My Epiphany

I’ve had an epiphany. . thought I’d share.

The last few weeks have been extremely difficult ones for me. My RA has been flaring up worse than ever before with pain in both feet, both knees, and both hands , as well as aches and pains throughout my body. The flare-up began in May and June, when I was traveling so much. As the pain worsened, I told myself (and others), “I’ll be fine as soon as I get home and am able to rest, eat better, and start exercising again.”

Well, I got home and rested and ate better. Couldn’t exercise much, it simply hurt too much to ride or do yoga. And I didn’t feel better. In fact, it got worse. I lived on Advil the week of convention. But I kept my positive outlook, thinking that after convention, I’d take things easy and my body would finally shape right up.

Last week things were as bad as they’ve ever been. I could hardly walk by myself. . . it hurt to sit down and stand up and just about everything else 

“There must be something I should be learning,” I told a friend. “I’m doing everything I should to let my body rest and heal, and it’s not working. So there’s something else going on here, and I need to figure out what it is.”

Here comes the epiphany part.

Thinking back over what’s been happening since my accident in August, I realized that I’m not very patient; in fact, I’m downright demanding of myself. After the accident, doctors told me it would take at least a year before I was fully recovered. I quietly told myself that I would give it six months, then I willed myself to make it happen.

Sure, I thought I was taking it easy. . .I was resting and eating right and letting people do a lot of things for me. But I was also having meetings at my house and running errands and getting back up on a horse and doing 30-day yoga challenges and. . . well, you get the idea.

Everyone was amazed. I had “recovered” in record time. 

Not me. Things were going exactly as I had planned.

Fast forward a few months, and I think I’ve finally realized that God’s plan might be a little different from mine. I’ve blamed this flare-up on the traveling and not eating great and so many other things. But I think it might simply be that I need to figure out this patience thing. Instead of telling my body what needs to happen, I need to listen to my body and let it tell me what needs to happen. And at the same time, I need to listen to that still small voice and make sure I’m letting it tell me what needs to happen as well.

Bottom line: Instead of focusing on next week or next month when I will start feeling better, I need to let go and let God. Have faith. Be patient. Be happy.

While the faith and happy part aren’t new (or hard) to me—and I thought I’d mastered the patient part as well—I’m thinking maybe I wasn’t patient enough. I pushed myself too hard, too fast, and I’m experiencing the natural consequence of not allowing my body the time it needed to really heal.

So, patience is my new mantra. I’m walking slower, resting often, letting expectations go, and learning to accept where I am right now without impatiently looking too far into the future.

This might not be a bad way to live.