In case you didn’t know (you probably wouldn’t if we’re not facebook friends or real-life friends) I just recently took a pretty hilarious tumble and ended up with a not-quite-as-hilarious sprained wrist. I had to keep it wrapped up like an unfortunate sausage for a week and not having full use of one of my hands made me realize a few things. First, it’s really hard to do things with just one hand. For example, tying shoelaces; putting on make-up; washing dishes; buttoning a shirt. The list goes on. And second, walking around with a physical injury is a lot like walking around with a broken heart.
The way we move through the world changes when a piece of ourselves is hurt. With my injured wrist, I was uncomfortable, carrying around the extra weight of my bandages. My shoulder and my forearm ached from constantly having to keep it elevated. I didn’t sleep well, because I kept rolling over and hurting my wrist. And I moved awkwardly, being off-balance. I was clumsy (even more so than usual). It is getting better, but even now that it’s healed, it still aches a bit, and the marks are still there where I scraped my hand on the pavement. And that’s how it is with heartache.
We carry around our aching hearts, doing what we can to protect them from further injury. Sometimes, we don’t sleep well. Sometimes, the weight of our badly hurt feelings drags us down and tires us out and makes us move awkwardly. We have to learn to do simple things a different way. We have to give ourselves time to heal and healing is such an uncomfortable business. It aches and it itches and it wears us out and it frustrates the hell out of us that we can’t do those very simple things. But eventually, the injuries do heal. It takes time and patience and heeding the good advice of people who know what they’re talking about. We have to be kind to ourselves. We have to take time. We have to learn to move differently and be uncomfortable. And we have to make space for ourselves to rest and to heal. But we will heal.