Out of Control

Not only is it dark now when we drive to work, and the air is getting colder and the sky more grey, but also the holidays are coming up, which tend to be the most stressful time of year. With so much on our plates, from budget cuts and troubling patient cases, to loneliness to a sense of energy being zapped, we can feel worn down. A lot of people have problems that they don’t know how to fix, and they feel stuck.

And that is where I am at today. Stuck. Physically. I’ve been off of running for 8 weeks now, believing my pain was a torn muscle. So I adapted and became quite Ms. Bendy, with a slight obsession for doing my doctor prescribed stretches and daily yoga sessions. I learned yesterday after insisting for a bone scan that indeed I have a stress fracture. 10 more weeks off of running, and more medical test to rule out some other scary possibilities.

Of course I am afraid. Naturally. More so I am angry. I have this strong sense of victimization as if my body is rejecting me even though I’ve treated it with the utmost admiration and care.

That is where I feel most out of control….as if I can’t make things the way I want them to be.

Here’s where change lives…this out of control place. If you are ever in a position to learn something as an adult, whether is it having your first child, taking on online class, relocating overseas and learning the rules and culture, the process of growth and change goes hand and hand with feeling doubtful and out of control. (So says I on my radio spot this week).

I think every one has been at a stage of his or her life where she felt “this isn’t working for me anymore.” That is where change happens. But also, it is where a lot of self doubt and fear comes in.

We are all afraid of being out of control. Babies are born with two intense fears—the fear of loud noises, and the fear of falling. When we grow up, that fear of “falling” feels like being out of control.

Maybe you are worried about a loved one smoking, or that you won’t have a job in a few months. Maybe your best friend moved away and you are lonely. It is easy to feel powerless. When we are truly vulnerable, we try to rescue ourselves out of the situation. We may overwork, we may overeat, we may over fight, we may escape and avoid things that stretch us or make us uncomfortable. We we feel out of control, we look to regain it.

Being physical is empowering to me, and the running thing makes me feel safe. Chemically, it gives me a pleasure hit. And in a season where a lot of pleasures have been taken away (did I mention that I miss my best friend???? her kids???? her muffins and easy access to honey or vinegar or nuts????) I am LIVID that I might be on crutches or taken out of a weight lifting program because

I DID EVERYTHING RIGHT!!!!

But the truth is, we often don’t have control, if we did, I am sure that we would get rid of traffic jams, power point presentations, and temper tantrums in the BX.

So sure, this is a “challenge” to get me in “tune” with myself. And I’ll have more free time to write, to settle into shows about zombies, to practice knuckle cracking. But really, this is not where I want to be.

But I am WHO I want to be, if I can’t be WHAT I want to be. Who I want to be is resilient. Strong. giving. not a whiner, but a do-er. I just need a little time to make a vision for myself.

Change requires stretching. I think of this when in these early stages of lifting weights….building muscles. You need to stretch and you need to rest…that’s how you build strength, over time. And this requires a little sweat and pain. I was lifting the other day, and when I got tired, some helping hands went down to lightly touch the weight. BINGO! those two fingers were NOT doing anything, but my body asserted control and reacted by trying harder….just when I was ready to give up

So no, I can’t control my body. What I can do, is influence it. To shift away from wanting control to wanting to influence. To become selective.

When we seek to influence, there are many creative ways to do so. But when we seek to control, we are pretty limited to bargaining or enforcement. Influence feels empowering, and wanting control powerless.

maybe I’ll become a knuckle cracking champion in the meantime

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4 thoughts on “Out of Control

  1. Just realized it has been forever since I checked in to see what you are up to. Sorry to hear about the stress fracture. I hope you find some fun new hobbies in the mean time (knuckle cracking sounds like fun to me, I am definitely a champ and my mother hates it…maybe that is why I keep doing it!). I know you will miss the running but you need to take the time to heal. It won’t be easy, but hang in there.

  2. Beautiful thoughts in here again, K! I very much agree with you – there needs to be an impulse of development, and feeling out of control often is it. I’m sorry to hear you have to abstain from running (imagining me not being able to play music for weeks … *shudder*), but probably it is a chance to find yourself in a new way you haven’t gone yet. Because if we have to, we can always come up with something, and I’m sure you will. You are so strong. And you know, you have a friend over here. :)

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