How many more times do I need to learn that I don't have to stay in painful situations? Last week the plumbers fixed the water flow problem in the apartment that I am subletting. For some unknown reason, they changed the shower head. Even the building manager who sought the plumbers' services does not know why. The old one provided an erratic and awkward but gentle stream of water. With the new head, well, I'm still recovering from the pelting my body took from the punishing device. I think I've had advanced microdermabrasion done on my face. That, along with the soreness around my eyes has made me empathize with Joan Rivers's numerous recoveries from plastic surgery. And "skinning the rabbit" has a whole new meaning for me, after what my penis felt like after trying to properly wash my privates. Direct and strong hits with laser-like precision to my larger head made me wince, but the ones to my other head had me squealing and cursing. Six torture sessions later, and I finally decided that I'd had enough. After calling the building manager and not hearing back from him, I endured one more thrashing, just because that seemed the thing to do at the time. Seeing my grimacing face in the bathroom mirror while slumping over and tenderly cupping little man and his two posse members, I reached my tipping point. "Where are the shower heads?" I asked the man behind the counter at Baller True Value Hardware (a perfect name, given my circumstances).
I've had a history of simply tolerating painful situations. Without getting too psycho-analytical, let's just say that I learned this behavior early in life. In my home in Atlanta, I spent three winters there without any heat, accepting that the heat pump was doing all that it could do. Only when I had to have an inspection for insurance purposes did I discover that the heat pump wasn't installed properly and had never blown anything other than cool air. Oh, and I can't forget that I went for 20 years with a torn, mostly non-existent ACL in my right knee. "Haven't you had a lot of pain?" the orthopedic surgeon asked me two years ago when I decided to get it checked. "It hurts some," I answered. "But I just live with it."
I'm learning, though, and I'm now taking action much quicker than I've ever done. Pretty soon, if I'm lucky, I'll be able to have my actions work in synch with my feelings. As soon as something is painful, I'll immediately address it. I'll let go of the false belief that my fate in life is simply to tolerate and endure. After years of therapy and years of spiritual cultivation, which have raised my awareness of my issues, I can see that I am progressing. Of course, I am a man, and all it takes to expedite the learning curve is a few hits to the heads.