Six days ago I had an accident and fractured both my ankles, which left me unable to put weight on either of my feet, so no walking and certainly no climbing stairs. You would think it would have been enough to injure one leg, but clearly the Universe wanted me to stop completely and have the full experience.
Most people ask me about the pain first. Yes, of course this experience comes with physical pain but it is so much more. It comes with vulnerable moments and it highlights “what is” in each moment in time and within our relationships. It alters how we experience life. It suddenly feels like I am sitting on the sidelines and am taking life in second hand. There are sad moments in this, like missing my daughter’s school play, but I am grateful that I am not “benched” for the rest of the “game”.
It certainly has been and continues to be an interesting perspective changer and opportunity for a whole myriad of lessons. So far, I have uncovered lessons for personal growth, lessons for growth in my closest relationships, and last but not least, spiritual growth. There are lessons about gratitude and appreciation, about problem solving and independence versus interdependence, about giving and communication.
Things don’t happen without a reason and it is fascinating to uncover the messages and gifts in this challenge. I consider myself lucky for all the tools of discovery that I have, that I can muscle test why this happened, and what there is for me to change, learn and do, during the next few weeks or even the next couple of months.
My ankles might be broken for now and they require love, care and healing, yet my spirit in some ways feels more whole than ever. The outpour of love and caring from my family and friends has been absolutely overwhelming.
Several friends reached out with alternative healing methods, and I am especially grateful for the In Light Wellness pads for bringing down the swelling and healing the fractures. Within the first two days, all sorts of neat and life changing devices and gadgets arrived from various friends to allow me to be more mobile and go about every day life with dignity and some independence.
I initially learned some tough lessons, for example how many painful baby steps with two air casts and two crutches it takes from the bottom of our stairs to the doorway. Yet, the longer this experience goes on, the more beauty there is in it. My heart is deeply touched by all the love and care that has been so freely and generously given.
There are so many things we take for granted or ignore. We take our body for granted, our health, our independence, and our mobility. We often forget what it is like to be really still and reflect.
My heart is literally elated each time I learn to do something for myself without the use of my legs; like a toddler who gains a piece of autonomy with each skill. I would never have expected there to be so much joy in independence. My twenty year old, who has been an absolutely impressive loving support during the last week, just steps back and smiles at me each time. All of a sudden, the roles are reversed. That’s how I used to smile at her when she first learned to crawl, walk, eat, use the washroom or dress herself.
The situation has required us all to be resourceful and adaptable. We don’t usually have to employ the same level of problem solving skills in our regular everyday lives. There is an excitement in figuring out how to improve life, almost of an instinctual kind of nature. I imagine that is how pioneers felt when they had to survive in new territory.
There also is beauty in how this challenge shines the spotlight brightly on areas which could use some improvement, for example communication. More than ever, I am acutely aware of how important it is to communicate our thoughts, feelings and needs clearly. Some exchanges are absolutely perfect. Thinking ahead makes a huge difference, and so do seemingly unimportant little ways of “touching base with each other”, like “I am going to…” or “Would you like…?” Those are the ingredients for being “in tune” with each other and making this experience one full of love, joy and dignity; or—how one of my best friends commented the other day—“to find the happiness in whatever shows up”.
Angelika, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905-286-9466
(For the interim I am working over skype or the phone.)
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