I have come to realize time and time again that the journey of life truly compares to stepping stones that travel down a long and winding path. Sometimes the stones are large and we stay there awhile and other times our feet barely touch them and we are on to the next segment in time, or lesson.
As I prepare for yet another surgery to repair/reconstruct my hip, I find myself once again sitting on a large stepping stone of healing, hoping again to trust the process and enjoy the view at the same time. Each time I come back to this place, I find wisdom and some sort of lesson.
The first surgery taught me that my time is as valuable as making money, if not more. I realized then that working/teaching seven days a week for the last ten years was absolutely not necessary and in fact it was destroying my body, mind and spirit. I was hanging on to life with the death grip of fingertips on the side of a cliff as most life-long survivors do. I had no time for self-care and the effects were enormous. With this first surgery, I experienced what valuing myself, and my body, really meant. I also learned to trust on a much deeper level that I will be taken care of and the quality of my day to day far outweighs the chaotic schedule of working so hard.
The second surgery taught me that I am not as invinsible as I had come to believe. I learned humility on a deeper level and I most definitely learned that my body speaks volumes but, I had to be still enough to listen. With this recovery I took it incredibly slow and mindful. I stayed on my crutches far longer than the doctor had suggested because my body told me different. I walked with a pace of a monk and reveled in the slowness of life. I took each day in from a completely different vantage point and I had come to love a much slower pace. Within that slower pace, I found the ‘space’ that is so often strived for in a yoga practice.
As I enter into the third surgery I don’t have any fear, and certainly no reservations. The pain has become such a norm for me that I am certain when I feel no pain, or at least a huge reduction, it is going to be amazing. I have so much respect and compassion for those who suffer endlessly with chronic pain. Since this surgery requires the use of a cadaver, I am already feeling gratitude and appreciation like I have never felt before. I find myself often pausing to realize that a person chose to be a donor so that others could have a better life brings extraordinary grace into my heart.
Until I land on the third surgery stepping stone, I am planning to scamper across a few smaller ones this summer and enjoy what life has to offer during the long and warm days. I am going to keep my appreciation of time and space, while I also prepare to open my heart and mind to what may come with this third, and hopefully, final recovery.