A few weeks ago, I went and got my very first massage – ever. Before, I go any farther, can we just talk about how fantastic a massage is? I mean, by the time the hour was up – I felt invincible, like Superman. I felt so good I thought I could go run a marathon or run through a brick wall! Which, would kind of defeat the purpose of a massage… Let’s put it this way, I’m totally getting another massage. Sooner rather than later.
The process of the massage made me start thinking about self care and what it means to work things out. In the massage, as the masseuse came across certain problem areas, she would spend more time there, focusing in on the knots and the pressure points of my body needing some extra TLC.
When the masseuse worked through those problems areas – it hurt. Sometimes, it hurt a lot. But, would I ever ask the masseuse to stop? Would I ever look at her and say, “I’m sorry, but this is not what I signed up for. You have done an amazing job so far, but you clearly don’t know what you’re doing. A massage shouldn’t hurt. I want to take care of my body, but this pain clearly isn’t part of it. Why are you so bad at your job? I want you to work through these problem areas without causing any pain.”? No, I would never do that – because sometimes to get the benefits of the massage, you have to work trough the pain.
A good masseuse works things out and doesn’t leave a job half finished.
They help get you through the pain; they help you work out the pain and get to the other side – relaxation.
The other side.
Isn’t this what we all long for? We want to get to the other side. The side away from the pain; the side of bliss and joy.
From a self care stand point, I have seen how important it is to work things out with my physical self. If you want to lose weight and get muscle, you have to work through the pain; to get over a torn ACL, you have to work through some intense pain; to recover from a staph infection of the blood, you have to go through excruciating pain and setbacks. Part of recovery and growth is about pain.
You know you’re growing if there is some pain.
Pain is never fun.
Laying on the massage table, the pain of the massage was not fun. I didn’t like the pain. I’d have preferred to not felt it, but not going through the pain would have led my body being out of balance. The massage would not have lasting benefits.
As I lay down on the massage table, I had to trust my masseuse; I had faith in her that she knew what she was doing; I believed she wanted to help me and not harm me; I acknowledged she was the expert and I was not.
Where is it in your life you need to start trusting?
Maybe you are wrestling with some emotional junk and it’s time you finally open the browser on your smartphone and find a quality therapist. Maybe it means you finally make the choice to cut out those Taco Bell Quesarito’s or In-n-Out Double Doubles with Animal Style Fries and a Neapolitan Shake to go to the gym or a walk. Start with a walk. Maybe it means admitting you have a problem with alcohol, drugs, porn, sex, codependency, or more and get yourself into a recovery group, counseling, a small group, a church, or all of the above.
Taking these steps are probably going to hurt a lot.
But here is the thing. All of these are steps towards a deeper, better relationship with Jesus or a first time relationship with Jesus. As you work out these pain points, these knots in your life, you are telling God you trust Him more than you trust yourself.
Working things out isn’t necessarily fun, but growth means pushing through the pain.