I have this old injury.
I've been okay at keeping it from flaring up for years simply by avoiding going near it and snapping at anyone who accidentally touches it.
When I first got injured, I had to deal with it by going to physical therapy (because I could barely walk). After I could walk again my therapist suggested that I get routine massages on the injury to break up the scar tissue.
My response was, "Fuck no."
It was such a raw tender place on my body and she wanted me to invite a complete stranger to work through it. Yes preventing further injury and eventually making it feel better, but I wasn't willing to do the work of being touched right where it hurts.
We can get like that: precious about our injuries.
Protecting them for years and not letting a single soul near them.
To be touched lovingly on them or even around them can be excruciating and we forget that we actually get better from the touch of another person.
This goes for the same with emotional injuries from trauma, loss, heartbreak.
We think we can handle them on our own, and keep people far away from our hearts, believing that it will somehow keep us safe.
That keeping miles in between our wound and the world is smart and keeps things together.
But what happens when we don't work on the scar tissue is that that scar tissue builds up and it gets harder to imagine a life without pain and suffering.
We get used to it and build our lives around it: limping and holding back trying to protect the injury from the world. But really we are just keeping ourselves from the world.
We think that pain is our birthright and forget that joy, freedom, and peace are ours for the taking, when we are willing to do the hard work of letting our injuries out into the light of day, no longer ignoring them, downplaying them, running a mile on them or pretending that all is okay.
After about four years I've decided to face the work of getting restorative massage right on my injury.
I finally found someone I felt safe with and almost immediately talked myself out of it, asking them to just work on other parts of my body that felt safer, easier, wouldn't make me take deep breaths or wince as if I was giving birth to myself.
I almost asked her to work on parts of me that didn't feel as ugly.
Instead I took a risk and decided that the pain of living with the scar tissue was worse than the pain it takes to face it, breathe through it, work through it.
Now every single time I get a massage, she works on the area and some days it's more painful than others, but I'm always glad that I finally have flexibility and relief in the place I thought I would never have it.
To facing the wound and letting love in right where it hurts the most.