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Tender, but healing

March 26, 2010

I’ve been feeling a little tender these past few days. In more ways than one.

After a surprisingly quick healing process the first week after surgery, I was expecting to stay on the same trajectory, but, sadly, that didn’t happen. I guess I hit a plateau. I can’t say I feel much better today than I did a week ago. Sigh.

Part of the problem is that feeling as good as I was a week ago, there started to be a few too many reasons to leave the cocoon on the couch. Buying a van, visiting the bank to finance that van, picking up that van, doing the taxes (which was about 2 hours of weeping – those forms make me feel stupid at the best of times and this was definitely NOT the best of times), driving kids places, taking daughter to a follow-up appointment with her surgeon, going to my own follow-up appointment with the surgeon, going to a band concert, taking daughter shopping for panty hose for that concert, cooking meals … the usual expectations of being a parent. It’s hard to set them all aside, even when you’re trying to heal. I thought I was getting enough rest in between, but I’m not sure that was really the case. I’m still feeling some pain and the exhaustion isn’t going away very quickly.

Last weekend, I’d honestly thought that this would be a lovely, relaxing week, in which I’d have the energy and space and emotional presence to do some writing and painting. I thought the creative muse would visit, but she didn’t. Instead, it’s been a week of frustration – of trying to hang on to stability with my fingernails.

The emotional tenderness was the most unexpected. The concerted effort it takes not to snarl or weep when someone says the wrong thing (or almost anything at all, for that matter). The ache in my heart when my husband told me I’d been rather mean to him the last few days. The flipping and flopping of yesterday’s post.

This morning, after driving the kids to school and rescuing my husband who’d left his keys at home, I climbed into the bathtub. Before I knew it, the tears were flowing. I wept for about half an hour – for no particular reason I could put a finger on.

It’s possible that this is just the residual effect of being under a general anaesthetic for over three hours, but I have a feeling it’s combined with a few other things.

Perhaps the body simply needs to grieve the pieces it has lost.

Perhaps the soul still needs to heal from the rawness that this past year of challenge has brought.

Perhaps the chrysallis, changing from caterpillar to butterfly in the cocoon, is not simply resting but is experiencing the pain of change.

It’s hard, isn’t it? When there are people in your life expecting you to be present in their lives and kind to them and doing the laundry and giving space to their pain – to find enough quiet space to let healing and transformation happen.

In the meantime though, I can hardly express how good it felt to have so many of you say “me too!” in yesterday’s post. Thank you for being tender with me in my tenderness.

p.s. I can’t stop listening to “It’s been a long day” by Rosi Golan, thanks to a recommendation from a Twitter friend, @newagejalopy. It’s perfect.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Dovelily permalink
    March 26, 2010 12:53 pm

    Very insightful post. Dying to one body, to be born in another. Grief is a natural part of that process.

    • heatherplett permalink*
      March 28, 2010 10:38 am

      Thanks Dovelily. I think sometimes we try to rush past the grief and forget that it’s part of the healing.

  2. March 26, 2010 4:41 pm

    it’s hard to be tender, especially with ourselves. my expectations of myself to be loving and tender with everyone else often make me less aware of my own needs. it’s a long road to learn to hold ourselves with true compassion. i’m working on this one with the loss of my sweet doggy last month. here’s one of my favorite metta prayers that i pray for me and for others depending on what’s needed:
    may i be held in compassion
    may my pain and sorrow be eased
    may i be free
    blessings, katy

    • heatherplett permalink*
      March 28, 2010 10:39 am

      Thanks Katy. “It’s a long road to learn to hold ourselves with true compassion.” You’re SO right.

  3. March 26, 2010 7:25 pm

    You’ve been through a loss of sorts. Maybe it’s a form of grief? Who knows? I’m grasping.

    • heatherplett permalink*
      March 28, 2010 10:40 am

      Thanks Anvilcloud, for your faithful visiting and commenting. 🙂

      I’m not sure I fully understand either, but I’m getting through it.

  4. March 27, 2010 6:51 pm

    Expectations. We all have them, even when we try not to, I think it’s part of being human, part of evolving. You imagined things would be different than they turned out to be. Yup, I’m guilty of that almost daily. And I weep, why can’t it be different, why do I feel so resistant to how things turned out/are. Because I wanted it to be different. You are allowed to want it to be different. You’ve been through a tremendous change. It will take time to sort it out. As it will take time for your family to sort it out and realize their own expectations might be different from reality. I think it was from Jamie Ridler that I first heard, “continue as you would like to begin”. Love that. I try to remember it when I feel like I’ve hit a wall and there isn’t one drop of oomph left in me to pick up and plod onward. If nothing else, be gentle with yourself.

    • heatherplett permalink*
      March 28, 2010 10:41 am

      Thanks Kim, for your understanding and compassionate words. I always love it when someone shows up and says “I’ve been there too”. 🙂

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