Phantom pain is a phrase that came to me during my early morning workout. Phantom pain the kind you get from missing something that should be there. You hear of people who have lost a limb remark that they still feel pain in the missing limb. This pain is the mind getting used to the absence of something that should be there. The pain is real, not imagined. This pain is felt in the soul of the person experiencing it.
Websters defines the word phantom as a ghost or something that is imagined. Phantom pain is defined as pain, that was once believed to be imagined, generating from a missing limb or organ. Science has since proven that this pain is generated by the brain and/or spinal cord as a result of rewiring the neurons.
Phantom pain.... missing something that is not there. A rewiring of the brain so that the brain grows accustomed to its new normal. To me, this sounds like what educators and students are feeling now. A pain, a soul-deep pain, over a loss of what should be. We are all struggling to find the source of the pain, to force the brain to grow accustomed to its new normal. Many of us, educators, parents, and students, are struggling to ease the pain, to work through our new normal. To find normalcy in the unnormal.
A phantom pain.... a rewiring of the brain......an acceptance of what is now normal. Events are moving so quickly, our brains.... our hearts.... our souls can not keep up. We are left with unease, worry, pain. Our minds are in overdrive trying to reconcile all the images, the feelings, and all the information.... trying to find the source of the pain and determining our new normal. The magical thing is our brains will accept the new normal, our souls will recover and our hearts will expand. We will find joy in simplicity, find the silver lining in our storm clouds. We will adapt and grow stronger.
*** I feel as if I need a disclaimer... in no way was I trivializing the loss of a limb. That is far worse than the temporary loss we are all experiencing. I was just borrowing the phrase!