Patience in Recovery, and Gratitude

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on November 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

9 months is an excruciatingly long time for a typically active person to be far less than fully mobile.  The emotional, psychological and physical challenges of injury and long term recovery require a level of patience that is nearly beyond tolerance.  A sense of personal identity, of safety and well-being, of confidence in life are all put to a test.  End-gaining (pushing to an outcome) defeats and impedes recovery.  Only the means-whereby (attending to the use of the Self) has any hope of success.

My own patience with rehabilitation and recovery frequently wears thin.  My formerly easy mobility and joyous exploration of many activities seems a distant memory, a dream that I can’t fully recall.  Now, I am just happy to be able to walk with a minimum of ease.

Daily gratitude is an essential component of my well-being.  The dance of self pity, of focussing on limitation and pain tempts me with devilish attraction, but only diminishes my overall elastic response.  If I pull down to the disturbing sensations of my knee, pain worsens.  Although I don’t in any way ignore these sensations, which are often quite severe, if I instead bring a wider awareness of myself in the world to mind, pain is only a part of my picture, and pain is less overwhelming.

In that light, I make a daily list of gratitudes to keep my picture bigger than my own sensations.  The friends, students and professionals who assist me in recovery by their belief that I will indeed resume being my formerly active self are a continuing source of inspiration.  This has been a long road for them in supporting me, and I am deeply grateful.

So, my thanks to: my students, who teach me constantly; my friends, especially those who continue to provide humor and cheer without unwanted advice;  my extraordinary PT, Heidi, who guides me with deep compassion and skill; Lindsey, my Gyrotonic instructor who helps me strengthen and explore movement in a very attuned and means-whereby fashion; the folks at Lighthouse Coffee who daily note both my progress and my setbacks with interest and empathy; Carmella the cat who insists upon daily play as a necessity; various valued canine friends,  Oliver, Ella, Ruffles, Georgie, who express enthusiastic acceptance; Marty for his tolerance, patience and love;  F.M. Alexander for providing a way of being, a skill in activity, that is expansive in possibility, and endless in process.

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