my right knee
I have hurt my right knee. My ability to live peacefully and in a calm and reasonable state is completely compromised when I have a physical injury. Everything becomes doom and gloom. I lose all perspective, rationality, intuition, faith, lightness. All the beliefs I have about how important it is to rest and bring balance to life and to take it easy sometimes and to embrace being slow feels like a cold hard ironic slap in my face. I get caught in hysterical, hypochondriac fear – what if this is it for me and my knee, will we never squat or cycle or sprint up stairs together again?
I really blame myself. I treated it too badly, too poorly and this is my punishment; a life forever with one bung knee. Too many kilometres pounding the pavement, too many squats in yoga, too much strain and not enough love. I feel frustrated with myself. And as I sit here, writing, can feel myself shaking with some serious self fury. I can pretend is at the world, the universe, the weather bringing snow unreasonably and unseasonably early; but really I just feel it towards myself. How stupid, how idiotic I have been, I am.
If it was you who hurt your knee, I can see how the last thing you need right now is anger. You need love, kindness, compassion. You need to know it’s not your fault, that these things happen, that pain – physical or emotional – is scary and hard, and that you are brave and you will be ok. So much easier when it comes to someone else. So much easier said than done.
It’s hard not to feel like a fraud or hypocrite or just a liar. I truly believe we all need and deserve our own love and compassion and kindness but right now, honestly, I don’t know if I can do it. I’d much rather shake myself, punish myself, hate myself. It feels impossible to accept anything right now or bring kindness or compassion, and feels like bullshit to pretend I can.
So what to do? Take a deep breath and keep telling myself, in the grand scheme of things, it’s ok. Remind myself that everyone experiences pain and hardship. That our reactions won’t always be perfect and that doesn’t mean we’re failures. That even though I believe in the power of self compassion and self love, it’s not going to always be easy to feel it or practice it, which also doesn’t mean that the belief is wrong or any less strong. That awareness of how I feel about myself is an important step towards learning self-acceptance and then onwards to self love.
The snow came today in New York. From where I’m sitting, with coffee cup in hand, the snowflakes on the autumn-tinted leaves outside the window is undeniably beautiful. Even with a lot of fear and trepidation about the onset of winter, the moment is surprisingly ok and, even with a sore knee, I find I am ok in it.