On January 1 I posted about new year’s resolutions and my general lack of them. Rather than making a list, I thought about reframing the idea of things that I could do with the question, #whynot?
So what does that have to do with accepting what is? Well, on the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, I was walking the dog. It was dark, but that is often the case. That night, while I was busy “kravitzing” (i.e. being nosy, like Gladys Kravitz) by looking at a neighbor’s house, I neglected to notice the depression made by a sewer grate. My foot went down, I lost my balance, and BOOM. I must have come down on my right hand, but I was too busy calling Ellie back, as I had dropped the leash, so I did not really notice what happened. I returned home, sore, but seemingly unhurt, and I thought nothing more about it, as I did not have any obvious injuries.
By Thanksgiving, due partially to the amount of work I was doing, chopping, cutting, carrying, and all that, my hand and wrist started to throb with pain that was later replaced by a numb feeling. The long and short of it is, that problem persisted and I got myself to the doctor early the next week. Her thoughts… Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which I had feared. Truth be told, I already had had some of the symptoms, but I had ignored them. Why? Well, #whynot? I have a long history of ignoring things about my health, often to my own detriment.
Fast forward to today. My right hand is perpetually numb, in degrees anyway, from the thumb to half of the ring finger. My latest fashion accessory? The wrist brace – so very “in” this year. (*sigh*) Anyway, as illnesses and physical challenges go, this one is pretty low on the scale as I see it. It is a challenge, but it is not impossible for me function right now, and I am exploring various treatment options.
Yet, I am trying to face the fact that I have some new limitations. Accepting this is easier said than done. I’m not stuck in some “why me” place, but my frustration can easily ignite into anger when I come face to face with some limitations.
I am a person who relishes in the *idea* of acceptance, surrender, or letting go, but who seems to reject the actuality of such things. While slow to get there, I am finally coming to see that this is a great #whynot question for me to walk and pray with this year. In other words, #whynot leads me to pray with more openness and abandon. Just typing those words sends fear into my heart.
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is annoying for me, a person who is a secretary by day, and a writer, teacher, presenter, and many other things at other hours. It is not a problem for me to study, mount, fix, and destroy, it is an invitation. Well how about that, I have these ideas, but how do I live into this?
Who knows? I have no idea about that! This I do know, I must sink into this new way of living, a place of surrender, questions, patience (what’s that?), and hope. In a way I see this as a labryrinth of sorts, one that I walk and walk and walk with God, and the grooves get ever deeper with each passing step. It’s not like I have not attempted surrender, questions, patience, and hope before, but like all things of God, this is a work in progress. The notion of being a perpetual beginner comes to mind.
Today I have to ask the question of myself once more… Why not accept what is, not in the form of resignation, but in the form of invitation? There is no reason not to, other than my own resistance. No wonder my wrist hurts and goes numb! God takes my hand and then I run, always pulling away. Maybe it is time to change. Why not?
(Now Is The Time by Ricky Manalo CSP seems like a good song for this moment, don’t you think?)