See what I did there? my last post I got all “i’m in control of this, and i will continuing to exert more control” which, needless to say, got summarily unplugged by my body within moments. It’s funny to me that I forget something so very often that I am pretty much constantly trying to remember. Me, self-proclaimed “slowing down” advocate deciding to jump in and schedule my recovery as if it were a pre-frontal cortex-driven show. It’s not.
My surgery went marvelously well, and I’ve experienced far less pain than I anticipated. That’s kindof ironic because I figured the best thing I could do with pain would be to blog about the experience, since it’s one thing to talk about pain while you’re not in it and another thing completely from the center of it. I haven’t had much in the center of it. Which is good, of course, but now bringing up the muddier ground of ‘sortof pain’ and discomfort and the general muck, physical and psychological, of illness.
Turns out this is a pretty broad and important topic, too. Me talking about pain is easier than me talking about the general muck. And each of our general muck will be different, just like the experience of pain on any level will be differently interpreted by different bodies or even the same body in different ways at different times. Life is dynamic. All the time. Relentless like that.
So while I’ve not had much intense pain, I am convelesing. I have short times awake. I have baby exercises that are super hard for me. I have to face my inner whiner or critic more often. But I also have more time to pray, to contemplate and appreciate life itself, to be in stillness. But, also, my family is going a little stir-crazy.
So, not wanting to leave me alone, everyone has largely stayed home and much like the last weeks of summer vacation, people are dying for something to do. and sometimes that brings up their own inner muck. And sometimes they throw it at each other.
The nice thing about having so much time to practice stilless is that when the storms have been brewing I’ve been able to sit in the stillness as a practice. Tense emotions about the house can be a trigger, and today I very happily stayed in the practice more than once. and once I even got to defuse a situation. These are the gifts stillness can bring when we’re fully present to it.
All of the muck is discomfort. Wanting the world to prove something to us. wanting validation and excitement as if we’re entitled to it. I really started my day with a bunch of scheduling frustrations, a phone dying, the wrong thing ordered, etc… and I started to get this interesting combination of angry and victimized and exasperated. and then it was time to do my exercises. and I realized, life comes at us in ups and downs all the time and we’re not “entitled” to any smooth ride or anything else. And so all of those frustrations became silly, and once silly I could relate to them in a different (not defensive) way. and I could see that i was defending some picture of a day wherein everything just clipped along. those days happen. but so do other days and ‘other days’ have their value too, and since i literally have nothing to do but heal, why on earth would i get upset about a bunch of stuff i can’t change? I’ll return the mis-ordered cane when it comes. eventually, i’ll get the offsite PT. But the chemicals I release when I get upset are not going to help my healing, nor the situation. and thus, i could see what I was defending, release it, and move on with curiosity about the day.
Oddly enough, it really came in handy. honoring my morning lesson let me exercise it 2 or 3 times throughout the day. exercise builds mastery. And I’m reminded of the part in The Presence Process where he says, Happiness comes not from an ordered life but from the ability to embrace all of life – the good and the bad – with a sense of readiness, wholeness.
Because I don’t want to win anything anymore. I don’t want to be right by anyone else’s assessment. I want to meet the moment in the moment with the fullness of my resources as an agent of evolution. I want to sew seeds of life and wholeness, “enoughness” and curiosity about what life can be like.
My old habits (for example, the way my body compensated for my hip) did their best to provide me escape from pain. But when I begin to feel the pain, embrace it, invite it in, everything changes (like for example the pain itself) I don’t have to escape anything – and that is a much more enjoyable way to life, even when there is pain.