A massage session resets the day when I am reminded to get out of my own way
Wisdom shows up when it shows up. So often, and I am most certainly addressing myself here, I want wisdom to show up in Goddess lights so that I can bloody well SEE it, because I so often have my head jammed up in small, tight, dark places.
Anita was doing her usual terrific job of a massage, the last I would get before tomorrow's final (YAY) foot surgery. I'm feeling crippled right now, probably because I bought a new cold laser machine and used it full blast on myself without reading all the instructions through.
Don't get me started.
Anita has- HAD- a big piece of horse property not far out of town. Horses, kids, farm animals, and all the demands and requirements that all that required of her. Exhausting, also because her husband had died, and he was woven into that house and property for the twelve years they'd been there. That was hard.
Harder was the twelve-year investment Anita had made to try to cajole, invite, convince her neighbors into allowing a road to be built, a road which would have allowed her to break her land into pieces and keep most of it, while selling another parcel.
After twelve years of hard bargaining, the neighbors nixed it.
Anita had to give up her land, her beloved horses, the kids would no longer have the farm, all that.
It's hard. Especially if you are deeply identified with being THAT Superwoman, who can toss bale after (expensive) hay bale, manage the horse and animal care, raise the kids.....all that. We get so identified with being Superwoman that when something comes along to release us from it, we often first experience it as an existential threat.
Anita fought for twelve long years to keep the land, the farm, the horses and the incredibly demanding lifestyle. She lost the battle.
Okay, so there's that.
Then, there's this. She met someone recently. Said someone flew her to Tuscon. They played, went to bars, danced. Anita had never had THAT. A taste of what life might be sans incessant 24/7 farm and kid and work demands.
Okay, so there's that.
On one hand, losing the land opens a vast door to an unknown. Who am I if I am not Superwoman?
Who am I, if I am not that woman who is endlessly doing doing doing until I have no energy left for time and ME?
And perhaps also, who am I to my kids, if all they see is life as WORK, without joy and fun?
We discussed all that as she eased the knots out of my back.
Sure there's a huge loss. But then. What happens when I get out of my own way and let something else, often something vastly better, arrive?
This is the same question I am asking right now.
I'm deeply identified with adventure travel. Invested twelve years of my life into doing what I most love. Right now my repaired and to-be-repaired hands and feet are crippling a lot of what I'd prefer to be doing, for healing takes time, and these surgeries are major.
Two take a year to get to the point where I am not walking gingerly. Two others take about six to eight months to fully resolve. Today I just got word that I might also have to have knee surgery. Ohfercryingoutloud, REALLY?
I hurt all the time, sometimes a great deal. I chose this, with an eye towards returning to the gym and that life.
What happens if, and there is always an if, I can't use my body the same way? I have metal in my extremities, and that may or may not allow me to continue to do what I used to do. What then?
Who am I if not THAT BADASS ADVENTURE TRAVELER?
Or. There is always an OR. Just as there is always an AND.
At some point I will be far enough out from these invasive and painful procedures to know what I've got and what I don't.
April 2024, possibly. Depends on the knee.
At that point, newly 71, I get to make some big-ass decisions. Like Anita.
This is big-girl panty time. There is no doubt that there are certain things I still want to do, finances allowing. I still want to ride in other countries. I still want to kayak.
I still want to climb and explore.
All of those things depend on functional hands and feet. How aggressive I can be will depend on my commitment to PT and the very real, currently unknowable, limitations based on the structural changes to my extremities.
The big question, as it is for Anita, is whether or not we are brave enough to step out of identification with a set of badges (you knew this was coming)....
...that we just. Don't. Stinking. NEED.
So here's the how.
When resistance rises, and it nearly always does, the first question to ask is
-What am I holding on to so hard, and why?
-What is it costing me to hang on to this?
-Is it possible that God/Universe/Goddess/The Great Pumpkin has something better in mind?
-Is it possible that if I let go, and trust, that I might evolve into something I never thought I could be?
Nobody really knows these answers until we do, indeed, let go. Anita has already released the horses to other homes. She has already chosen to finalize her formal massage training. She has already begun to embrace what's coming next and is working through the feelings of loss and grief which are absolutely essential for moving on.
I'm leaving the door open to a different kind of life, where I am selecting those things I really love (animals, horse riding, hiking) and letting go of others. Recognizing that depending on how I come out of all these repairs, I may have to ratchet back a bit of the badassery. Not the gym, but the adventure badassery.
Why is the badassery badge so damned important?
That's another article. But you have your roadmap. So often the Universe et.al. is trying so damned hard to deliver the Next Best Thing, and we will not clear the way to allow it to land.
Anita told me that my story about realizing I'd given myself my dream of the house in the Pacific Northwest woods close to the beach was so relevant to where she is right now. This is why we talk with people. They challenge, validate, push and invite us to see differently.
I see new roads ahead. There's a little box by that doorway in front of us, just on the right, like the motels where you can drop the keys off if you leave early.
Over the slot it reads:
DROP YOUR (STINKING) BADGES HERE
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