The Art of Healing


Some things can’t be rushed, like dough rising, embryos gestating, flowers blooming. Healing is another and has its own timetable. Sometimes the healing happens in the waiting and may be attached to other aspects of ourselves that have been hidden from view. Emotional wounds as well as physical take time to mend. And occasionally the healing cannot happen in isolation, and require support such as a friend, a counselor, a cast or a crutch. New situations, injuries, crises can be opportunities for growth in ways we can’t imagine until we allow the process to unfold in its own time. I remember the story of the young boy who tried to help the butterfly come out if its cocoon. The butterfly did not survive, as it needed the pushing through and out to strengthen its wings. The newly emerging butterfly was unable to fly without this necessary work.

I have witnessed this phenomenon for many years while sitting with clients as they recover from various life events. Now, while mending from my second ACL knee repair surgery, I am witnessing my own healing journey. Not that I haven’t had my share of wounds over the years. However, this one began 38 years ago when the initial injury happened while playing basketball in high school. Over the years my body adapted and compensated well for knee instability. Now, my knee is physically stable but my mind and body is struggling to adjust to this new sate of affairs. Deeper work is needed to remember how to walk with a stable knee, awaken receptors in the brain that have been asleep all these years and allow the realignment process to unfold. The body has amazing healing capacities so I am not surprised at all the ways it has adapted over the years to keep me upright i.e. tight hips, rotated spine, unaligned shoulders & neck, foot pronation, etc. The knee apparently is a very sensitive joint and the body responds accordingly to the absence of stableness, just doing its job.

According to my Doctor, I should have been able to begin running by 6 weeks post surgery. Running went by the way side years ago due to my knee so was looking forward to tying up those laces with much anticipation. Instead disappointment and frustration are following me around like a shadow. I am choosing, however, to use these feelings as pointers toward different ways of viewing this dilemma such as being more present focused, walking more mindfully, learning new strategies to grow and gratitude that I could have the surgery & potential for healing. My physical therapist says it takes thousands of times to create a body memory in muscles and tissues. I am still in the hundreds and just taking baby steps. This process feels as if I am learning how to walk all over again and I have even crawled recently to start from the very beginning hoping to reawaken the sleeping parts of my brain. Curiosity rather than despair is now my practice as I awaken every day to some new discovery on my path to healing and stability.