A few days ago, I woke up with inflammation in a new part of my body; my hands. I wondered how I would write on the board for my students and how I would even drive to work, if my hands were in a lot of pain. As I got out of bed and walked to the washroom, my body was stiff. It’s then that I realized holding a pencil wouldn’t be difficult, but even more basic actions would be. In fact, how would I get off the toilet, when for months I have been using my arms’ strength to do so, since my knees would not cooperate? Leaving the washroom, I begin my daily routine. I walk towards the water machine and when I try to grab a glass… I feel pain! Preparing my breakfast and trying to open a hemp bag is also painful…urgh so the pain in my hands will be tricky.
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It’s still difficult for me to accept how much my life has changed in two months. How actions that I took for granted are now challenging. The inflammation that is spreading to my feet, my knees, my hands and my jaw invites me to take different paths for getting through my days. Slower and more present paths.
Since I was doing well for 2-3 days, I decided to go swing dance, but oooooh…did I pay the price for it for two days. Two days going through the desert. I found my way to an oasis, where I rested for several days. Then, the following week, I got a massage. I thought my body would thank me for increasing my blood circulation and offering kindness to some painful spots. But ooooh…again, I paid for it for two days. It’s at that moment that the inflammation spread to my hands.
I start to hear the message sent from my body: kindness. I want some kindness. For months this word has been echoing within me. I thought mainly about the kindness from my life partner, but today I hear my soul speaking of a kindness that is much more profound and global. It invites me to be kind to myself. The side of me that is tired of being pushed to the limit started reclaiming my attention.
I wish to find a symbol to represent this kindness, that I want to offer myself, and solidly incorporate into my daily life. I will carry this symbol everywhere, to constantly remind myself of this need and desire for kindness. I am still looking for it.
So for now, I ponder this symbol, and I practice listening to myself…softly.
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