This weekend is the 5 year anniversary of my ski accident where I broke my leg and the emergency surgery where something went wrong. It has been 5 years since I had the full functioning of my left foot and it has changed my life to say the least. I've had some time to reflect on the shifts and have found a new understanding of what wholeness feels like and a deep reservoir of compassion for living life. This informs my work with clients who are going through any kind of difficult transition or medical trauma.
In an interview on the On Being podcast, Matthew Sanford says, "The places we don't feel in ourselves are graceful, not lost. They are not absence, they are presence." I feel this deeply right now as I type. I was catapulted into this new relationship with my body by an acquired disability. There are things I can no longer do like run, downhill ski, and certain yoga poses and that is a true loss. I've learned to be an advocate for my body and emotions and don't feel like I need to be "fixed" or that I am "broken" in any way. I may not ever get full functioning back, but there has been a beautiful healing transformation in my being. I am learning about the aliveness that lives in the quiet, deep, stillness of my foot.
Caroline Myss writes, "We are not meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to move through our tragedies and challenges and to help each other move through the many painful episodes of our lives. By remaining stuck in the power of our wounds, we block our own transformation. We overlook the greater gifts inherent in our wounds — the strength to overcome them and the lessons that we are meant to receive through them. Wounds are the means through which we enter the hearts of other people. They are meant to teach us to become compassionate and wise."
Aging and death is inevitable, but what if we are meant to be empowered and connected through that fact. Perhaps there are gifts and strengths inside challenging experiences if we choose to look for them.
Stillness after the storm, East Fairfield, Vermont