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Paradoxically Enough

A dancer friend of mine who has lost much of the function in her legs said to me recently, "It's like death in itself [, losing movement]."

She read my mind. I feel the same way. To a person enjoying life through movement and physical accomplishments, a physical disability mean emotional death. It forces you to become a different person.

Depending on your attitude, this may actually be a positive change. Though, it most certainly won't feel like it, not for a very long time.

I injured myself four years ago, this month. After two hip surgeries, I now struggle with a (hopefully not) chronic case of inflamed iliopsoas tendon and an iliopsoas syndrome. This keep me from sitting comfortably after some time, and from walking normally, or, on bad days, at all. I certainly feel a part of me has died. Though I feel like I'm well past the mourning period, sometimes sorrow hits me hard and without a warning-- though, thankfully, less often than before.

I've grown less social, confined to my home because driving a car agitates my condition. There is, sometimes, heart-wrenching isolation to my condition. But I'm getting used to it. I focus on the positive, most of the time. My teens help me with chores. My husband works hard. I have more time to write, even if I have to do it laying down for half of the time. I have more time to be at home with my family. I have been forced to notice the marvel of small things, and enjoy the seemingly simple moments of life. Also, I have grown closer to God as I've learned to soften, to become more humble and patient, and accepting circumstances as they are.

The reason for this brief post isn't to dwell on sadness but to share a powerful truth: it has been in misery that I have found my deepest joy. My loss has given me the most.

Here is a touching quote by Jalal ad-Din Rumi, a 1400th century Persian wise man:

"Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place."

We all have our hardships and heartaches. But life is good. There is meaning in suffering, also that of finding joy.

Take joy in, today.

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