As most of you know, I had knee surgery at the end of December 2019. As many of you don’t know, it’s not healed and I’m still dealing with a recovery which has not recovered the way it should’ve.
I’ve always been a go for a walk person; I walk for exercise, to clear my head, I hike, climb, and love to walk the rocks on any given little river I can find. I’ve always been very dependent on my legs to get me where I want to go and to feel free to wander and roam. Well, not this year. it’s been mentally, emotionally as well as physically a struggle.
In addition to walking, I also love my bike. This summer has been my time to reacquaint myself with my bike. i say reacquaint because several years ago i spent a lot of time on my bike, before i was married. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions with that as we move on. Now rehabbing a knee on a bike is actually great therapy so as soon as I got the all clear from my doctor to start riding and the weather cleared, I was on it. It was pretty horrendous in the beginning, but by May when I could bike five miles, I set a goal to be at 30 mile rides by the end of July. Thirty miles was the last ride I put in last fall, the week before I fell and injured my knee, and that was the only 30 mile ride I got in all bike season last year, so I thought it was a nice place to head. Little by little, I worked my way up. When I got over 15 I started talking about it. Three weeks ago, I biked the road from our cabin into the nearest town and did 17.5 miles. I was so proud of myself. The road doesn’t have any crazy high hills, but it has lots of long low ones. It was a workout and I was thrilled my knee, and the rest of me, handled it as well as it did. A week later (the last week in July) in gale force winds (holy toledo!) I rode 24 miles. I figure I’ve got it in the bag; if I can do 24 on a road with hills and cars and heavy winds, I can do 30 on a trail. Again, I was so confident I could nail this 30 miler this weekend. I had it all set in my mind: Friday night after work, we weren’t going to be heading north anyway as I had a work commitment on Saturday, so I could head to the Wobegon, my first trail love, and knock this one out of the park.
Then Thursday came, and COVID hit our house. Clarence got tested the day before and we got the call the next day telling us he was positive. There is a word, and it rhymes with duck. The heat index was 103, the humidity was a number I can’t even count and I’m at home taking care of the man I love because he is sick, and this is where I need to be. Of course with this said, I am in quarantine as well and we’re both waiting to see what happens. I have faith in my immune system so I’m super optimistic, but nonetheless, I’m here at home, while my goal is five days from ending without meeting it… this is not who I am. I don’t quit. I don’t give up on the things I want. Ask my family, if I have a point to make, I’m going to make it! And I have a point to make! That point is I’m not broken, even though I can’t do much of what I love this summer from going on walks and hikes, to digging in the dirt on my hands and knees. Even though I can’t get out of a chair without limping at coffee with friends, or family dinner, or at a session with a client, I was about to prove to myself that at least some part of me is back.
Ugh. Don’t you just hate when this happens?
Don’t you just hate it when your emotional body takes over your mental one, and you start believing that there are these arbitrary things that define us? The miles I biked in July actually make any difference anywhere in this world. That the amount of money you make, or the car you drive, or even how many volunteer hours you logged last year, the number of followers on social media, none of this defines who you are.
How often do we get caught up in believing if we’re part of the right group, or circle, or wearing the right clothes, staying at the best resorts or having the most amazing vacation photos, if our kids are super popular. It’s the question of whether anything we have or accomplish makes us more than who we are in our heart and our spirit.
Now, maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better, I’m willing to entertain that. And, I’m sure some of you are thinking “you gotta do it, you gotta meet that goal! You’ve got to be a winner!” and that’s ok. We all approach life a bit differently, and I’m willing to contend my way is not always the best way. It’s just my way. But I find myself in a place that is asking for my own permission to love me no matter what. This is what I believe Spirit is asking of me right now. It’s not to figure out how to leave my husband and go do that ride, it’s how to be with him and care for him and know I am worthy of my own love and appreciation no matter what I accomplish, or don’t. That me being different doesn’t mean that I’m less, and that my biggest culprit in my limiting feelings, is my own self. No one else tells me I need to get back to my old normal. No one else tells me I’m not as fun to have around as I used to be, or I can’t be in good condition with a bum knee, or that my whole life will wither away in nothingness if I can’t get back to who I was on October 26th of 2019. I do these horrible things to myself. Not on purpose, but the jerk is in there, giving me the creepy old bad self-talk feeling. I think lots of you know the voice I’m talking about. Except this one isn’t a voice, it’s a feeling. My mind is smart enough to stay quite usually, but my emotional body still gives me the messages of old.
Be free, my heart.
I know many of us struggle with the “enough-ness” of our lives. To be enough for ourselves, to be enough for others, the struggle is real. But I’m here to tell you, and me, you are enough. Spirit knew exactly what it was doing when it asked you to come to this planet and take on this body, and this life experience. Spirit knew that your unique and beautiful vibration would not be dampened by a possibly unaccomplished goal, or being seen with the wrong purse for your outfit, or the old relationship pattern you seem stuck in, or any of the other things that we can get caught up in feeling like they define our value. We are loved, and so we can love ourselves. It’s a practice, for sure! So, let’s practice. Let’s practice limitless self acceptance. Let’s practice finding things we admire and respect about ourselves every single day. Let’s practice shining our light even when it glows a different color than someone else’s, or wears a masks when others think its stupid, or carrying for someone when they need us, instead of getting caught up in how we identify ourselves (that’s me on that last one).
Let’s practice relentless self love.