In massage therapy school I learned that large muscle mass grows from damage, also called micro-tears (think of barrel chested body builders). That bulkiness comes from the formation of all these micro-tears, producing an increase in size (and strength and endurance).

A thought occurred to me recently after responding to an email from a mama who recently lost her child to suicide. I was trying to tactfully explain how the pain does not shrink over time. At all. But the heart adapts, enlarges, to accommodate & tend to the increase in pain.

The heart is a muscle.

Through damage, it grows.

I have spent so much of the last three years trying to understand & find the words to explain what has happened inside of me, this ‘mechanism of survival’, and it was right here all along. Biology. Hardwired into my DNA. Resiliency, explained.

The wisdom of the body never fails to fascinate and humble me. My own pain and everyone who allows me to work with theirs continue to ground me into the wonder of it all. I have always told my clients “pain is a messenger”— I just had no idea how profound the memorandum could be.


Published by: christinaryanstoltz

I write to touch the supple center of unguarded ache~ To release myself from the pressure of not knowing how to move forward from the unfathomable loss of my beloved son, my beautiful boy Isaac, to suicide, of not knowing how to release my grip on of the past, both the worshipping of it as well as the beating myself up for it, and letting go of the need to know what I could’ve done or what on earth I will do now. I write to heal.

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