Life is only unbearable when we demand it change. In case you missed it, I blew out my knee last Thursday. A bad blowout. The kind where you tear ligaments and cartilage.
And now a harsh reality is setting in as it is becoming hard even to walk or stand without a lot of pain. Waves of disappointment and discouragement wash over me as I come to grips with the recovery road that is ahead and all the “life” I’m missing and am going to miss. Again. I’ve been down this road.
I start to get really angry and I push too hard and I ignore the pain and I make it worse.
I wonder how I’m going to ride 🚴🏾100 miles in #rebeccasprivateidaho in less than two weeks?? I begin to replay the accident and I agonize over what I could have done to prevent it. I imagine a different life.
I look forward. I look backward.
I tell myself a story that doesn’t really exist. I concentrate on the physical pain. I let it consume me for a bit by wishing it would just go away.
In short, I create a lot of suffering by resisting life.
And I miss out on the wholeness, fulness, peace, joy, love, and power of the moment.
Ever been there? Ever wish life were a little different? Ever get caught up in the stories (past and future) that keep you from the present?
There are a lot of things I wouldn’t have chosen over the past two years. Multiple concussions. This post-concussion syndrome ongoing nightmare. Broken arm. And now this knee.
I imagine you have (or will someday) your own list.
Can I be with life, though?
Can I engage fully in life even though it’s not going as planned?
Can I welcome the messengers of pain and respond out of wholeness?
Can I be thankful and grateful without disowning the reality of the struggle?
Can I be compassionate to myself?
Can I extend grace to myself?
Can I be here, now?
Can I welcome the peace, wholeness, fulness, joy, and love that are always present, no matter the circumstances?
With each breath, the answer to each question can be, “Yes.”
We can learn to be with life. There are practices that help us do so. And, not unexpectedly, these practices require focus and discipline.
As we learn to be with our breath, with our bodies, with our emotions, with our cognitions, we begin to be informed by them and not controlled by them.
We learn how to listen.
We learn to stop trying to control life or dictate the way that it goes.
We learn how to be.
We learn how to respond to life with right action.
We learn how to be human beings who do.
Life doesn’t have to change one iota in order for us to find what we are looking for.
We are already found.
Falling into our “foundness” is one of the profound lessons that pain, disappointment, and the hard knocks of life are ready to teach.
In our brokenness, we find ourselves resting on solid ground. We find wholeness and fulness.
We experience the unchanging awareness in which the ever-changing flow of our lives arises.
We enter love and become love to ourselves and others.
A great paradox? Yes.
A wonderful truth? Also, yes.
As Hafiz says,
Where we live
Is no place to lose your wings
So love, love,
With each breath today, may you awaken to life and engage with love.
Fully present. Fully alive.