In Love with Me…But Not Today

We all have a certain friend, or even a family member, that we love dearly, and yet if anyone in our little group is going to act up, we know it will be him or her. We sigh over misbehavior and misdeeds. We wonder if change will ever take place. We roll our eyes. And yet, when things are good they are very good. We forgive all.

I have a body part that is just like that. When she is good, she is very good. And when she acts up, she grieves my entire body.

If you have been following my healing journey for a while, you will recall that my left leg, whom I call Darling in both tenderness and vexation, is my wayward “friend”. The sciatica that I suffered with for 22 years most greatly affected my left leg. When I began walking with a cane, it was because Darling couldn’t bear weight any longer.

In 2014 I made peace with my seemingly contrary leg by shifting the way I perceived her. I exchanged frustration for gratitude. In spite of the pain and stiffness, my leg was doing her best to get me around. The last 15 months it has been beautiful and amazing to experience healing throughout my body, and especially in my left leg.

This morning, having just arisen, with a full day ahead, my second step resulted in a mishap. My left knee shifted with a loud pop, while my leg tried to continue in an altogether different direction. The result was immediate pain…and an inability to walk.

My first response was strong. No! No, no, no…no! I had too much to do today. My upcoming Friday and Saturday were full as well. I didn’t have time for this.

And sadly, my second response was frustration and disappointment. The internal chatter with my left leg went something like this: It’s always you, isn’t it?! Always the trouble maker, aren’t you? We don’t act up anymore! Remember? We don’t do PAIN.

Sigh.

My day changed. All of my attention now was focused on easing my discomfort and being able to walk. Everything else would wait. I opened to Divine guidance with a plea…Now what? It wasn’t a return of the sciatica, thankfully. This was somehow a slip of my knee joint. Ice came to mind. Ice to prevent swelling and numb pain, alternated with heat to keep my muscles, which tend to become too tight around my knee joints, from locking up.

Gradually my frustration dissipated. This was not the day I had planned. However, it was the day I was given. I accepted it. I chose to follow the guidance I was being given and stay open to what I could learn from the experience. I chose to practice deep self love with my Darling left leg.

Along with ice and heat, I used Young Living Essential Oils on my knee, a blend of Panaway and Frankincense. Because the pain was making me feel nauseous, I inhaled Peppermint oil and added a drop directly onto my stomach.

I used my Life Changing Foods book to look up foods that are good for easing knee pain. They are: figs, kiwis, berries, cruciferous veggies (especially red cabbage), leafy greens, onions and turmeric. As it “happened”, I had most of those on hand. In fact, I had sautéed onion and red cabbage in the fridge. I simply needed to prepare a sweet potato for a tasty and beneficial lunch.

My recliner became my office, my creative studio, my contemplation spot and my reading chair. And it became the place where I forgave my wild child left leg and just loved her and loved on her.

Reading in Thomas Moore’s newly released book, Ageless Soul, I was struck by the appropriateness of his words:

“Fighting anything makes it into an enemy and then it looks worse than it is.”

Ah, yes. Tears filled my eyes. Darling and I have certainly had our differences over the years. And she totally hijacked my day. But an enemy? No. She needed extra attention today. She got it, in the only way that would slow me down and give me pause.

And gradually, throughout the day, my left leg has responded to the care and love. I can walk. I have a limp, at the moment. However, I know this is temporary. I even managed a very short walk late this afternoon, so as not to disrupt my 30 Day Walking Challenge.

I’m not sure why my knee shifted so painfully today, however I am staying open to discovering more about the cause. This is not a set back on my healing journey. It is an opportunity to go deeper into health and wellness, acceptance and patience. It is a time to show great love to the most wayward, stubborn and plucky part of my body.

We’ve got this Darling. We are in this journey together. I love you.

How Can I Make Life a Little More Tender?

I asked my usual morning question, How shall we play today?, as I was brushing my teeth. Immediately, another question arose within me. How can I make life a little more tender? That seemed to be the question that was foremost in my heart today. Making life a little more tender is foundational to my journey this year. During this time, when I barely look at social media sites because of all of the fear expressed there, and the anger, and the name calling, what can I do to share love and peace, compassion and tenderness?  

How can I make life a little more tender?
I found the answer in my journey today.

It is easy for me to offer compassion, making life a little more tender, to people who are similar to me. And I don’t mean that they look like me. I mean they have similar beliefs and comparable views about the world. We are naturally drawn to one another and journey together companionably.

I showed property to a new client today, someone I met for the first time over the weekend. We liked each other the moment we said hello. She is warm, friendly, and authentic. We chat like old friends, as we walk through houses together. She has an adorable little girl who makes me laugh and holds my hand and invites me to go to lunch at McDonalds. 

I observe that as I work diligently to make sure this family finds the right house, and has the smoothest transaction possible, I am feeling very compassionate toward them and sympathetic about their life situations and the challenges they are facing. By offering from my deep heart, I am making their lives a little more tender. And it is effortless to do so. 

How can I make life a little more tender?
Then, there is another client. We have worked together previously. Is it a coincidence that she showed up in my life again, on a day when I asked How can I make life a little more tender?

In great contrast to my earlier client, this woman has a belief system that is very different from mine. She annoys me. She loves to express her own opinions, totally unaware that I may perceive life differently. While she is happy to be working together again, I am not. I observe myself closing down, becoming guarded, predicting her future actions based on past behaviors. I consider not accepting her invitation to work together. 

Wait…wait. Sigh. 

How can I make life a little more tender? 

I observe that I shift, a fraction. My heart does not close. I keep communication open between us. I listen, really listen, to her. There is pain in her, just beneath the bravado. And loss. And the tiniest bit of new hope. 

Can I journey with her, and make life a little more tender? 

How can I make life a little more tender?
I shared my thoughts with Greg this afternoon, as I delved into the tender places within my heart. He offered profound wisdom. He suggested that perhaps, just perhaps, I could let go of the story I was creating about my client. 

Ah. The truth of that statement resonated deeply. Who would I be, with my client, if I let go of my stories about her? If I saw her with fresh eyes? If I, who am in a different place in my journey, offered tenderness and compassion to the person she is now? Not the woman I have known before. Not the woman my mind wants to create stories about. The woman she is now, further along in her own journey, becoming who she is. 

Who would I be, to her, if I let go of my stories about who she is, and how she is supposed to be? I would be compassion. I would be kindness. I would be making her life, and mine, a little more tender. 

How can I make life a little more tender?
I am grateful for the answer I was given, to my sincere question. I am grateful that the Divine responds and moves to meet me where I am, inviting me to go further and deeper. 

How can I make life a little more tender? 

I make life a little more tender by offering compassion and empathy and love and joy and peace from a heart that is open and overflowing. I make life a little more tender by accepting what is unfolding, for therein lies an invitation to grow, and by living from compassion, empathy, love, joy and peace. 

I asked a question. I know the answer now. I was asked a question in return. And I have an answer. Yes. Yes, I will walk with my client and make her life a little more tender. 

How can I make life a little more tender?