Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sulking to the Max

Wow! That was a long sulk! I haven't posted on here since June because I couldn't see the keyboard with my bottom lip hanging out so far.

As you probably can't even remember by now, I fell at the airport back in April while doing so well meeting my Fitbit goals. The injury to my knee was a lot more severe than I was prepared to believe and as a result, I kept setting myself back by not being patient enough while my body tried to heal itself. Re-injuring myself through sheer stubbornness made it take even longer to recover which, of course, caused another round of sulking.

At some point during the "crazy" cycle it became necessary to admit that I wasn't the bionic woman after all! Who knew? Once I really let that sink it and faced the fact that recovery is a miracle to be revered and respected instead of cursed and rushed I finally calmed down and let it happen.

The fact that I have a body that can and does heal itself from injuries is a stand alone something to be grateful for.

The Fitbit - having been cast aside completely for it's abusive reminders of what I could no longer do, is stapped back on. What isn't strapped back on however is the compulsiveness with which I first approached getting fit.

What started out to be an exercise is loving myself into better shape turned instead into punishing and berating myself for having fallen. I was amazed at how much anger surfaced over what seemed to be "the injustice of it all."

I have accidents. It's not like I don't - but usually it's because I'm not paying attention or I'm rushing or any number of other self imposed circumstances. Those I handle and move on. I can see the message in them - slow down, be more mindful, stay present etc. Falling over a faulty floor mat at the airport seemed like an attack rather than an accident. I wanted someone to blame! I blamed the rug. I blamed the airport. I blamed the company responsible for the mats in the first place. Strangely, the airport, the mat, and the mat company went merrily on their way. All that blaming did them no harm at all. My being angry at them didn't close their doors and send them plummeting into bankruptcy as punishment for their crime! No - blaming didn't bring about the justice I felt I was due.

Guess what? Justice - even when we do get it - doesn't heal injuries. Only time, patience, and in some cases medical intervention can do that.

Having plenty of time to reflect on the whole experience has brought the peace I was looking for. It turns out the same old lessons - the ones I was still wasn't learning - were still being taught ( just with a bit more emphasis.)  If I had slowed down, paid attention, and been present in the moment, maybe, just maybe, I would have noticed the rug being curled up before crashing down onto my knee needed to bring it to my attention.

While I wouldn't wish this experience on any of you, I will share with you the benefits.
I've become amazed and grateful for the miraculous body I get to live in. Its complexity awes me. I've leaned that impatience is NOT a virtue and even worse, it's totally pointless. Being impatient does nothing to speed up the things we're impatient about. It only serves to upset us while we wait - which we're going to do anyway! I've developed a deep gratitude for the function of my joints that I have enjoyed for all these years with little notice of how important they are and how well they serve me.

All that's happened, as upsetting as it was at the time, did less to set me back than my attitude toward what happened. Falling didn't cause me to eat junk again. Anger and frustration did. I didn't gain a few pounds back because my knee was injured.  I gained them back because I let the injury get the best of me and stuffed down my irritation with chocolate instead of asking the all important question that could have settled me down: What am I suppose to learn from this?

My knee? It's doing so much better. It's not where it was before the fall, but it's getting better day by day - and I'm letting it.

How about you? How do you handle setbacks? Do you ask the question earlier and rest in peace or do you find yourself in a tailspin like I did?