Below is the story of a severe pain that I experienced and how I navigated it through it without going to a doctor, getting a single diagnostic test or taking a single pain pill. In the end, the whole thing lasted about 3 months, with the worst of it lasting about 2 months. The whole experience declared itself as an inner healing and I think that other people might experience similar symptoms, but not recognize what is happening to them. I journaled as I went through my ordeal and share those entries in this post. I hope this is helpful to others.
During a trip to Haiti in July 2017, I experienced an unusual physical symptom. It started subtly on July 22. I felt some stiffness and tension in my upper left leg and it kept building over a couple days. I believed the pain, which was associated with a strong sense of sadness, was my body’s way of processing suppressed emotions.
As the pain increased and started to impact my daily activities, I prayed to God for guidance. I wanted to know if this was a message to make a change in my life. I wondered if there was something I was actively doing that was contributing to this emotional blockage. The insight I received was that, everything was basically ok in my life. This was an intense spiritual cleanse and I just needed to do my best to stay positive and active. The experience would pass if I didn’t give it my life energy.
Over the nine years of my life leading up to this experience, I had made a lot of efforts to change my life, inner and outer, to achieve holistic health on a path of God union. I practice an advanced meditation technique at least 3 consecutive hours per day. I do hatha yoga on a weekly basis. I do a 3 day water fast every month and a couple times a year I do a multi-week long juice cleanse. I have devoted my life work to helping others, both locally and globally. I live by honest donation. I practice a deep level of forgiveness. And most most importantly, I solve all problems with unconditional love. So my intuition was that everything was ok with my lifestyle, I just needed to stay strong and let this storm pass.
This experience happened at a time when I was noticing spiritual progress in my life. It was getting easier to solve all conflicts in my life using only love. Everyday, my kriya meditation session would bring me to a relaxed, calm and attentive state of being. More importantly, that captivating energy seemed to be spreading to people that I encountered in my life and they appeared to relax too. As a result, my life was filled with more or less happy people. With this intense left leg pain, those magic moments became less often and less powerful. But I was ok with that. I knew when this blockage was dissolved, things will be even better. I was thankful to have witnessed a good friend pass through a similar intense physical pain using spiritual practices and I saw how his life improved as a result of it. I was thankful that I had enough energy to move slowly and embrace the experience. I knew it would pass. I just didn’t know how or when.
Here is how I described the symptoms five days after they started: “There is a gripping feeling in the left butt. It radiates down to the knee and up to the low back. I also feel a blockage in the head. I can go about my day with minimal pain as long as I move slowly and stick to my yoga. Amazing I can do almost all the poses, if I go slow. Sometimes the energy is so intense. At times there is crying inside because my God connection is so blocked, but at the same time I can feel Him working on my aura. I can feel the embrace, but His hugs are just not penetrating in and flowing through me. It’s hard to relax inside.”
Here are some additional observations about the butt pain that I made about 2.5 weeks after it started: “The pain fluctuates, but is still very intense at times. I have to move slow. Sometimes it is impossible to stand up straight, stand still or sit in one spot. I feel best in the fetal position on my right side. At times I’m able to relax into the pain and the energy is so strong. It’s like touching an electric fence. But I can tell it is opening my heart. At times I’m crying inside. I can see I’m capable of feeling more. My ability to absorb people’s energy is impaired, but still there is positive feedback from life. A woman with a stroke, who I cared for at work, said I can tell you love me. We hugged.”
Interestingly, I had a similar pain in 2001 just before getting married. It was bad enough that I had to use a cushion on my car seat and I ended up keeping it for 10 years because I was afraid the pain would come back! I don’t recall how long it lasted, but I think it was less intense but longer lasting. Pain in the low back and lower body area is often connected to blockages about sexuality. Truly healthy relationships with the opposite sex extremely rare and it’s common for people to have these blockages. This helped me to understand that I was going through a spiritual healing that related to male-female relationships somehow.
I hung tight as the symptoms increased. After three weeks of symptoms, this is what I journaled: “At times the pain is really consuming and feels like a recurring nightmare. It can consume my attention no matter what I’m doing. At other times I can find relief by getting into certain positions. I can relax despite it and know that a healing is happening and am thankful. When I reach for God, there is intense energy and sometimes pain. It is a challenge to look with in.”
“The butt pain gets so intense when I try to stand erect. I’ve had to find a way to go through the whole day without straightening the buttocks muscle. I avoid anything that would cause movement of that muscle. Sometimes my back hurts only because I have to walk bent over. At times the pain in the buttocks and left leg feels like an atomic bomb exploding. An agonizing energy spreads through my body. I imagine that if other people experienced this and didn’t recognize it as a spiritual cleanse and they didn’t have faith that it was temporary, they would consider amputating their limb. It is that intense. Some days I can only sleep 2 hours before being awoken by pain. This is a crazy experience. It’s teaching me compassion for all my patients who live in pain daily.“
“Update. Now it is 5 weeks. A week ago I enjoyed a 3 day water fast. It was surprisingly easy from the stand point of cravings. But the pain was really bad. During that time, my walking was more affected. I could no longer hide the disability. After busy days, meditation was horrible. It would take at least a half hour for the body to start to be able to relax. There was no getting away from the pain. The second day after the fast, something changed. My meditating improved. There was a couple positions I could assume, where my body could relax a bit. Lying in fetal on my right side. Or reclined fully in the chair with my left leg extended and right one flexed. I was ecstatic about the improvement. I was happy I could find a space where there was no pain.”
