I move along, noticing the birds leave their safety amongst the sage bushes, rousted from a rest. My dog is faithfully in front of me, not so much ensuring my safety, as looking for appropriate sticks for this morning jaunt.
I feel the damp earth under my feet, it provides a cushion for my step, a buffer for my body.
I see the sun peaking over the hill tops in a splendid display of golden radiant light, I breathe,and in this moment I know I will never walk again.
I will never, for one moment take for granted the ability to move my body on this earth, I will never not look up at the beauty around me while in earnest getting my heart rate to the desired goal.
On May 16th, I was blessed with a ruptured disc in my neck. The next eight weeks proved to me some of the most important of my life.
I have experienced pain, as most of us have. I am a mother, I have experienced the pain of labour, I am a woman, I have experienced the pain of love and loss. I am human in physical form, I have experienced pain in my bones, muscles and soft tissue.
I have never experienced anything like nerve pain. There was NO escaping it, there was NO calming it, for weeks I laid on my back, needing assistance for simple tasks like bathroom breaks and meals.
It is only with the love and support of a few good friends that I was able to feed myself and my son, and keep my home running in a somewhat reasonable way.
I could barely move, and when I did, I paid the price. At first I had no idea what was happening with my body, I had no confirmation of anything I was experiencing and each day I waited for it to dissipate, it never did.
My body was invaded by drugs of which I never thought I would use let alone be marinating in, and even copious doses of those, did not break the pain.
Initially I was mostly surrounded by my friends, but as the weeks went on, they needed to continue their lives, my pain was changing, and I was alone.
I laid on my back day after day, not being able to do any of the things I loved, hiking, yoga, getting my garden prepared, I could not do anything. I felt useless, scared and confused.
It did not take long to sink into a depression that had me wishing for a quick exit simply so that I did not have to feel the pain in any way. I dreamt of not feeling the pain, and would wake up crying because not only did it not leave, it seemed to become stronger and more debilitating as time went on.
I am a recovering OCD person, by recovering, I mean I do my best to mask this affliction when I have people around, secretly a cushion out of place or pet hair on my floor makes me want to scream and move quickly into action.
I could not keep up the maintenance of my house or yard, it was one morning when I watched my best friend change the sheets on my bed that I broke inside.
What If I NEVER recover from this? What if I am NEVER able to be able bodied again? I dove into a process of my life, of the pain that has been consistent in my life since I can remember. The pain, my friend, my companion, my shepherd. Pain. I knew in that moment, that I had to change, that it was time to let go of a cycle that has become so much a part of my story.
For over a year I had been coping with a break up using alcohol to numb out, while telling myself it was ok, that it was just to get through.
I realized that I would never ‘get through’ if I did not learn this lesson, if I did not allow myself to access my emotions, my grief, my pain, not only from recent happenings but from my entire life.
I have always been blessed with loud lessons, with lessons that stand in front of you, inches from your face and yell in a way that parts your hair and leaves you feeling awake if not somewhat jolted.
Lessons that jolt you out of a spiritual slumber and bring you back to a place of soul resolution and evolutionary movement. I am blessed.
This has been one of the most physically painful processes of my life, and one of the most spiritually rewarding.
I have started doing some real ‘work’, not just talking my way through counselling sessions but actually being honest with myself and my practitioner about where I am at, I am being open and vulnerable. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I am accessing memories and ‘stuck’ trauma that I made a career out of burying, telling myself all the time that if I focused enough on helping others I could heal through that process. I was wrong.
There is no substitute for doing your own work, there is no shortcut and no back entry to evolving through the places we become stunted emotionally and spiritually.
There is no avoiding your pain and I no longer want to. Every session I have, every thought, belief, trauma I uncover inspires me to keep going, to continue on this path of vulnerability, fear and awareness.
No matter how uncomfortable… no matter how unsure I am.
I am in a good place. I am alone, but not lonely. I am confident, but not arrogant, I am grounded but not stuck. I am awake, and in this I know. I will never ‘just’ walk again.
I will gently place my feet upon this earth with a sense of gratitude and reverence for my journey, I will affirm with every step that I am worthy, I am enough, no matter what I ‘do’ I am enough.
I will never walk again, but I will look to each step I take as confirmation from this earth that reaches up to embrace my body and soul.
I will allow the energy of life, abundance and gratitude to seep into the very core of my essence and remain in a place of honoring each aspect of myself so that my remaining journey may be one of empowerment, and love.
I will never walk again, and for this, I am blessed. I will move with mindfulness, I will revere my body, I will nurture my soul. I am awake.