Yesterday I got the results of an MRI. My knee has a couple of meniscus tears.
So here’s the dilemma: I’m preparing for a four-day retreat to inquire into one question: What if My Body Isn’t a Problem?
I notice that I keep thinking this knee…and the way it can catch or slightly lock…is a problem. I’ve been thinking that this is so for some time now.
I’m a big fan of walking my talk (in this case, I’m limping my talk), so this puts me in a bit of a pickle.
Here’s what I’m noticing. When I believe that this knee is a problem, I sometimes give it lots of attention. So far, so good.
But sometimes I try to fix its problem by over-stretching it or torturing it with heavy manipulation. This has resulted in not much change, aside from a lot of pain. When I believe it’s a problem, I also stop asking questions and believe others’ diagnoses. Like that of the doctor who assured me twice that it was “just an I. T.. band problem.”
When I believe my thinking, or his thinking, I give up, stop listening, sometimes for as long as two years.
It’s hard for me to find the place where the knee isn’t a problem now that I have actual proof that there’s something that needs to be fixed.
But I can see where my thinking about it has been more than a little problematic. Believing I knew what its problem was, my mind got creaky. It lost some of its resiliency. It focused on its solution, without taking in the reality that it wasn’t getting better. It just kept on with its plan to focus on the IT band.
It took a skilled friend, a physical therapist, to finally open my mind: what if it’s not the same problem you thought it was?
A world of possibilities opens when the mind opens. I can get an MRI, find out my options, decide whether to have surgery, address the actual problem rather than the imagined one.
OR I can decide there are other alternatives, listen to friends with similar injuries who have strengthened their knees through exercise, who have found a specialist who’s helpful.
OR I can see all the ways that the injury has been a solution…where it has slowed me down, inspired me to take some gentle yoga, to read a book, to quietly sit and absorb the beauty around me.
So many ways to freedom. It’s good to notice that solutions, “problems,” and everything else related to this knee can be stressful or helpful. Without the belief that there’s a problem, I’m left with the entertainment of watching all of the opinions and thoughts that just keep happening.
I’m also left with curiosity about what reality will show me next…as the knee finds its way to healing (with a little help from an open mind).