Tuesday, January 16, 2007

filling a void

When I first felt the pulled muscle in my back, it felt like a void, like a big hole in my back. And I knew from past experience, I must have let go of something and now I had to readjust my body to fill the void or learn to live without that something. Right now I'm sticking to the story that I pulled it coughing to hard. But I could have actually also gotten it from unlocking some other locked up portion of my body. I've had bad posture for years, partly due to a slight scoliosis, and because my body was used to that slouching took less energy than sitting or standing up straight. I would actually get tired from sitting upright. But that all reversed with the back pain and all I could do to relieve it was to sit and stand up straight for as long as I could. While most people with back pain end up hunching over, I was straightening up. It even improved my Thursday's bowling score.

I went back to doing yoga in the morning and evening. The stretching would buy me about 3 good hours, then the pain would return progressively getting worse until I could lie down and take some weight off. I knew exactly which back muscle it was. One of the finger sized muscles in the back that keep the spine in place, the spinelis group. I could feel it tire and quiver as if it was the first time in a long time it was in use and now it was expected to hold its own. And it would tire and strain the larger muscles around it that were trying to help it out.

But back to the void. I'm not sure what it was. The combination of good posture, yoga and rest. But maybe one other thing in addition. In thinking about this upcoming year, with lots of things in store, I had put limitations on this one thing that I hoped we'd be blessed with this year. And there's one thing about gifts, it's good to accept them graciously and without reservation. Both appreciating the gift and the giver and accepting your worthiness of yourself to receive it. Two days ago, after thinking about it, I took off those limitations and said to the universe, "I will accept whatever it is you will give to me." It's kind of like that moment during the mass where the parishoners say, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed."

Now the muscles that were around that void have relaxed and found a way to move in and around and through it. I still get a big fatigued, but each day it lessons along with the pain.

There are a lot of lessons to be had when you're weak.

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