Sunday, April 26, 2009
A little more than ten years ago I was home for a year recuperating from a life threatening situation. That period of my life forced me to look at the reality of my mortality and experience the vulnerability of my existence. As the seasons changed, so did I. The transformation was slow and gradual, but long in coming.
I spent the first half of that year in the business of healing my body. It was the first thing I had to do. I provided it with the right nourishment so I could regain my strength, gradually changing my palate as it was introduced to new foods that would better sustain me. I learned, for the first time, the meaning and importance of the word stillness, because to have lived otherwise was not an option at that particular time. I urged, pushed and coaxed muscles that had become atrophied in becoming strong once again so they could hold me up and carry my body. I delicately tended to the scar - the only physical reminder of my loss.
The latter half of the year I then concentrated on the healing of my soul. Having now regained some of my strength, it was time to look within. During this time I had little interaction with the world. I placed myself in a cocoon and sheltered myself from the voices, looks of concern, and sincere and loving advice and opinions that wanted to be given but which I was not yet ready to hear nor accept. I could not look in the eyes of family members and see their sadness for my loss. And something wonderful happens when you are left alone to your own thoughts, your own counsel, your own pain; something remarkable happens when you are forced to deal with the rawness of your body and the irony of life by yourself. You learn that you are indeed stronger than you thought you could ever be, you learn that there are very few things in this world to worry about or make yourself unhappy about, and you learn that there are very few fears that are worth your concern.
But a life-threatening illness also gives you some unexpected gifts: you become more grateful of life, things and people around you, you forgive easier and love deeper, you laugh and smile more easily, you learn to treat people with a little more kindness because you realize this little act is the one thing that people need most. But most of all, the best gift you receive is the gift of loving yourself, accepting yourself for who you are and giving yourself the unconditional love you deserve, finally stopping the voices of judgement and criticism that seem to forever plague you. And you realize you do not need to be perfect, you just need to be you.
Yes, the year of my transformation taught me many things. But ten years have passed and now it is time again to reflect on my life and the road I travel. I have slipped a little in the way that too much chattering has invaded my thoughts once again. My mind and body are restless on occassion and I feel myself straying away from my center of peace. It is time again for me to take that cup of brew outside onve again and witness life; it is time again for long walks that connects me with nature; it is time again to listen to the silence so that I can once again find me.
For Lightning and the Lightning Bug
Posted by rebecca