If you’re anything like me you think that, for the most part, you are indestructible! I mean we all have dreamed of being a superhero and walking through fire without being burned or getting hit by a car leaving the car with a huge dent in it and continuing across the street brushing yourself off like, “Did that car scuff my shoe?” (I totally just did that a moment ago…not get hit by a car but the imagining I dented the car part) In the moment as I crossed the street, I felt incredibly powerful! I felt like “Yes, this is who I truly am! I am a superhero…just call me Francesca Fabulosa (for some reason I think that would be my superhero name…don’t ask me why and no I haven’t been drinking!) I felt confident in my stride but then the thought came to me… “But if the car really did hit you your flesh could not contend with it without a serious injury.” Even though I have heard about some Monks or a group of people who meditate to the point where they don’t feel pain or have injuries. Like they could stab themselves and they wouldn’t bleed. (pardon the aside but that is very cool-on my list of things to do one day!) Although being a painless “superhero” may be possible in some cases, it isn’t the most practical approach. We as humans get hurt but we don’t always allow ourselves to FEEL the pain of it. I remember when I was 9 years old and I scraped my knee REALLY bad…like it was more like a gash. I was playing outside and fell. With tears streaming down my face I barely made it to my house as I was in such agony (9-year-old agony at least). I was longing for some TLC from my Mom. She walked into the living room where I rocked in utter discomfort on the couch. When she saw me she shrieked, “Audra! What’s wrong baby?!” She looked like she was about to cry, like the pain I was feeling was a pleasure paradise compared to the pain she would feel if I was hurt. As young as I was and as understandable as it would be for me to cry to acknowledge my own anguish I didn’t want to see my Mom cry. I didn’t want her to know I was in pain because maybe I (at that age) could not stand to see her in pain so when she asked me what was going on I immediately sucked up my tears and covered my bloody knee with my hand so that she couldn’t see it. I quickly answered back, “Nothing, I’m fine!” The feeling of relief I saw on her face made my poor throbbing knee worth it though…or did it?
So many times we look to move forward in our lives “at ALL costs.” We are taught to just cross the finish line even if our shoes are still at the starting line or if they were left in the locker room. It’s like we come out of the womb and it is just “go time.” Now I definitely don’t feel like “go time” is a negative thing however if life is about balance (and it is) then there has to be some “stop time” (or at least a little “yield time”) to recover from injuries. But so many of us take the bumps and bruises from life and cover it up like I did with my Mom. If the cut was minor I could have brushed it off but this injury had me bloody and hunched over like a 90-year-old osteoporosis patient.
Just as I had a right to cry out to my Mom when I was a child I feel like we ALL have that right to cry out when things get too painful. But like me many of us don’t because we don’t want to disappoint someone (i.e. our children, spouse, friends, family etc) maybe even ourselves. We limp around with gashes in our hearts covering them up still trying to make it to the finished line. We may even get to the finished line but not without serious repercussions.
Any professional athlete or dancer will tell you that they can’t be in performance mode ALL the time. They have to stretch, train and rest…like 7-9 hours of sleep! Especially Olympic athletes have to take some time to rest and rejuvenate…
The rest period is where the healing begins. That is when the muscles grow and develop. If we ignore the resting portion we don’t grow…we stay the same. In fact, our muscle tissue becomes damaged. Outside of the body’s response if we do not take the time to heal we may never know what healing looks or feels like. Maybe if instead of hiding my aching knee from my Mother if I let her see my wound then she could have done what mother’s do. “Tend to their babies” and help to make it feel better and she would have felt like “Mommy of the Year” and I as her child would have felt comforted and cared for. Sometimes the barrier between oneself and the finish line is pain that’s been ignored or overlooked. Maybe on a subconscious level, we know that if we get to the finished line with an open wound most people will tell us to keep going (“since we made it that far”). When what we really need to hear is, “Here’s a Band-Aid!”
Self-examination. What pain could be holding you back from your desires?
Take control and get your healing! Seek out assistance from a professional or devise a routine of self-care.
*Don’t be shy about enrolling others in your well-being…helping you could be a part of someone’s life purpose. It’s all ok. We all deserve to be healthy and whole.