I’ve been absent from blogging for a couple of weeks. Sometimes Life just needs to act itself out. And then suddenly everything jumps back in its own box and things are a bit controlled again. Sort of.
I’ve been seeing a new man. A physical therapist. After over a year of undiagnosed difficulties in my hip and groin and trying a myriad of things from personal trainer to chiropractor and masseuse, the problem gradually worsened. Had I listened to the small voice in my head which said ‘go to the physical therapist’, I would have saved myself some money and some angst. But sometimes we just can’t get out of our own way. I’m not sure if I was afraid of what the problem might be, or if I knew it involved work to fix it and I really didn’t want more work in my life. Whatever.
I read all the time. I always have a book on the go. In recent years I have posted the list of books I’ve read throughout the year. This year I thought I would do it differently. I thought I would write a post only about the books I really loved. The list is short. *Spoiler alert* I’m about to reveal one of the three books now, so the list just got shorter for that future post.
The book is one of those rare finds I wish I could discover all over again. It is like reading a very long letter from your best friend–that is, if your best friend is brutally honest and a very good writer. The book reveals a difficult past and how the author set about changing the results of that past. It is so honest and confronting and insightful and beautifully written, it is almost hard to believe.
The book is called Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle-Melton.
I don’t want to spoil the experience for you, should you decide to read her memoir. But I want to make you aware, in case you want a good book for the eventual downtime you might have after Christmas is over.
After a life filled with running away from her pain and hiding in sex, booze and dysfunction, Glennon had one of a number of crises that started to heal her. She writes about the pain of sitting in a ‘hot yoga’ class, because she didn’t know where else to go. The instructor asked around the room ‘what were the intentions of each participant?’ When it was her turn, aware that she had made a terrible mistake coming to hot yoga when her hot emotions were at a peak, she squeezed out the words ‘my intention is just to stay on this mat and make it through whatever is about to happen without running out of here’. She didn’t want to run away from the pain any more. Those words stuck with me. Several times this week I have been challenged by things I did not want to deal with. Glennon’s words hovered in my ear, and were transformed by my brain into shorthand that I understood–‘stay on the mat’.
Sometimes, staying with things is hard. But the pain in our lives is there to teach us. To run away means you miss that lesson. This week the Universe has quietly bestowed upon me lessons I have been running from for some time. They were not nearly as painful once I decided to ‘stay on the mat’ and feel what they had to show me. The malfunction of my hip is enormously improved. I learned that expertise and efficiency are no match for humanity and energy. I was reminded that the Universe is, in equal portions, brutal and compassionate. And I learned that staying on the mat doesn’t mean nothing is happening.
Light Chaser, out.
I wondered where you were Ardys. I do hope the pain levels have improved and that staying on the mat was bearable. ‘Physical therapists’ can bring relief- or not. Mine is not quite getting there with my pain levels which at times, are just too overwhelming. i just have to rely on drugs. i am now very keen to source some medical marijuana and can’t wait for it to be readily available.
I recall an old Aussie expression when I am feeling overcome with illness and other crap- you may have heard it. ” you wouldn’t be dead for quids”. That one always makes me laugh.
Lovely photo as usual, light chaser.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’m so sorry to read about your pain. Yes, physical therapists are not always successful, which was partly why I tried all those other things. I do need to use ibuprofen and paracetamol from time to time… like just now after the physio worked on me! But you are so right I wouldn’t be dead for quids!! I love that phrase too. Thank you Francesca. Take care.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It is difficult for me to think of you struggling with anything – I find your writing full of strength, compassion and wisdom. This post spoke to me in so many ways. And unfortunately, winter weather keeps me from being outdoors at much which is such great therapy for me. I am intrigued by this book you mentioned and will order it, but I’ll wait until I hear about the other two. I love to read and winter is an excellent time to indulge in that!
I hope you are healing, and even moreso, may Universe continue to reveal what it is you are to glean from this experience. That is every bit of our lives… always discovering. Much love to you, Ardys.
Your loving comment brought tears to my eyes, Lori. None of us are so strong or wise that the Universe will not still bring us to our knees at times. Another thing that was brought home to me in that book was that life is meant to be hard, and painful at times. We have bought into the idea that life is about being happy, but it is really about learning and learning is often hard won. Not in a bad way, but in the way that gains us wisdom and satisfaction. I suppose it is like raising a baby deer or a child, the work is hard but we learn so much. Thank you for your lovely friendship.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Life. That IS the mat, isn’t it? And we constantly try to stay on “it”. Love this thought, especially imagining it in the complex and brutal context of a hot yoga class. Good for us, but oh, so hard at times. Jim got such a kick out of you saying you had a new man. So glad your “new guy” has offered something helpful. Just stay on the mat. I will be on the mat right beside you.
Yes, I loved this metaphor from the book so much, it just stuck smack in the front of my mind and was a tremendous inspiration for me. My ‘new guy’ has helped so much with my hip problem. Hard to believe after babying it along for over a year that in one month of doing the right exercise it is about 90% better. No cure, he tells me, just good management, so I’ll have to be diligent and stay on that mat! xx
EllaDee's daleleelife101.blog said:
We are all ‘on the mat’ one way or another. It’s kind of you to share your experiences, as you so often very generously do, as I, we often feel alone in challenging circumstances. And not being alone whether it’s accomplished by asking for help or knowing we’re in good company is a balm.
I’ll keep ‘stay on the mat’ with me when I feel stretched, knowing you are right there at my elbow ♡
Yes, we are all on the mat in one way or another. For sure. Thank you for your generous comment about my ‘sharing’. I hope it doesn’t come off like whinging or ego tripping. My intention is to simply share the ups and downs of life so, exactly as you said, we all know we are not alone. Best wishes to you.
Whitney Brown said:
Which is why yoga–though I am hardly as faithful to it as I should be–is SO IMPORTANT FOR ME. It’s that lesson, over and over again… and just learning to sit with discomfort. Thank you for this. Good day to find it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sitting with discomfort is a great lesson. This particular metaphor from this book has really struck a chord with me. Thank you for reading, Whitney. xx