I used to despise my body. And I felt my brain and everything issued from it had utterly betrayed me. Being sick in so many different ways, feeling so miserable, and struggling so hard, I could not see why I had been given such a worthless form. Then I got better. I thought I had all the answers. I thought maybe having all the answers was my purpose. I thought the whole reason for me being given such a sickly body was so I could learn to make it well and pass the secret along to others. Here’s the thing. There is not just one reason for anything. There is not just one way to do anything. And the rules change all the time, even for the same person. The river we are standing in is always changing! THAT is the only thing we can be sure of.
I don’t have the answer. There is no THE answer. I know that some things feel good and work well and I will keep doing them as long as they do. I know that those things don’t work every day and they don’t work for everyone. I know one of the best things my body and this life can teach me is humility. It can teach me to accept that I don’t know everything and I never will. And that’s OK. It means I accept that I am still in a human body. The same human body that breaks and that teaches me through blessed brokenness. With a brain that sometimes fires in painful and unusual ways. Ways that teach me things I could not otherwise have seen.
And so I remember to have gratitude for this teacher that I inhabit. What a wonderful gift. It is a gift that I often find myself cursing, times when I forget to look for the lesson and only see the pain, the struggle. I lose sight of the unique and holy wonder of the physical vessel, a gift that we are all given. And now, despite the return to pains and struggles I thought I would never see again, I have learned that I can trust. I know that my soul is safe. I know that my body is on a journey and it is teaching me. When I need stillness, I will be still. When I need to move, I will move. When I need to eat, I will eat. When I need to abstain, I will abstain. I will listen to the wisdom of this teacher and not curse the pains and sorrows it sends to me as lessons.
I know that I can’t teach right now. I need to recover and I need to rebalance. When I do teach, I will do it with renewed understanding. There is a fear that tries to take over when you are sick. It tries to defeat the gratitude and all the hope. It will overshadow any sense of purpose very quickly , if you aren’t convinced we all have one. I have been reminded of this. I will not forget it again, but I will not submit to it.