Chapter 5: I don’t know…
I Don’t Know…and why that’s rocked my world. Recently I experienced an acute episode of back pain, after a session of weekend warrior gardening and a deeply challenging yoga stretch. Now that I am nearly healed from this event I am exploring what it could have possibly been about, at a deeper level. Yeah I know, but it’s the reason you read my blog remember–going deeper!
I can say with total confidence that in my life almost all episodes of physical imbalance have some component of emotional and or spiritual learnings. Not to say that I caused an illness or that I have a hard lesson to learn, but beneath the body’s symptoms and illnesses lies its connection to the mind and the spirit or heart. Another way to say this is that within every physical imbalance also lies it’s mental/emotional/spiritual and energetic counterparts. This is what we’ve culturally come to know as Body/Mind Medicine or even more boldly to includ Spirit, as my friend likes to say, we are the embodiment of the holy trinity after all! Many of us are acutely aware of this in our lives, and for others it is a new way of thinking. Either way it’s a good review, as I found out:)
What seemed most obvious for me was that I was suddenly forced to be very still —not to mention that my in-laws were arriving to stay with us for two weeks in just a matter of four days and not a single cleaning task had yet been done. No problem I first thought, I’ll be done with this in 24 hours. Well…what really happened was that I had to totally surrender to the pain—moving ever so gently and quietly to withstand the pain moving through my low back and body. Then I had to surrender to my husband doing the cleaning and house preparation, which may sound blissful but was also fraught with difficulty. Let me just say, “my way, versus his way.”
During the worst pain of the first 5 days I kept thinking, well isn’t this a good opportunity to practice mindfulness…turned out it was diabolically hard to be aware and to allow this kind of pain to simply be present without trying to run and hide, mask and numb and generally to resist it’s presence. Many a moment I cried out, “why me!” There’s nothing like good old fashioned pain to awaken us to each moment, to pay attention to our body in ways that we often don’t do. So maybe my body simply needed some down time, some caring for and some rest. In my life presently living with adrenal fatigue I feel like I get a lot of this rest and down time, but apparently the body and it’s buddies, mind and spirit had another agenda. Okay ride the waves I kept repeating—this too shall pass.
The other statement that kept coming to mind during this now 10-day period was, “I don’t know.” When one of my healing team members, Lynn, asked me what I thought the emotional or energetic component of this could be I immediately answered with, “well I’m working on letting go of knowing all the time and trying to embrace not knowing—to be okay with that.” We simultaneously broke into rounds of “oh yeah that sounds about rights” sharing common experiences with this egoic stumbling block.
So then, what is the value in knowing? Why are we all so pressed to Know all the flipping time! Do I need to know why my back seized up and put me down and out for days on end? Some might say it’s nice to know so we don’t do stupid stuff again and keep having the same issue. True. I won’t garden so hard the first day out and follow it up with a super challenging back-bend.
I also found another question quick to follow, “what do I have to let go of to sit gracefully with not knowing?” My meditation teacher recently spoke about faith and trust and how we often find ourselves face to face with our own faith when our courage is directly or even abruptly called upon. I reflected deeply on this concept as I struggled with the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life and not knowing how to fix it. So I believe I can safely report that yes my courage was called upon and that my faith felt like it wavered at times but even deeper yet I felt that my implicit trust in the universe or Spirit helped me hold my head above water and even eventually allow me to rest in the not knowing.
Sometimes in my life the “why” has served me and at other times it has haunted me to no end. Maybe you can relate?
Ultimately I am aware of my body, mind and heart in increasing ways and even more poignantly aware of how my mind is always directing the body and how the heart holds the stage for all events that unfold. I humbly offer you this morsel to chew—how much are you driven by the need to know in all facets of life? If so, what are we willing to release and surrender to so that we can have more freedom resting in the mystery of life. Consider the mental space we can create if we let go of a few things—it’s Spring, let the sunshine in and the clutter out!
In gratitude for community,