Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Don't Count Your Losses

I took a bad fall this past weekend. I was already having a rough week with fatigue, and then on Saturday, down I went. I stayed just one night in the hospital, and luckily didn't break anything. I feel like part of it is my fault because I didn't have my pelvic belt on, I haven't been wearing it for the last couple of months. (I know I know). But enough of that.

You all know by now I am a natural reflector. I am very introspective and always listening for a word from God, or wanting my days to teach me, fiercely. This little episode did nothing short of that. Here's why:

I had to leave the hospital with a walker and I have to use it for about a week, and after that, a cane for a while. Let me tell ya, this walker is a piece of work! I am not saying I am not grateful for it and the support it's giving me, but man, I can't do a thing with it!!! It's in my way and I can't get around easily, and it's clunky and on and on....

I'm going to be 39 in a couple of weeks, 39! I do not want a walker, or a cane for my future. I understand because of my history that I might need a cane on and off for support, and I can come to terms with that. But a walker? If I fall again, I am convinced I will break something, and that obviously is the last thing I want.

I do plan to get back into wearing my pelvic belt and making sure my house is set up correctly for me, (my husband has already started doing some things to make it safer for me), and I want to keep working hard in rehab so I can get stronger. There is so much in my future that I want to do! Come Fall, (no pun intended), it will be the first time I will be able to think of myself (that sounds terrible, doesn't it!?), and let go of some responsibility in 20 years. My husband and I are sort of starting a new life together as empty nesters soon, and we do have a lot of things we'd like to do. And I hope I am lucky enough to get to do some of them. I want to taste the sense of freedom that is right around the corner, and explore a new world that might be waiting for me. I would love to be more active, and take in all that is around me in a new way, like I've never gotten to do before. But I know I will have to physically work hard to make some of that possible.

There are so many losses in life. And I don't mean "huge" ones like a loved one dying, or losing a job or a house necessarily, or even being sick, or fighting chronic illness. I am talking about even the little losses, like someone letting you down when you thought they would act differently, or do something different. It could be a miscarriage, or a divorce. It could even be that you weren't included in something that you thought you would be. I am talking about maybe having to work so much that you miss quality time with your kids. I'm talking about your child growing from a pre-teen into full force teenage years. I am talking about friendships that shift, or change. It could even be a loss such as foods you need to eliminate in your diet. There are losses after losses after losses, that pile one on top of another in life, wouldn't you say?

And oh could I count them up, day after day. There all there. Big and little. Some medium. But I honestly think with every loss, there is a gain. Just as there is light in the darkness, and joy in the pain, there is gain in the losses. And I've decided I'm going to quit counting my losses, and starting noticing, and counting all that I gain in life. 

Yes I fell this weekend and it took a lot away from me and a lot out of me. But I gained so much! I had a wake up call, and now I realized I need to wear my pelvic belt. I am using a walker for a week, and it gave me so much insight I could explode! I'm so thankful that I don't need a walker everyday of my life! Many do.

If I take the time to notice and reflect the losses, and then gently let them go without ruminating about them forever, and commit to looking for what there is to gain, then I know my mind will have a lot more freedom and peace. And it is intentional work. It's very specific mind work to actually use your mind to tap into the awareness of what's happening between our ears. It's not easy. But it's very possible. Not only does it work, it helps. Oh the places you will go if you learn to let go of your losses sooner than later and focus on all there is to gain! If I look back and remember a loss, I guarantee I can see the gain in it. I think it's important to recognize and notice the losses too. Remembering that our spirits are faint when things hurt, or affect us. And that's ok. Give yourself that time to sit with the loss. Sometimes the worst thing that has ever happened to you is the best thing that's ever happened to you.