Monday, December 28, 2009

Healing On Many Levels

In early December, I had a patellar realignment performed on my right knee. What this means is that my kneecap is now where it should be, and I wait 6~8 weeks for the soft tissue surrounding the knee to heal and for bone to knit to bone. Only then, can I begin truly strengthening my leg and moving toward full functioning.

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!

Loanne Marie

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a gift to consciously travel through the portal of healing, always and all ways to be aware and open to the shifting sands of ego consciousness, becoming more and more the I AM of essence. I wish you well, my friend, and may the New Year bring each of us everything our soul desires.

Warmly,
Catherine

Anonymous said...

I had never considered healing before with prayer for myself - I will remember that in the future.

I know how tough it is to be humble and ask for help - which is something that sends you into a dither - but now is the time to be kind to yourself and your essay is right on.

May you continue to heal, spiritually, bodily and mindfully,

Carolyn S.

Loanne Marie said...

Thanks to both of you for your comments. You each seem to know whereof you speak! Yes, the little ego does have some lessons to learn and this surgery is tailor~made for that. Thanks for your good wishes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Loanne,

So much of what you wrote in your essay about your knee surgery was about healing one's self --looking into, acknowledging and letting go of the dark places we all have, whether as the result of surgery or as the result of our life experiences generally. In part, I find this therapeutic process in contemplative prayer -- the little or big things that live in the root cellar of my subconcious and that trip me up, come into the light and I can lighty throw them away -- most of the time. Sometimes, they are pretty big and I need the help of someone else to dig them out, cut them up and dispose of them. Thank you for bringing this whole proccess into my concious mind with your wonderful essay. It really has helped me.

Get well soon and always get up oftener than you fall.

Loanne Marie said...

Thanks so much for writing. Your imagery of digging things up reminds me of the metaphor Thich Nhat Hahn uses of looking deeply to see the vegetables in the compost and the compost in the vegetables. Yes, we do need to unearth the hidden things that keep us blocked and locked in to old, unhelpful patterns of being. But I like the image of things being in an eternal process of changing form. When we throw them out~~to where do they go? Into a kinda cosmic compost bin where their energy can be recycled into something useful to our growth. Nice image, eh?

Thanks so much for writing.

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Blessings!

Leia Marie