An Itch to Scratch

If I don’t run, I’ll go crazy

What’s the problem with running?

If you do have to run, run only for 10 minutes

These are the little itchy thoughts surfacing these past week. When we feel uncomfortable, particularly in times of change or stress, we want that to go away, so we scratch, scratch, scratch. And then, even though the relief temporarily soothes us…BOOM! Inflammation City.

Just STAYing, or in my case, NOT MOVING…it makes me ITCHY.

I am very much in psychological and emotional discomfort these days, as well as physical pain and limitation.  This being on “bed-rest” and not doing and not giving, not being able to water my own plants, or walk to get my patients, or even grocery shop, feels very humbling. I am learning over and over to accept this, not attempt to transcend or fix or distract, and just “lay it down.” I had to cancel the big trip to Morocco due to the injury, canceling not only my marathon run, but a visit to a place of color for which I’d been pining through December.

I feel better in this moment writing this, and I guess I feel that there have been numerous improvements these past few days.  I had submitted myself to a wheelchair from 11-5 for three days, and it helped rest the bone.  The PT therapist affirmed that I am doing a good job listening to my pain, and funny, I came up with a good way to do so.

Follow the Face.

When the pain shoots in my face, that means STOP.

I am impatient. And don’t listen. And many times, do things, MOVE, because that is what I do. I DO.  But honestly? I CAN’T RIGHT NOW. I CAN’T. I AM UN-ABLE and UN-CAPABLE. And so so so so in awe of that.

I am embracing that I am in charge of the story of my recovery. And what I am learning is TO LAY IT DOWN…and LISTEN.

Sometimes, what life says is STAY DOWN. (GRRR) And Sometimes, TEST it out.

Awe serves as an inspiration and a sense of fulfillment to me. The physical sensation, particularly in nature and when moving about places where no mental template before existed, propels me out of depression and plants seedlings of grace and generosity. Some research has shown that when people contemplate their lives in more awe-ific environments, they report a higher sense of health, well-being and connectedness. There is a sense of the simple in the complicated, and a mysterious grandeur in the simple.

Awe —right now  —-is not in the doing or producing, but the receiving.

The hard lesson is that I must stop producing for a while, I need to learn how to dis-entangle doing/production (being generous and giving? Achieving at work? Learning how to knit) from worthiness.

Thoreau said…I stand in awe of my body.   Got this. The signal sings through the nerves embedded in my bone.

This is no sermon to “thine one self be true”. And no lasting philosophy, even, “to take care of yourself.”

It is the lesson of inhabiting me rather than manipulating me.

Until I glimpse this “nothing is working,” and not move from the fear to the habit of “getting it back together” (perhaps I should receive a PhD in “resiliency”) I believe I retort my fullness, authenticity and trueness.

When I exit this fear by running, by working, by serving, or really by being “GOOD” I miss the lesson there that these are all false props. I am NOT what I DO. I hope that in stripping away of these merit badges that I will be less judgmental, more compassionate, more flexible.

The lesson: I possess a basic goodness. It does not have to be earned. It already is.

I don’t need a list to “feel alive”. I don’t need to learn anything new or see anything new to live “a good life.” I just wait to trust that I am



I can’t fix, solve, make everything “better.” The itches in life won’t go away by being “good” or doing my best.

or by scratching

but they become way more tolerable with kindness…

patience….and that’s ever gracious substance





2 thoughts on “An Itch to Scratch

  1. I’m sending you some sunshine via the internet…

    Get well soon and I wish you a speedy recovery. I know it’s a pain. My grandma just had a hip replacement and she wants to get up and out too, thankfully my grandpa will “put her in her place” if she tries any thing crazy. The hard part is waiting and knowing there are other things you want to do. The problem with rushing, as you know, is that it always makes things worse, especially with recovery. You will be a stronger person (in all meanings) when this is over and done with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s