He is doing even if I don’t understand it. I’ve also been more conscious of what I let get into my mind which then filters down through my soul and into my spirit. Will I be strengthened or weakened by what I am choosing to consume?

Maybe you’re asking me the same question I’m asking myself. Where will I be in a year? Can I keep this up? I don’t know. I know that I’ve experienced the negatives of not doing it enough to know I want to try my best. That is all I can do, get up every day and ask Jesus to work with me today. I’m choosing to trust His direction and do the work.

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