Wounded Light

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“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” // Isaiah 49:16

{Pardon my late night rant, most likely filled with typos and run-on sentences…}

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my physical body’s health and it’s connection to my spiritual, mental, and emotional health. Getting even more specific about the mind-body correlation, about a quarter of the motor cortex in the human brain (the part of the brain which controls all movement in the body) is devoted to the muscles of the hands. The wrist is probably one of the most important and commonly used joints in our everyday life. It is delicate…under strain much of the time (writing, driving, cooking, moving, exercising, etc) and can be quite prone to injury. Wrist fractures and breaks are one of the most commonly reported and commonly operated on orthopedic injuries in the U.S.

My right wrist has been through a lot…stresses, tensions, aches, and pains. When I was teaching yoga regularly, one of the concerns I heard most often was with clients who have struggled with wrist pain while attempting to workout. A few years ago, I was at a wellness conference with one of my best friends where I found my physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally drained body in a Holy Yoga class for the first time.

If you know me well, you are probably aware that I’m not a huge fan of showing emotions or crying in public. Perhaps I was just exhausted, but honestly, I think I was just ready. Ready for change. Ready for a new perspective. I was recovering from a wrist injury, and quite honestly dreading the class entirely. How long will they force me to stay in downward facing dog? Could my wrist handle it? A few moments into the class, the pain was too much to bare. The intensity…the sharp, needle like feelings. I opted for child’s pose and face planted into my mat. I decided to spend the duration of this class in a meditative prayer.

Everyone else disappeared. Tears streamed down my cheeks and onto the mat. I didn’t know where I was. I was unaware of any other people. It was just me and God. And it was healing. It wasn’t healing in a “miraculous no more pain” sort of way. It was healing in an authentic, being redeemed sort of way.

Suffering ceases to be suffering when you have a change of perspective. I suddenly had an awakening of grace and redemption. If you don’t get better, you become bitter. Those are two options we have. In that moment on my mat with my creator, letting go of how weak or silly I looked as I stopped following the group around me, I decided to get better. I let go of the frustration surrounding my physical and emotional pain. I realized that it was okay for health to take time and effort. It’s okay that joy costs pain sometimes.

My wrist may still click at times. My spine may still be curved. My heart may still hurt. But I am no longer suffering. Rumi quotes that the wound is the place where the light enters you. I am believing that for you tonight, whatever your wounds and battles may be.

“If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible. Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Paulo Coelho

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