Is it really possible to learn something from a sore toe?


I have a blistered baby toe. You’ll notice I wrote “blistered” – not that I have a blister on my toe, or my toe has a blister.

At present I have 3 blisters on my baby toe, including one blood blister.  OUCH!

This blistered toe reminds me a bit of a paper cut. Super small and super painful. Why is it that we can have large wounds that don’t necessarily feel much worse than the small ones? I’m sure there is a physiological reason for this, but I won’t get into that now.

Instead, while I’ve been complaining loudly to everyone I can about the magnitude of this particular pain, I’ve noticed several lessons that have emerged from this blistering experience.

Since some were a bit of surprise to me, with this odd source of inspiration, I thought I would share them with you!

1. Small is sometimes harder to manage than big.

We have a remarkable ability to handle the big things that come up in life. I’m sure you can think about an experience where something very serious has come up and yet you were able to power through. But then something small happened, and the tears came or it became harder to get up and going in the morning. I guess this is what they call the tipping point; the little thing that tips you over the edge. Most likely when we’re managing life well, we cope with those small things, but when we’re stressed or tired or overwhelmed that negative message from a friend or a sore foot makes it much more difficult to continue.

2. Really want something? Push through!

In the context of my foot, I knew that my toe was sore after a couple of walks in bad shoes on Friday. But on Saturday I really wanted to go for a hike with the dogs. I went despite my sore toe. Once I got started walking, the pain in my toe went away. We had a great hike! I pushed through!

3. Don’t always push through!

Sometimes when you “push through” you end up suffering the consequences. By the time hike #2 this weekend was done my toe hurt much more than it did on Friday. I’m not saying I shouldn’t have hiked, but if I had not “pushed through” and rather checked out what was happening with my foot, perhaps I could have taken corrective action to limit the impact (e.g. maybe some moleskin)!

4. Time heals wounds.

This refers to most wounds – physical and mental. By this time next week the pain in my toe should be a distant memory! Does a part of you hurt today? Give it some time and it probably will feel better next week. It is good to remember this when you’re suffering. I know this isn’t the case with everything so if time doesn’t help, then seeking more assistance is probably the way to go!

5. You deserve to take time for you.

Give yourself time for healing, even if the “problem” seems small and insignificant. I’m committed to wearing better shoes and socks tomorrow, and resting my foot to assist my blisters to heal. If it was my head, maybe I’d take a nap. If my soul, some meditation or joy filled dancing. When we take time for us, it gives us the chance to rejuvenate.

After all that, I’m feeling pretty grateful for my blistered toe right now! I still wish it away, but not at all in the same way I did before.

What about you? Share your thoughts in the comments below…





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