Saturday, June 7, 2014

Yielding in our Resilience

Two years ago I was running up the steps on our side yard with Cricket, my guide dog at the time.  (She was on leash and not guiding.)  The sprinklers suddenly came on.  In an effort to get out of the way quickly, I became disoriented and ran full force into an electric box on the side of our house!  I hit so hard that it knocked me down and out.  I got up and after sitting there for a few minutes went into the house and told Steve about my latest adventure!  Other than my head felt a little sore, I felt fine so we didn't go into the hospital.  I actually ran the next morning.  I was training for a marathon.  After that I started feeling worse.  However, I went into work.  We were getting ready to go on a big vacation.  I felt I could push through the day.  As the day progressed I began to feel a little, perhaps my colleagues would say a lot, spacey. My colleagues intervened, called Steve, cancelled my appointments for the rest of the day and reminded me it was time to pull back and get to the hospital! I would learn I had a concussion.  I was told no running or anything else that wold raise my blood pressure and lots of rest.  In the days ahead,  I learned about fatigue like I had never  known.  It seemed even having a conversation was draining.  As much as I wanted to push through ... it was time to yield.

Lao Tzu said,  "Water is fluid, soft, and yielding.  But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield.  As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard.  This is another paradox.  What is soft is strong."

I love this quote.  One of the lessons learned from my blind resilient journey over and over is to be flexible in riding the ups and downs.  Finding that balance of  pushing with tenacity and grit and also the times we need to let go - surrender - yield.  It isn't easy to yield.  However, I have found so much joy in this process of letting go and yielding to what is.  An authentic journey is about finding that balance, listening to our hearts and bodies, and finding that adaptability to cope with those harsh realities of life.  

During this time of recovery, I had a friend who sent me the sweetest email basically acknowledging that sometimes blindness (could insert whatever challenge we are facing) is hard and to be compassionate to myself.  Her kindness and compassion helped give me the space to yield and heal.  

"When we ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.  The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief.  Who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness.  That is the friend who cares." Henri Nourwen

I wouldn't advise anyone running into an electric box.  However, the last two years when I plant the flowers around this electric box, I reflect on the beauty and the lessons learned from this experience.  Even though I reassured Steve this won't happen again he placed padding around the electric box.  This is a reminder of his love and support.  

I returned from our trip and was able to resume training for the marathon.  As I sat out and couldn't run a good friend kept telling me ... your body will remember and catch up.  Indeed it did.  

Becky, Cricket and Georgie (current guide dog) by the electric box and flowers :).   Shady morning sorry not great picture. 
Can you think of a time that an electric box was turned into flowers? Perhaps a more common phrase is lemons turned into lemonade?  A time of pushing became yielding and lessons and beauty learned in the journey?