Sunday, January 20, 2008

acceptance and easing the pain........

"A neurotic is someone who worries about things in the past that never happened. Not like us normal people who only worry about things in the future that won't happen" Anthony de Mello

Last Sunday, I woke up with a small pain in my back. It felt like a tightened muscle and it continued to worsen until I ended up wincing in pain everytime I moved the wrong way or tilted my head down. By Thursday I found myself drugged up, in bed laying on a heating pad. Its always surprising how your body can physically inform you that there's too much stuff going on in your head isn't it? Whether it's a cold or a headache or its a pain in your neck, your body will let you know that it's time to figure it out again.

The past two weeks have been whirlwindish. Since the New Year bells tolled I have jumped right back into a very busy and emotionally pulsing work environment. Several counselling sessions, facilitating a two day meeting for a group who had never met before, planning a workshop, writing reports, working on a proposal have filled my days, along with preparing for a job interview, writing a 3 hour french proficiency test and being assessed in an oral french proficiency test which I worried incessantly about throughout the whole Christmas season. None of this even touches on my home life!

When things are busy like that, I usually tackle it by staying on task and in the moment. What was different this time around was the fact that I have been focused on the future as I try to seek out a new job as well as completing the day to day tasks.

Moving forward, but feeling very stuck........ does that make sense? It's like I have a pair of rubber boots on and have just walked into a big puddle of muck........the strain of trying to pull out of the muck did a number on my back.

So, with the help of muscle relaxants, music, time and permission (my own) to drop out of life for a day or so I turned off the work switch and let my family look after me and themselves. When I was able to sit up again, instead of reaching for the novel I had started reading, I found myself gravitating back to a book entitled, Praying Naked, which I had read a while back that is filled with the insights of the late Father Anthony de Mello, author of several books including Awareness. It was like I was reading it for the first time because I was reading it with different set of eyes and a different frame of mind. I had moved emotionally, spiritually and psychologically since my first go around.

My last two posts have been generated by this book..........

The more I read, the more I realized how silly it is to overwhelm yourself with frets and worries about the future. I struggle with my lack of patience. I struggle with being a control freak. If I could only remember that I can only do what I can do and let go of the rest of the muck and just let life run it's course.

let life run it's course..........

That doesnt mean I have to hand over the reins completely. It means that I need to be more cognizant that there truly are some things which I have no control over. It means that if your feet are in one place and your head is in another, your back is going to hurt. There's no point in keeping your thoughts in the future if you want to enjoy the present.

A stillness did find me again. By Saturday, the back pain disappeared. And as I write this tonight, on the eve of yet another busy week, I try to stay on task right here and now and not fret about what MAY or MAY not happen between now and next Sunday...... because anything can happen right?

What's that serenity poem again.........??


Gypsy said...

I often find myself worrying about the future and wringing my hands over the past. I can't do anything about either so why do I do it? One of the aspects of my life that I am determined to change is to live more in the present. Enjoy every single moment that I have been blessed with and wring every last drop out of every day. So far I have managed to stay on task.....mostly.

Open Grove Claudia said...

hmmm... I tried to post here.... sorry! I struggle with patience but am learning that everything happens one tiny step at a time. And good that it does.

I'm delighted that you back is better!

Come by my place for a small present! :)

Neo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaz said...

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I love this prayer and it has been said out loud and silently more times then I care to remeber.

Hugs Dana xxx

Rainbow dreams said...

I'm so pleased your back is better - nothing more draining than back pain...
That serenity prayer gets said here frequently...
time will work most things out, though it does seem to be taking an absolute age...we do what we can, hugs Dana, hope you havea serene week...xx

Barbara said...

I love Anthony De Mello. I hope you are feeling better by the time you read this. Its such a pain to be in pain.

I like the full version of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Christy said...

The photo and quote in this post are beautiful. I enjoyed reading this entry. You sound like you have a lot going on, but you also sound like you are absolutely clear and try to take things with stride. Have you ever read "Five Wishes: How Answering One Simple Question Can Make Your Dreams Come True" I just finished reading it and found it to be extremely profound. You might enjoy it. =o)

paris parfait said...

Reading the first part of your post, I wanted to say, "Slow down!" Then I read more and thankfully, you had. A very thoughtful piece, with which I agree absolutely. I am trying to let go of that control freak aspect too. As I get older, I'm better at it. And I try to forgive myself for being that way, as for many years, as a single mom, it seemed I was responsible for EVERY SINGLE THING. So it was necessary to stay in control in those days - now, thankfully not quite so much. xo