Two tools – Sally and a book

February 6, 2010

With the help of two tools, I am considering my future and asking myself, “What can I do?”

Rather than having this meaningless transition from what I call my milestone, I am looking for purpose, a positive purpose.

In just my three visits with Sally, I am amazed at how things are sorting out. I have had so many questions and such confusion; my confusion is abating and now I am considering what I can do next month and in the spring and all through the summer. Before Sally, it was just kind of all “blobby.” I don’t know how to explain it any other way. So Sally is one tool.

book2The other tool that has simply straightened me out and validated my whole experience is a book called, Heaven is Real.  Don Piper narrates his experience of a car accident that left him dead. Don remained dead for 90 minutes and in returning back to life, he was not only injured physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He was a broken man. The literal bridge he crossed over that day became an analogy of his old life crossing  into a “new normal”. And how often I hear that term “new normal”; now I have a definition and an identifiable meaning to that phrase.

Don writes in the chapter titled “Why Me?”, “we need to find someone to talk to – someone who cares and understands. . .  What I learned was I didn’t need a lot of advice – and most of us don’t. What I needed was to put into words my feelings and my dilemma so that another person could hear, reflect, and show compassion. I didn’t need someone to give me easy answers (or even hard ones), but someone to accept me as I was and at my worst, and still cares.” Yep, that is exactly what I needed! So Sally is my answer to that need. Tool #1.

Tool #2 is this book. I feel like Don is right here in my living room and we are comparing our experiences. However, Don has gone before me and has gone through what I am going through. Validation is important towards healing.

This week, I went through another transition that helps me move into this new beginning.

Two weeks ago, I sat with Dale and tried to explain to him how difficult all this has been – this “lostness” was so unlike the old me. He confessed he really didn’t understand especially when I was told I was in complete remission. I picked up a photo of Dale and me on a camping trip from 2005. We were that “take a picture of yourself” snuggle, capturing our faces. Big smiles, windswept and outdoors, testing our skill at fly fishing. I told Dale, I actually sobbed to Dale, I want that back, I want that old Cyndi back. I actually grieved and mourned for that moment in time and for my past.

“We must be convinced that we can never go back to the way life used to be. We may struggle, cry, pray, or yearn just to have life the way it was but we can’t.

Too often most of us have heard people in the midst of their pain cry out, ‘I just want my life to be the way it used to be.’

That won’t happen.

There is no going back.

We have to adjust. We have to find the new normal.”

Then a few paragraphs later, “I want to help others find the way, regain their balance, and learn to enjoy their new normal to the fullest -” (from the chapter “Not the Life I Would Have Chosen”)

Regain my balance; that is what I need, to regain my balance.

So in thinking about regaining my balance this past week, I asked myself what is my new beginning. What would I like to do?

I would like to run again. I want that exhilaration and euphoric feeling of freedom, challenged by what I think I cannot do and successfully accomplishing that challenge.

My broken leg stopped all my drive for exercise; this is the most sedentary I have been in probably all my adult years. I still feel the effects of surgery and a torn ACL. I feel limited in what I can do – but determined –

I called my orthopedist for a referral to a physical therapist. I need to know if I can push past my physical limitation and I need to know how to do this. I really had to fight for this referral, my doctor thought PT was unnecessary.

Yesterday I went to physical therapy for the first time. Brian, the PT,  is an ultra-marathoner and he told me after my rehabilitation I can return to running.   He positively said I  can run again! He will loosen up my healing knee, which is quite stiff (he said it was almost too late to straighten my leg because of the regrowth of tissue), and that I will be able to run, maybe not like I used to, but I will be able to run. Oh, the thought of that!

We spoke the same “running language”.  As silly as it sounds, tears came to my eyes in listening to him. As he spoke and without his knowing, he was helping me regain my balance in life. Running was something I did do, and well I might add, and running is something I can do again.

Another return to balance is fly fishing. Because of all the unexpecteds of the last two summers, I haven’t really been able to participate in our family summer activities. I am an outdoors kind of a person and the last two summers I was confined to the indoors. I was new to fly fishing and not nearly as good as my male family members, including my husband, but the experience is beyond words! It is thrilling! And the beautiful and majestic rivers right here in our very backyard take my breath away.

A new normal is being defined. I am crossing over this figurative bridge that Mr. Piper writes about. “But one thing we have to realize: Our life is different once we cross that bridge – but it’s not the life we have chosen; it’s the one that has been chosen for us . . but God made the choice for us. Because God made the choice for us that means God wants to bless and enrich this phase of our lives . . . we can never unchange ourselves.”

There is a new normal waiting for me and I will regain my life balance!


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