Perhaps you have faced something similar; if not an accident then maybe an illness interrupted your plans, your life. And, perhaps like me, you wondered “Why?”
I’ve learned a lot over these past two months—about time, about relationships, about being conscious. And part of the answer to my “why” has to do with what I’ve discovered.
I’ve realized, for instance, that most of our interactions are spontaneous and non-reflective. We smile, we nod, and we reach out our hand to another – without thinking about it. We naturally try to connect with those around us and with life itself. It is part of who we are.
When this natural process of interaction is disrupted, though, our life changes dramatically. What was unconscious then becomes very conscious, because we have to think about how we are going to do something.
After the accident, there was little that I could do on my own because of my injuries – not the dishes, not the laundry, not anything to do with my beckoning unwritten book…nothing! And yet, I was so exhausted. My focus was reduced to simply managing pain and trying to use my less damaged arm. So why the fatigue?
Part of the reason for the fatigue was that my world had been turned upside down.
Most of us go about our day (eating, sleeping, bathing, etc.), absorbed in what we did yesterday or what we want to do today. We are not focused on the bar of soap in our hand or the fork with which we eat. We are not thinking about what we are doing in that moment.
An accident or illness can re-order our day such that NOW consumes us. Out of necessity, we concentrate on the immediate situation. Strange though it may seem, this redirection of attention can be a homecoming of sorts, similar to meditation.
I noticed more--the brilliance of the skies, the scent of flowers, the sounds of children playing in our neighborhood; and, I cared less--about social media and other obligations. Time rested in neutral for me during most of the summer.
On another front, when I hit the asphalt, flashes of past abuse frightened and confused me. Just as quickly, though, my husband was at my side trying to help. His tenderness moved me from the past to the present, from fear to trust. And, I saw in stark contrast the two worlds—the old and the new.
The greatest gift of this accident has been the deepening awareness of my husband’s abiding love. His patience and devotion throughout this challenging time have opened my heart in ways I could not have anticipated. Our fateful trip was to have been a celebration of our ninth anniversary. It was that—and so much more. And, it certainly is one we will always remember.