“I didn’t realize I was so limited until I wasn’t anymore,” I said to a friend on the night I came home from surgery. I walked upright, and felt the relief of the hernia repair already, although I was numb with pain medication from the procedure that morning. It felt easy, and effortless, in fact, I had a really good time. My surgeon is very competent, kind, and good-looking too. Oh yes, he’s also French!
It took about three days for the residual pain to kick in, and for me to realize that surgery is a systemic shock. I am really very tired, and not used to feeling that way. But, I submit, and rest, and feel ever so grateful for modern medicine, loving relationships and the prayers and support of many. I feel new somehow, but it’s too soon to touch it; something’s forming inside. And, I am getting to know myself in the stillness.
What I’ve noticed this week, are my thoughts about how poorly I treated my body in my early life. Seriously, I treated it like a piece of luggage that I dragged around. Being present to it today, I notice what it tells me; what it wants, and how it responds. I am gentle toward it where before, I was rough. We’ve become intimates. I’m so grateful to have a healthy body, and one that moves. So, I’ve been thinking about patterns, and how they develop, and how they change. I’m including a piece from a chapter in my next book, called Choose Carefully.
Freedom to choose doesn’t feel free at first, it feels overwhelming. When patterns change, there is a fragile place inside that needs a gentle witness, and a time for goodbye, even grief.
New York City side walks had no open space; ever. There were always people on them, no matter what the time of day or night. So, when I drove home from the airport on Sunday night, I noticed space. Wide open space; sidewalks without people on them. It was weird because my body was in Kansas City, but my mind still wasn’t. I was in a weird space of contrast and comparison. Something was unwinding within me and it was uncomfortable. Even in my sleep, dreams still vibrated activity. I was still in New York, and it wasn’t just jet lag. It baffled me too, because I had only been in Manhattan for two and a half days. Powerful experiences leave their imprints, long after we have left them.
My mind keeps returning to a summer scene in the pool when I lived at the Healing House for Women in 2006. It was an unbearably hot day, so a bunch of us took refuge in the pool. Men were allowed to join us, which was rare, and really fun. Del is a big man, at least 6’ 2’ with a heart just as large. Anyway, we were playing Marco Polo and he was chasing me. I’m small in comparison, and uncomfortable in water. A bunch of us were running away from him, but it was no use. The force of his weight, and size, created a powerful current that threatened to pull me under. Finally, I just stopped running away from him, laughed, and fell into the water; drinking a bit of it too. I let him catch me. The current continued to pull me toward him, even though he wasn’t moving toward me. I stood my ground, and my body lifted backward, carried by the water. Until, one moment, the water stopped swirling and pulling me back. I was able to stand still, and simply walk away from him, without effort at all. He walked toward me and hugged me, instead of tagging me. The game was over, and that was good, because I was exhausted.
That pattern in the water arose in my consciousness because it had played out in just about every area of my life dealing with power. With men, jobs, careers, and in my spiritual life too. In this sense, pattern breaking had nothing to do with time, but with allowing a process to complete, and me to be transformed.
Maybe that’s why it took me so long to find work, and to sell my book. I mistakenly thought that I would jump right into a new life after each one of (these life altering events), but the ripples carried me further away from what I really wanted for a time, followed by a time of stillness. Chapter One, Choose Carefully
Professor Phillip Prygoski is a dear friend of mine, and a man who saw me as a lawyer, or at least an intelligent woman, for the first time in my life. He helped me fall in love with the Law, and his brilliance lit more than my life. He won the Stanley Beatie teaching award so many times, it’s almost funny. He’s been on my mind all week, and in my heart. He suffered a massive stroke in March and his family is making a plea for financial help with his non medical therapy. Insurance companies contain their costs, and he has had the best care money can buy, up until now. I am speechless at the thought of this great man being speechless, and partially paralyzed too. It’s rocked me.
So, I’m sharing my recovery story with Phil‘s family’s request today, and including a link to his webpage. I’ve never sought donations for anything on this blog, but this time, well, it’s the only thing I can think of to do. Phil’s family is just as amazing as he is, and I remember when each of his children were born. Thank you for visiting the site, and for your prayers too.
I am so grateful. I will pay attention. I will be careful, and full of care.