2 days to hip replacement. in fact, 2 days from right now (48 hours at least) I should be home beginning my recovery. Amazing.
One of the biggest struggles since becoming ill is maintaining a sense of self worth without the evidence of accomplishment. From time to time (when I’m feeling better) I think “Man, i am a hypochondriac” and inevitably drive myself to do something that reminds me that, no, indeed, my best efforts are thwarted by real physical limitations and when I test them, they bite.
Other times I think, “I’m really just lazy.” and that perhaps I brought disease upon myself to facilitate my inherent laziness, or I use it as an excuse when I could be doing more (see above) and various other things…
such are the insidious workings of a mind trained by modern culture. Doing, accomplishing, achieving, these are the important things of the world; all this stillness and quiet and rest, what a sad excuse for a life. And I’m obviously taking advantage of my beleagured husband.
I have come a long way in recognizing and honoring my authentic energy levels. I’m learning to listen to my body and hear what it needs, and yet still sometimes I ignore it (because homemade truffle mac and cheese brings me comfort before it inflames my muscles; or, even more often, the voices of perceived authority tell me I really *should* be doing *something*)… the mental game is infinitely more difficult than the physical game.
I know that “being” is a far more profound practice than “doing” and yet still I buck it. Compared to my perception of the average American, I think I’m about 85% of the way there. Compared to a truly embodied spirit in the present moment, I’m about .005% of the way. I shudder to think where I’d be had my body not begun taking over calling the shots.
I often wonder – I actually often wonder who I would be had I not gotten sick. Whomever it would be, even if I’d achieved great professional success I am certain I would not be able to sit in peace as often as I can today. I’m consistently surprised at how stillness and spiritual practice works practical miracles.
An enormous part of my ability to be at peace with myself, with my body, with my life comes from the container created for me and with me by my husband. Patience was not my strong suit, but Tucker is so supremely patient it couldn’t help but rub off. I was told daily in my childhood that no one would ever love me and that anyone who said they did was pretending. Tucker’s love for me was so unpretentious and consistent and thorough that it didn’t take long for the depth of his simplicity to untangle the knots I’d been living under. OK, maybe it did take a long time for me to untie the knots, but it didn’t take long to appreciate and enjoy someone who actually loved me the way I was every. single. day. That’s the gift of my life – I never imagined it was truly possible.
And how do I repay him? He gets all of the responsibility for the nuts and bolts of keeping our family afloat (and abroad and all kinds of other wonderful things). I have so much guilt and shame over this, sometimes it makes me cry.
And then I remember: the universe is committed to my flourishing, and his. He manages the nuts and bolts marvelously well and I bring the whipped cream and cherries. Without my slowing down and diet and lifestyle practices, he could easily have the physical ailments that plagued his father’s family. I don’t get to keep score, and any attempts I make at it are by their very nature devoid of context and understanding the larger picture. They are the ramblings of an indoctrinated mind always looking to condemn and diminish.
These internal struggles have been a significant part of this last decade. I don’t know what is going to happen next, but I am certain that the voice that wants things to be different than they are is misguided. The small and still quiet part of myself that recognizes the beauty of the divine play, it’s tenderness and miraculous gifts is the part I pledge allegiance to, the part I want to know better. I’ve known that other jackass all my life, and tempting as it is to condemn myself, that’s another aspect of me I wrote about yesterday – being willing to die so that something new, something pure, and something unencumbered by the past can come to life.