I have been doing an immense amount of gardening this past week. I couldn’t seem to get the thought out of my mind that I couldn’t be peaceful until the weeds and dead plant refuse were completely cleared. I worked into the evening when I could no longer even see the weeds. The pain in my body increased, but I chose to ignore it. Cleaning up that garden was the goal! Amidst this obsession, I found myself looking at my tendencies to equate myself with one of a million “magical thinking diagnoses” called obsessive compulsive disorder.
I kept pushing away that pain in my body. Like in my youth as a competitive swimmer, dancer and musician I obeyed the drill, “no pain, no gain,” I kept my body slaving away on that garden.
Then, yesterday while settling in for my morning devotions (prayer and meditation) I found myself just “losing it” with myself and pouring out so much sadness, frustration and grief about how I have been driving my body (a three times cancer survivor) to work ever so much harder. What, God, am I trying to prove?!
I think I finally grasped how unkind I had chosen to be toward this body. I hated its “betrayal” and had been using it to punish that “me,” the self that made a disease. I let go. I called on Spirit, called on forgiveness. I waited, I cried, I blew through half a box of kleenex. I let the sadness dissipate. I blessed the body and remembered what the Course says about how its purpose is for Communication. How can it do its purpose if it is in chronic pain and being beaten up by my relentless (egoic) mind, driving it like my old, tough swim coach?
I vowed to be kind to the body; to remember what it’s purpose is and to be grateful for all it has done in my 63 years.
The weeds may have to wait, but I trust that the eyes I give to Spirit will show me the true beauty of the garden.