What if the challenge of choosing to be present was only ‘hard’, not ‘impossible’?
Yesterday we talked about the value of being present in the midst of our activities – specifically physical activities such as running. Today I want to get a bit more curious …
One of the things you will often hear me grumble about in my race reports is when people where headphones during races. It’s about safety in part, but what if there was more to it than that?
Disability is a tricky thing.
No one would say that there was a hierarchy – we would say that everyone was equally valuable.
But the truth of the matter is that some conditions are sexy – they get money and press and attention and extra resources and walks and big, multi-million-dollar foundations.
And other conditions are rare.
Other conditions are quiet.
Other conditions get passed over and missed out.
There is this concept in eastern religions of yin and yang. It’s this idea of finding balance between two opposites: things like dark/light; work/rest; tense/release; hard/easy; do/be. And just like we understand that we need muscle pairs to, for example, lift our arm up and then bring our arm back down, these eastern knowledge traditions understand that there can be no dark without a light; no work without rest; no tension without release; no hard without easy; no doing if there is no space to simply be.
On Monday I talked about honesty – in telling the truth, and in not failing to tell the truth.
I talked about honesty that was based on love, not fear.
About whether our honesty is about connecting more deeply or about the avoidance of punishment and pain.
But today I want to go deeper.
Because I know that for me – and for many, many others – there are multiple layers of truth that we simply do not acknowledge.
Truth that we completely fail to realize exists.
What if there wasn’t simply BLACK truth and WHITE truth? What if, instead, truth came in a RAINBOW of colours?
Because of the role that worthlessness and disconnection play in self-harm and suicidality, if someone is courageous enough to tell me about what’s going on, I do my best to respond immediately with deeper connection.
I might take them out for coffee, for a walk in the woods or by the water; I might invite them back to my place for dinner and some chill hang out time, or even invite them to spend a night or two with us.
I know that this response is not going to fix all of the underlying reasons for where this person is where they are. That’s not my goal.
My goal is to create an immediate, felt sensation of increased connection for the person – like first-aid for the soul.
You would think that given that our bodies are the external, tangible, physical parts of us, that we would all know our bodies super well.
However, as someone who experienced extensive medical trauma as a child, lived with chronic pain and fatigue issues for most of my life, and grew up in a religious community that devalued the body, I realized a few years ago that I didn’t really know, listen to, understand or respond to my body … at all!
But why does that matter?