Jim Ellis


Thank you bad back!

That’s right I’m talking to you. YOU! With all those aches and pains. That agitating agony that sometimes sends me to my knees … if not belly, as I slither towards the bathroom or kitchen like the Grinch making its way around the Christmas tree.

Thank you for showing me something I may have missed.

And it all comes from the pain you have brought.

As I now see it, after years of personal growth and personal growing pains, emotional and even physical pain is a definite signal for healing.

Healing? How can that be? I’m talking about the healing that comes in the form of a timely message from the body that says, “Umm, excuse me, wanted to get your attention. Hi. The way you have been living – in mind, body and spirit – has been conflicting with your true nature of health and a natural flow.”

Sometimes it’s a gentle nudge as in a somewhat stiff neck, and sometimes it’s a more aggressive in its approach, as in a disease, a state of melancholy, a lower back that is completely out. if I’m intelligent, and a good listener, I will take heed. I will listen to you, Mr. Back. I can consider the causes you hint at:

  1. Stress
  2. Poor posture and body mechanics
  3. Lack of exercise
  4. Unexpressed emotions or ideas
  5. A belief people don’t “have my back”
  6. A belief I’m not supported – by friends, by the universe, by life
  7. And the myriad of things it could be, of which I do not understand on a conscious level

Now, if I DO take heed, and listen to your messages – subtle and not so subtle – I can consider actions to overcome this unconsciousness, and this pain.

  1. Stress reduction – mindfulness on the effects of stress on the body
  2. Mediation – contemplating the source of the cause beyond the symptoms
  3. Yoga with the wife in the daily am practice
  4. Attention on the physical well-being
  5. Re-aligning on my higher purpose and taking daily steps on that path

If I take heed, I can learn and grow. The whole point of life anyway.

Oh you back – I will not take you for granted. I will take you – even in your painful state – not as a defeat, but rather as a signal to listen, learn and take action.

Thank you back pain!

Let me receive your care and your communication.


James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright, journalist and filmmaker, who is the author of eight books, including the men-focused “The Honor Book” available HERE.