“The first day I had this relief, I was so happy. I manifested some positive experiences, where I was helpful to a nurse and a patient. But physically I could still hardly walk. In fact the pain changed from being non-localized to becoming very focal. I could put my finger right on the spot. The muscles in the leg and butt became so contracted. It was impossible to do my daily yoga. My evening walks were a challenge. I just cannot walk upright. In fact, I have to walk with my upper body at almost 90 degrees, so it is parallel with the ground. Imagine how the hunchback of Notre dame looks. It’s ironic that as I get clarity on the spiritual level that things are improving, on the physical level it appears as if things are getting worse.”
Even though physically things looked worse, I knew that I was on the mend. At this point, I tried to return too quickly to full activities. Every summer I look forward to a vacation with my kids and was planning to keep that vacation. As that date approached, I could see I was getting worse. The stress of just thinking about it was affecting me. At the last moment I had the insight to cancel the trip. The next day I had the whole day to focus on kriya. My inner attitude was much better. Things softened inside. But the leg was still hurting. I started gentle stretches again and realized I needed to slow down and take this one step at a time.
“Now I’m 6 weeks into the experience. The kids have just left after spending the week in Petoskey with me. They had a great time. I was able to do some activities with them, like go to the county fair and to the beach. But I can barely walk still. Fortunately I’ve had lots of time for kriya, but my vibe is icky. I become sleepy within one or two hours of meditating. There was some stress related to my family learning about the ailment and trying to understand why it’s happening. They rejected the emotional and spiritual root cause explanation. They also had expectations for it to improve faster than it is. It caused some pressure on me. I can see now, they are just a bit scared and reacting. I’m glad to have free time again. Fasting for 3 days now.”
“Although I prefer to settle all my ailments between just me and God, I allowed my brother to do an Osteopathic manipulation on me. I can see it really helped. I think it’s important for me to accept some help from others. Tomorrow I have an acupuncture session. Then I restart work. It will be interesting to see how I function there. Also I’m curious how I will handle my trip to Haiti soon. And my boards recertification. Both require prolonged sitting. Praying for healing before that, but also honoring the process.”
“Week 7 complete. I’m getting better! This week I notice I can stand fully straight up at times. Especially after kriya. Acupuncture is helping. I can do more yoga. I can sit for long periods of time. There is still a big knot in the butt and hamstring and calf, but things are melting! I took my first evening walk in 3 weeks! So nice to be with the trees. I feel like I’m being freed from prison! Healing just in time to make the trip to Haiti.”
“This week has been full of progress. Each day new accomplishments. Started my evening walks. Started all 3 yoga routines. Biked to work! Acupuncture is helping. Interestingly the tightness in the leg is worse immediately after the session, but as I go about my day, the tension melts and I have more movement than before. I cannot handle the acupuncture with electricity. It’s too much. Better without. Able to relax deeply in the 4th session today. Lots of sadness comes from my leg and butt especially at the end of my work day. But then so much joy just from simple things. Music, being outside, etc. Things are melting fast, but I’m still not 100%.”
As my trip to Haiti approached, I was worried about my ability to sit in the airplane. I had not been able to tolerate pressure on the butt for very long, even though things were getting better. I attempted to order a fancy seat cushion. It was sold out, so I canceled the order. Fortunately, I didn’t need it. By the time of the flight, I was able to sit for long periods, comfortably. And I knew better than to become dependent on a “crutch”.
“Now it is week 8.5. The butt and leg pain slowly dissolves. I can see it best in my yoga routine, but also in my ability to stand and sit for longer periods of time. Kriya is close to normal. Sometimes there still is pain. At times it is just like after getting an intramuscular injection. Other times it is a gnawing, agonizing pain, yet the intensity is so much less. Now I’m in Haiti and am so happy I can participate in all activities, including mountain walks. Healing continues.”
“I’m in the last week of the trip to Haiti. Maybe 10 weeks? There is noticeable spiritual progress which I can see in a general appreciation for simple things. Stimuli in my surroundings are often pleasurable, even if they are things that people would normally consider disturbing. I’m really appreciating this trip to Haiti. Things don’t get too me like they used to. The leg pain continues to disappear, but not fully. I notice it in the morning and evening. Today I saw improvements in the yoga routine, to verify the progress. The last pose in the first routine is always hard. I have had to keep my leg bent. Today I could almost do it straight. I normally go through some mental and emotional lows during my trip. I noticed the remnants of these down times. They were intense but short lived. Enjoying the best and most wakeful kriya in Haiti. Onward!”
“October 12 today. Maybe almost 3 months since this started. Able to mountain bike up Boyne Mountain. Felt so good. It’s all good except some minor stiffness in the low back in the morning. In yoga, notice some minor stiffness with some poses. All within the realm of normal morning stiffness.”
“Life seems effortless. I’m less triggered. Energy levels are great. Conflicts dissolve quickly. But still I can feel the aura around my head is contracted. But God is always there, embracing me and dissolving the hardness.
Today I had the thought “how to respond if someone asks how my leg is?”. The answer that came up in mind:
It’s like it never happened! Woohoo!”
Shortly after the pain was gone, I experienced a major positive change in my life. My ex-wife spontaneously decided to move back to Petoskey. She stated that she felt more comfortable around me and even got a job at the same hospital that I worked at. It was great to have some reconciliation in this relationship, but the change also brought my children closer to me and simplified my life a lot. I was able to move out of a rental home that I kept just for visiting the kids. I am not sure this description gives justice to how monumental this change was. All I can say is it brought so much more peace, time and energy into my life that things changed drastically for the better.
I am still grateful for the whole experience, including the severe pain.