We must talk; I have something to straighten out with you. I speak to the knots and the pain and the tension that have wrapped themselves around my spine, like a mean scarf. And I say to my precious lower back, fear not. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Have we not endured together all these years? Have we not experienced agonies and delights? And haven’t we always been grounded, protected, safe, fully equipped to get the lessons and move on wiser and saner, with more clarity and conviction than we had before. Has this not been the pattern of our life together? Of course it has. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
So I remind you, my precious back, that we are powerful, and though I know this in my head, I have not always embraced it in my heart, and, on occasion, my words have unsheathed a puny, pale heart, a doppelganger to Big Heart, chief guide and trailblazer of our days together. I see these words have caused you concern as you feel us temporarily losing balance and forgetting how solid is the ground under our feet.
You are frightened and I am the cause of it. I am very sorry for this. I have spoken negatively, fearfully, uncertainly—when all along there is hope, there is courage, there is clarity about what to do, how to be, how to honor what we yearn for and nurture the possibilities that always follow yearning. Yes, it’s true, there is this little victim in me that sometimes wants to bemoan the enormity of this next shift. She might like to make a big deal out of it. She might like to get weepy and wonder if her sadness is going to over-run her one day. She can be pitiful. But she’s so small as to be almost unidentifiable these days. Just ignore her when she comes around. I’m tellin’ you.
Let me ground myself on our behalf. Let me stand strong and tall. Let me breathe deeply. And let me remind you of this: I have studied for years. I have read until words blur. I have sat at the feet of gurus, and wise men, and teachers, and trainers, and therapists. I have sought answers everywhere. I have requested guidance. I have prayed, long and fearfully. I take care of it all. I have resources. I have guides. I don’t need to do this alone, but I could. I am enough. I have wisdom. I have purity of heart. I have high ambitions and good intentions.
And there’s one more thing you need to know. This next shift we’re headed toward is not really my shift. It’s Life’s shift; that’s Life with a capital L. I’m just along for the ride. But in order to take this ride, I have to have a good back, so come on now. It’s time. It’s OK to release, and it’s OK to relax. Life has everything covered and is filled with confidence. With assurance even. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
We don’t always get to know what version of “well” Life will swoosh through us. It’s a big powerful sound, a rush of experience and expansion, details and feelings, and sights that howl in my body. Tiny things like water dropping off the tip of an icicle on a sunny day. And big things like winds that destroy homes and rip up land before my eyes. All the ten-thousand things humming a song so wondrous. If I don’t cave in to that little victim, I hear Life’s hum all the time. A deep, glorious hum constantly reminding me that I’m just the lucky one who gets to feel the swoosh.
So dear back, have you been blocking the swoosh? Have you been stiffening yourself against the blow you think will destroy you? It will not destroy you; I promise you this. It will fill you with such power and such energy and such clarity that you will be struck dumb by the sound. Dumb and grateful. Deeply grateful to know that Life is moving forward to god-only-knows where and you’re letting yourself go along with it. So come on, let’s go with it, OK? All will be well and all will be very well.
(This is the fourth in a series of four writing on the occasion of a sore back. I really hope it's the last of this series!)