The path to feeling better after chronically feeling bad can be tough with many ups and downs. In my quest to heal the chronic pelvic pain that kept me miserable for so long, I experienced periods of time, sometimes only an hour or two, where I had relief from the pain and/or was actually enjoying myself. Then shortly thereafter, the good mood would come crashing down in one form or another, but usually involving a return of the same old physical pain.
A common result of one pain subsiding is to have another problem area creep up, such as a new pain in a different place or a lesser pain becoming more prominent. This flip-flop also happens with mood. I attended a wedding recently where I had a marvelous time only to have my high deflated and ending with me in tears when my husband drove off with the keys to my car and left me stranded for almost two hours. I’ve also witnessed this in clients who experience some relief from their pain or their problem only to shortly thereafter be right back in the struggle of feeling bad again.
The Upper Limits
It turns out this is a known thing in the soul healing world called the upper limits phenomenon . This is when our capacity to feel good is lower than what is possible. It keeps our soul from expanding to what is possible because it’s outside our comfort zone. It doesn’t feel normal. We usually have a belief that limits this capacity or have been conditioned about how good we can feel. We go into behaviors that take us down from going beyond our upper limits of feel good capacity to drag ourselves back to where it feels normal. We aren’t used to feeling positive all the time. It doesn’t feel right. We only have a certain level of capacity to feel good, then it gets uncomfortable and we self-sabotage. We can do this in terms of our physical body, in relationships, work and in many other ways.
I was Happy
In my latest experience with this I was really enjoying myself, feeling good in my body, and my pelvic area was feeling especially well. I was happy! I had attended a “Spirit Dance” (inspired by Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythm’s dance) the day before and had lots of fun. Still feeling good from that experience I was getting ready to attend an afternoon Conscious Loving workshop facilitated by the same teacher as the dance. I suddenly realized time was getting short before I had to leave for the workshop and I still had some things to do. If I hurried I still had time to walk the dog and grab a quick lunch.
On my walk as I went through a wooded area next to the elementary school, I was drawn to exploring the side-paths off the main trail. I suspected homeless people had been hanging out there. It seemed to be unoccupied and a good opportunity to explore my hunch. I found signs of a homeless camp right next to the school fence. As I contemplated what to do with this information I followed a different path out of the camp and down a steep hard packed slope. Down I fell, before considering that the recent damp weather might make it slippery. My injured knee hurt as it bent deeper than it likes and I caught my fall with my left hand. Once I got my knee unbent I saw and felt that my left thumb nail was bent backward and torn just below the nail bed. I flipped it back and caught my breath. My thoughts immediately went to whether my injuries would prevent my attendance at the afternoon workshop. They didn’t.
We Trip Ourselves Up
In the last five minutes of the Conscious Loving workshop the teacher talked about the upper limits phenomenon. What I found so fascinating is the way the teacher explained this. He said “we trip ourselves up” when we start feeling too good and being too happy. Well I had literally tripped myself up before the prospect having fun at this workshop! This caused the pain in my injured thumb to potentially shade the experience for me, to bring me down to a more normal experience, which is fun, shaded by pain, instead of feeling completely good and well. I have definitely experienced this upper limits phenomenon many times along my pelvic pain healing path. After much struggle, pain and trying to feel better, I would achieve that good feeling only to have it come crashing down shortly thereafter with return of symptoms, a major worry or some other bummer. The good news for me is that the periods of feeling better, even feeling great, are lasting for longer periods of time.
A way to allow ourselves to reach beyond our upper limits is to commit to feeling positive energy all the time. When you feel like you have reached your upper capacity for joy and are at the edges of your comfort zone, take a break to meditate or have some down time so that you come back to yourself to allow time to integrate the positive experiences into your body and soul. That can eliminate the crash. It’s a visceral thing. The more I practice feeling better, by letting go of worry, limiting thoughts, feeling the full range of emotions, letting go of resistance to the moment, releasing the story, and let myself have fun and play, the more I’m expanding my upper limits of possible good feelings and soul expansion. The upper limits phenomenon is a normal process of soul expansion and healing. Recognize it and keep going. You deserve to feel good and enjoy yourself even more than you ever imagined possible.
Gail is an endorsed mind-body coach, certified Martha Beck life coach and trained psychic. Her path with chronic pelvic pain led Gail to mind-body healing which helped her get her life back and find her passion. Now she works with people in physical pain who have already tried all the normal solutions but are still struggling with pain. Gail helps them heal pain from the inside out and get back to living the life they want.www.gailkennylifecoach.com .