No Exit Anywhere Until the End of This Road

The long stretch of interstate is straight and visible for miles ahead, with desert on either side. Going through a difficult stretch is inevitable at some point in everyone’s life. But, sometimes, it appears that there is nothing more to one’s life than lack of comfort, that there’s nowhere welcoming to safely rest and only a lack of assurances that all will be well because we’re not taking action to steer our lives along a better road. There are so many choices along the way of one’s life, accompanied by a small voice acting as a GPS system. It urges us to turn from the self-destructive course we are stubbornly pursuing, to think about the unhappinesses we are bringing to ourselves and others. The only surety is the inevitable dead end.

The grade isn’t too steep, but it’s slippery and the road ahead is only dimly seen.  Are you taking good care of yourself?  When one doesn’t know one’s self, can’t see one’s self because we’ve so many lies, rationalizations and other ways of guarding us from seeing the truth about ourselves, it’s easy to take one wrong turn after another. Self awareness doesn’t have to be, but it can be scary, so we slam on the brakes and deny the truths around us – about us.  But this only leads us to veer out of control.  Thing is, our life roads don’t need to be scary.  We just need to keep our eyes open and accept what is before we can change the course of our lives.  Not ‘put up and shut up,’ but just a knowing of our circumstances so that we’re targeting the right thing for constructive change or a dose of prevention.

Dappled sunlight on the road plays tricks with one’s eyes, so be careful and alert. Shadows and light, truth and lies, what’s wrong and what’s right are all intermingled as we encounter people at all levels of growth on life’s various byways. Their understandings and our understandings can either meld in a partnership of tolerance and compromise or clash in an arrogant assertion of having ‘the right.’ Sometimes, in the shifting light and shadow, we don’t see those who manipulate us, dividing us one against another. Too many times, we don’t seem to care that we’re willing believers in the propaganda and grab eagerly for a ‘we win, you lose’ course.

The road can present a beautiful and serene vista and, if we don’t allow our gaze to wander beyond our own situation, we need never see how things are for others on their paths.  We need never inconvenience ourselves, extend a hand. If you’re enjoying the scenic route, it’s likely a well-deserved locus you’ve arrived at. However, while everyone needs to travel their own road, a simple gesture (even a gesture of restraint and tolerance) can keep another fueled to get them where they need to go – or at least help to make their journeying a little easier and more pleasurable.

With no lasting permanency in any material thing we’ve accomplished when we arrive at our final destination, what imaginings were you pursuing when earthly material and social gains are not yours to keep?

 

 

Not the Engine but the Undercarriage!

UndercarriageThere’s a parallel between doctors and mechanics. There are well-meaning doctors who will check out all of the more obvious aspects of our chassis (height, weight, blood pressure, temperature) and miss the glaring Undercarriage2but less well known foundational weaknesses. Our bodies are, with no doubt whatsoever, the finest examples of engineering and design on the planet. My bias might be showing a bit, but the potential that our bodies support is beyond phenomenal. Nevertheless, one must have a mechanic worthy of the vehicle. And, you know what? As the ‘consumer,’ I want to know what the bill’s for – an honest, informative conveyance of the state of the conveyance!

So… when the doc is pressing upon and manipulating our tummies, what’s the deal? I’d never heard of this one and wonder at having paid a monthly specialist’s fee to Comcast to learn of the following medical condition:

Diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation): In men, the condition is caused by internal pressure on the front of your abdomen, around your belly button, causing the connective tissue in your abdomen to separate or weaken. If any of my wonderful family of men or guy friends were to encounter this problem (what with the work and play they engage in), me and mine would probably have thought: Yep, hernia. Not necessarily so!

In pregnant or postpartum women, the condition is caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis by the growing uterus. Geez! Who’d have thought? I, myself, never heard of this from any doctor associated with my own pregnancies nor the pregnancies of any of my family members or friends. Looking for a postpartum exercise program, I feel profoundly grateful to have found Courtney Wykoff’s MommaStrong programs.

We drive our mechanical and biological vehicles every day, yet it’s unsettling to realize just how little we know about what makes them tick.  Doctors and mechanics could tell us stories about having tried to have an intelligent conversation around the ‘what’s it that does it’ only to have us look back at them with a blank or quizzical face. (Then there’s always the “Yeah.  I know exactly what you mean!” patient – the perceptive fixit person proceeds to fill the clueless in.) Still, we both have our bottom lines: I want to have my bill interpreted so that I’m informed, whether it’s with regard to my bio-vehicle or my motor vehicle. And given the importance of both to the quality of our lives, I’d like to know about potentials before a medical or mechanical incident occurs so that I am empowered to do something about it (and, hopefully, pay a little less out of pocket).

Undercarriage3

Here I am, heavin’ and grievin’ along with the latest in cardio and core strengthening exercises, and all the time I’m doing things that are counterproductive because healing is always first! I’m one of the lucky ones to have found out about my undercarriage before crashing. Remember, we’re partners with the fix-it folks – and the mark of a great fix-it professional is one that recognizes their due diligence to share with you as a full partner.