Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't scratch that itch!

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
I don't know how anyone living in Seattle could not start a blog post today by first shouting, "IT IS SUNNY TODAY!"  Ok, now that I have that taken care of...

Yesterday at 4:30, I felt compelled to go in search of inspiration for DIY month.  I needed something more than the two dimensional virtual versions of projects that I scour through on the internet.  I needed real life, tangible objects.  I recalled going to a store, Earthwise, back when I was in charge of creating elaborate auction projects for my kid's school auctions.  We had found a church pew that we turned into a puppet theatre.  I really wish I had pictures to share with you because it was awesome!

As much as the name makes me cringe with association to the BabyWise book series, I dropped everything, called to invite Amy and we headed down to SODO.  There certainly were a lot of cool things at the store.  It is a salvage store filled with everything from appliances, to doors, to random doll parts. But what I found to be missing was the inspiration I was searching for.

I wonder if I am not one of those people that sees past the object and sees what it can become.  I tend to do that in other areas of my life.  Take my leg rash for instance, remember the one that was driving me crazy back during Urban Homesteading month?  Yes, it's been actually year and three months, and the rash was going strong.  It itched more than ever, it was bloody and scabbed from scratching.  I was seriously starting to get very concerned.  And grossed out.

Then one day, I found a website about neurodermatitis or lichen simplex chronicus.  It is a condition that can start from a stressful situation (mine started when I lost my job), and is perpetuated by the intense itchiness that leads to scratching, which leads to more itch.  The medication offered for the condition is simply to stop the itch cycle.  Well, I thought, if this is it, I can stop my own itch cycle.

So, for the past week, I have not itched.  If I catch myself itching without consciously choosing to do so, I quickly stop.  And let me tell you, if you have ever had an itch like this, it feels so good to scratch. Scratching brings relief and comfort, even if just for those moments of nails upon skin.

Now, in turn for your hearing about this disgusting rash on my legs, I am going to share with you the bigger picture of what I learned.  When I look past the rash, I can see what my life will become.  The kernel of truth is that, the more I scratched and soothed my itch, the more I perpetuated my own suffering.
Prayer Wheel.
It led me to think, what other areas of my life am I perpetuating my own suffering in the name of comfort?  Are there places in your life that you are continuing to create an underlying suffering simply because in the moment, you are doing something that brings a temporary relief?   

I am happy to report that in one week, my rash is gone.  I lived with this ugly painful rash for so long, and I didn't have to.  I imagined it was a horrible disease.  I thought at times it was the beginning of the end.  And the whole time, all I had to do was stop itching.  All I had to do was have power over my desire for immediate relief.  That is some deep shit right there.


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