Since I don’t have a television, the only times I watch are at the gym, at other people’s homes or (as I am doing right now), in the hospital. Propped up in bed with yet another health challenge. A little more than a month ago, it was a heart attack. Back in November, it was shingles and in September, a knee injury. This time it is kidney stones. One jumped ship on Friday, another yesterday and a buddy of theirs is still on board according to the ultra-sound I had today. One of the shows I have wanted to watch for awhile is SuperSoul Sunday. In this episode, Oprah was on one side of the microphone and author Dani Shapiro, who wrote a number of books- most recently one called Devotion, which I have not yet read, was on the other. Oprah reflected on a question that Dani’s son Jacob had asked, if his mom believed in God. “Yes, I believe in God. I believe that there is an invisible fabric that connects us all and that God is here for all of us, for everyone.” and then she added “He’s watched his mother live in the questions. I brought God into our home by living with the questions, not having to come up with the answers.”
Living in the questions is often challenging for me, since as a therapist, I have wanted to understand what makes people (including myself) tick. I dig and delve into the stories that led them from where they were to where they are now. Not so much so I can know ‘why,’ since that is a useless question. The answer is sometimes ‘because’. It is more a function of recognizing that answers are sometimes there. And as a therapist/teacher/author, I feel responsible for helping people discover them. Living in the question implies a broad sense of trust that no matter what happens, we are safe and held. I am able to go to that place sometimes, but still struggle with total surrender.
I am in such a place at the moment. Waiting for the doc to sign the discharge orders to spring me from this joint. More changes afoot with this stay. Alteration in diet, meds and mindset. Feeling and being. Human and vulnerable. Allowing for emotions to flow instead of toughing it out. Letting people take care of me. Accepting love and not just giving it lip service.
Living in the question means I may never know how these medical conditions manifested in my life. I can make an educated guess, that stress and co-dependent caregiving had something to do with it. I can imagine that repressed grief over my parents’ deaths in the last few years contributed. Poor sleep, emotional eating, pushing myself beyond my limits are markers as well. Some could say that they are metaphors for a need to receive and let go.
Regardless of whether I will ever be certain, I am called on to live in ‘the just don’t know.’ May I do it with greater ease and grace every day.
Photo credit: ? by orsorama/everystockphoto