In 2019, I injured my hip, stepping off a curb in NYC when moving my son into college. I have no pain tolerance, and it still just didn't seem like a big deal at the time. We'd been carrying heavy things all day, and I just took a misstep. Only about an inch difference on what I was expecting on the curb. No worries.
But - turns out that it was a worry. Since that time, I easily knock my hip out all the time. It flares up and causes me a lot of pain. Over time it has gotten worse. Then, at a volunteer event last October, I knew I had really overdone and I was going to pay for it. I thought the weekend would take care of my healing, but I was wrong. As the pain intensified, so did my concern. I had an x-ray. I did pilates. I wore an SI belt when on my feet for long periods of time. I went to PT. I did all the things.
Finally, I had an MRI. And I learned something interesting. This isn't about that. Meaning, this pain isn't about what you think it is. Even though I can touch the point of pain at my SI joint, at my pelvis and back - that isn't what is causing the problem. Turns out I have a small muscle tear on the outside of my hip. It hasn't been able to heal, so it is causing the pain at the SI joint.
I went to see my PT Katelyn and once armed with this new information, she could literally touch the real point of pain. Immediately I was shocked, as that spot hasn't even hurt once - but the moment she touched it I KNEW. So I realized - this isn't about that - my SI pain is because of a torn muscle. It was deceiving me all this time.
So why share this story? It hit me that so often in life "this isn't about that." When we get mad in the line at the grocery store, or someone cuts us off in traffic, or our anxiety goes up and we feel desperate to resolve a problem, or our feelings are hurt unexpectedly - sometimes those surprise emotions that arise aren't even about the little thing that just happened. It is just that those little things pressed down hard on a deeper bruise, something that is a bigger problem that needs our attention. So often we don't realize we are focused on the wrong things - and we need some guidance to get to the root of things.
If you are experiencing a space of pain, stress, anxiety, even impatience - take a moment to ask what it is really about and tend to that healing. It may be the thing you think it is... but it also may be a completely different issue that was easier to ignore than resolve. "This" may not be about "that".... so what is "it" truly about?
May you find space to ask the difficult questions. May you have safe spaces to question your pain. May you have a trusted expert or dear friend who can touch your deep bruises and help you heal. If - for you - this isn't about that, may you find out what it IS about - and may you have the courage to take next steps.