I missed a couple of days of work this week due to a silly and ill timed back injury. Something as simple as moving my sand tray (used for play therapy with my clients) strained a rib as well as intercostal muscle. That mindless action resulted in me being flat on my back for the better part of three days. Five days later the spasming has stopped and I can move about slowly and cautiously - no quick movements.
Being bedridden had a way of making me relinquish control in many areas of my life. At first the pain took precedence and I gave little notice to anything that couldn't fit on the bed beside me. As the pain subsided, life's responsibilities came floating back into my little universe. The Universe of Carol. Thoughts, worries, to do lists now joined me on my bed. It got very crowded. And then it happened. I was overcome with fear, remorse, worry, and anger about circumstances - about life - that had dared to continue on while I was incapacitated. Then I was flooded with the need to fix mistakes, to do damage control, to undo things that were done in my absence. The scope of my discontent swirled around leaving me dizzy with a frantic sense of helplessness. My mind, emotions and body had gone into its default mode - PANIC!
Once again I was back at the start line. Once again, I was forced to press the reset button. And thankfully, my inner wisdom along with the gentle nudging of a loving husband - who coincidentally is taking a counselling course and is diligently practicing listening skills, congruence has been reestablished. I count it as success and growth that equilibrium can be restored in mere hours rather that the weeks and months it took decades ago.
What was the lesson? Life goes on without me. I can be sick and am not responsible for decisions and actions taken by others in my absence. I don't have to FIX what others have done because what others do is not necessarily wrong. I don't have to convince people that my way is the only right way and they'll be sorry if they take a different route. I can give people the opportunity to be in charge, to make decisions, to learn and grow. I can and am willing to let go! Even as I write this I can feel the relief flowing into my heart and over my soul and mind.
How do you let go of your need to control?