When I have an injury – most recently a pulled hip flexor -- I need to find a way to work around it. If I ignore an injury, it’s going to come back to bite me. I have learned this the hard way. If I keep using the muscle or tendon that is hurt, obviously I make it worse. When I have to dance around an injury, I can often find a new way of moving that I would not have seen if I were completely healthy. And this new way will help me heal the damage.
When someone else has an injury, there’s nothing you can do except offer your advice about how to proceed. Just because you give advice doesn’t mean the other person will hear it or follow it -- nor should she if that’s not her inclination. We have to accept that she, like everyone, has body intelligence and must make her own decisions.
If I have a quarrel with a loved one, especially if it’s over an old conflict – you know, that one argument that pops up disguised as something else but is in reality the same old issue, one you thought had been put to rest long ago. The one that is never really finished and done. The one that comes back to bite you if you ignore it too long.
It’s these arguments that reflect, not our faults, but our wounds.
When it’s my own injury, I can try to work around it. If my major issue is that I was overly controlled as a child, I don’t heal by trying to control others. I heal by allowing others freedom to be who they really are. And giving myself that freedom, too.
I can work around it, if I am not in denial about it, and find a new way.
And when the people we love can’t see their wounds, we have to find a way to work around them. I am not suggesting suppressing our own will or behavior merely to placate. I mean understanding that reason won’t work against a deep emotional wound. But if we pick at the wound and tell our loved one exactly what they need to do and how they need to think in order to heal the wound – well, good luck with that. The more we pick at it, the more infected and deep-seated the injury becomes.
Recognizing and re-identifying faults as wounds changes the way we deal with these issues. We can choose to pick and nag at the other person’s injury or we can decide to have compassion and trust that our loved one will see the injury and find the way to healing.
And for our own wounds we can dance around them, giving to ourselves and others the compassion we didn’t get in the past. We can find a healthier, happier path – a new choreography – for our lives.
Photo by MaryEllen Hendricks