“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These are your greatest treasures. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.”
Bound for home. After greeting my seating companion for the flight, I turned on my computer to catch up on work. Upon opening “Documents” – there it was: my digital diary – my words telling the story of the accident just over two years ago that nearly took my life – right in front of me. I was drawn in; perhaps it was especially compelling after a week in New York for the marathon, cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. There it was – my story, my injured body and pictures of the SUV that crushed me. I read on, remembering, tears streaming down my face.
One particular entry touched my heart most deeply: I am home and in my own bathroom, sitting on the bench in the shower that was, lovingly put there by my husband. For the first time since being dismissed from the hospital and care center, I looked down at my left leg. It had been crushed – reconstructed, swollen, black and blue…and it was my leg, a part of me…still there…still with me. As the hot water fell all over me, I looked down: and for the first time in my life, I talked to my body, saying “I’m sorry this happened to you. Just look at these wounds. This black and blue swollen leg. I’m so sorry for you…you must have felt such pain when it happened…”
I remembered not immediately feeling compassion for my wounds or really acknowledging the pain over the weeks and months following the accident. Rereading that journal entry was a very tender moment, it reminded me of connecting my heart, body awareness and feelings through direct experience. I was so tender with myself in that shower, comforting part of myself as if I were comforting one of my granddaughters. I offered that same soothing love to my own body, my own leg…to myself. And as I read, I noticed feeling soothed all over again – simply remembering that experience of loving kindness felt healing.
I wondered, as I read my written words: what if I brought compassion – a loving presence – to all of my “wounds”…to my body, the body of my whole life, right now? What if I let the warm waters of love, tenderness and caring bathe me in acceptance and gratitude? What if I realized that, in spite of disappointments, bruises and crushing experiences, I am whole and I am blessed? What if I ‘gave back’ from a heart full of gratitude for the miracle of life and for the many opportunities I’ve had, as a human, to accept events and accidents as part of living? What if I could find a gift in everything?
Now I wonder, as I read these written words: what if you, in your own way, brought compassion – a loving presence – to your “wounds”…to your body, as it is, right now? What if you let the warm waters of love, tenderness and caring bathe you in acceptance and gratitude? What if you realized that, in spite of disappointments, bruises and crushing experiences, you are whole and blessed? What if you ‘gave back’ from a heart full of gratitude for the miracle of life and for the many opportunities you have, as a human, to accept events and accidents as part of living? What if you could find a gift in everything? Just by trying a little tenderness…
“Optimal health and happiness is more than a state of the absence of disease or emotional pain. It is a continuous adjustment to the changing demands of life and environment. And it must bring with it a sense of joy and strength – of buoyancy, resilience, beauty and balance.”
~ Lorrie Jones