While patience has never come easily to me, this enforced wait has not been particularly challenging. Other things have been, though. Claire, one of my dear friends in Maine, wrote concerning the surgery that, “the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual all are such an interplay, each fueling the other into awareness.” Oh, how right she is!
Obviously, my body is undergoing an intense period of healing. Yet, it feels as though realignments of heart, mind, and spirit are possibilities as well.
I first noticed that I was more emotional than usual. I cried easily when experiencing something sweet or sad, while evidence of the cruelty of the world unraveled me. It was as though the vulnerability of my leg had translated into greater sensitivity in general.
I also found myself confronted at times with the less pleasant parts of my personality, like a tendency to get caught in spirals of negativity or self~pity. While these arise most notably when I'm tired, scared or in pain, the truth is that their vestiges are never far away.
Whether a background tendency or a full~blown, blinding episode, I’m trying to hold my reactions in awareness.
The practice of mindfulness is a rewarding one, though it often entails dipping into what is referred to as the “shadow self”~~all those parts of our psyches we’d just as soon weren’t there. But mindfulness is a candle in the darkness. While we might prefer daylight, when darkness is where we are, a bit of light makes it easier to take.
When I can see into my internal process, I am better able to tend my thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, neither pushing them away or allowing them to run wild. And through such loving care, my rough edges soften and I lighten.
My recovery began with a prayer, envisioning a healing force moving through my body, clearing out pockets of pooled blood, infection, swelling, etc. My prayer has expanded. I now envision blockages releasing on emotional, mental and spiritual levels as well. A general, all~purpose rising up and clearing out~~of fear, resentment, the poor~me’s, lack of trust, illusions of separation, and more.
My recovery is going quite well. I’m now done with crutches and have only a few more weeks in the brace. When I hit a rough patch emotionally, when thoughts slide into unhelpful grooves, or when I misperceive myself as alone and isolated, I try to recognize these as internal elements fueled into awareness, just as Claire suggested. I hope to allow myself to simply know them and to hold them tenderly. Then I can let them go, releasing them to that vast river that is ever available for cleansing.
I am not always successful. Often I forget, realizing only after the fact that I’ve been unconscious in my reactions, at times participating in a full~blown meltdown. But according to a card Cindy, another friend of my heart, sent, “Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down.” By this definition, I have been a success.
When we encounter life’s trials, we do so most effectively when we search for the hidden gems, the places where we can learn and grow. If I am wise, I will allow this current healing of mine to open me so that I can better perceive the Light that infuses each moment.
My knee is bending more easily day by day and, hopefully, so am I. A gift, indeed.
Wishing you all the best on this holiday weekend. Here's to a great new year with knees that bend as needed so that we all might get up once oftener than we fall!