Thursday, January 28, 2010

Salt and Vinegar

A potato chip, anyway, is pretty easily obtained.

So I've been reading my favorite life coach, about clean pain and dirty pain. Clean pain is, like, primary pain. Like I'm sick and can't stop coughing, I feel all shook up. Dirty pain is secondary pain. Like I've been sick three times in as many months, I keep missing valuable workouts & I'm going to keep falling behind everybody else. And the reason I keep getting sick is, I'M A LOSER. I'm not tough enough for this, I need to look across the river and think about the rabbit farm.

[ETA: Look how toxic that is even before you get to the part about the rabbit farm, how "I'm going to keep falling behind everybody else" already assumes that I'm falling behind. Which I sort of am not, this is how dirty pain works!]

Or in other words, secondary pain is the story that we tell about the pain. Let's say that the pain is true, and the story is not true. I mean even the good stories. As a writer, I accept this pretty easily. All stories are made up. Fine. But. True does not mean good, and not true does not mean bad. True and good are different things.

Even better, the pain is real and the story is not real. Forget about true.

Once you accept that all stories are made up, you free yourself to make up stories that are good or stories that are bad. Or in ethical terms, stories that work and stories that don't work. A good story works. A bad story doesn't work. And by "works," I mean that it makes you feel good about yourself.

So, what. You make up some story that makes you feel good about yourself. But how can you feel good about yourself, you know you made it up! All stories are made up. So you can make up a story that makes you feel good, or you can make up a story that makes you feel bad about yourself & which do you think is going to work better.

So my story is, being sick is my body's way of getting rest and fluids. Which it's using to build in the muscle memory of all the sunrises and substitutes and skate practices over the past six weeks, and that's how it works: you break yourself down and build yourself up...

...and in another six weeks, it will be spring.

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