As some of you know, my back went out big time about four weeks ago. I had to cancel my first FREE Happiness seminar and many other events as well. Needless to say, I wasn't elated about this but after years of dealing with back issues I knew what I was in for or so I thought.
POSITIVE THINKING DOESN'T ALWAYS WORK
The day my back protested I decided that "this wasn't happening" and trudged forward to my boyfriend's house as planned. We decided to cruise around a local nursery. They had decorated and had reign deer for the holiday season. Oooooo! Shiny! My favorite!
Oofta. My back was killing me but I willed myself to put it out of mind. Mind over matter - right? Phrases such as, "My back feels awesome!" and "Wow, I really think this is getting better!" and "If I can just keep moving it'll loosen up," danced in my head. All the sticky-sweet, positive goo I could muster would not will my aching back into submission. That became painfully apparent the next day.
WHAT? TOO SOON?
Although I am dating the love of my life, I didn't really plan to show him my screaming, crying, writhing side just yet. However, my spine decided to speed up that checkpoint in our relationship. If it could speak, it would have said, "Get ready for the boom lady and gentleman!"
I was 50 miles away from my doctor and my back was in full-blown spasm. Boys and girls, this happiness chick was not so happy. Neither was her sweetie. I could see his concern through his supportive smiles.
My boyfriend and dad were able to get to me to the doc and then home to wallow in my misery. I was irritated and in extreme pain. Who knew that turmoil could bring gifts I didn't know I needed?
HINDSIGHT IS 20/20
As I laid on my couch, drugged up, angry, impatient and in pain I stared at our Christmas tree. My brain mentally moved ornaments from left to right, and down a touch so that they were placed more evenly (OCD much?). I studied each item and remembered when my kids brought them home from school. I thought about how I carefully cut the wooden ones on a band-saw. I cried as I remembered that this would be the last Christmas with my girls in this home. But one ornament stuck out - mocked me even.
JOY DAMN IT.
Joy. Joy you say? I've been laying here for days, I can barely get myself to the restroom and certainly not without sounding like I have expletive turrets. You mock me with your simple, unwavering word. Joy. Harrumph. Day after day I'd look over at the ornament and I'd roll my eyes. Until one day joy wore me down.
If I would have kept a log of my "Joy Ornament Experience" it may have looked like this:
Wednesday 10:00am: Cursed out the joy ornament as it stared back at me... I won - it officially sucks.
Wednesday 12:00pm: Dad came over. Showed great concern and love during this time. Gave me an amazing meal. Hmmm...this joy thing doesn't seem so bad.
Wednesday: 2:00pm: Meds wore off. Caught a glance of the joy ornament through my pain filled scrunched up eyes - #$%@# you joy!
Thursday: Boyfriend shows extreme love and compassion. I was able to see and feel a side of him that, due to my back issues, was shown early in our relationship. Hmmm...joy ornament, I'm not with you yet, but you're breaking me down.
Friday: Woke from one of a hundred daily hydrocodone "naps" feeling woozy. My daughter had done the dishes and swept the floor. I look up at the ornamnet and say, "I love you man!" Realized that drugs were creating more problem than they were worth. Decided that was the last dose.
Saturday: Drug free. Immobile, but still feeling joyous due to the extreme love shown to me by those around me. Joy ornament, I won't take it back, "I DO love you man."
WHAT'S THE MORAL OF THE STORY?
Don't do drugs. But, seriously the moral here is that allowing life to flow, even when it doesn't look the way you think it should, aids you to see the beauty and opportunity all around you. My "downtime" allowed me to see love and compassion that I may never have been able to see clearly before.
Seek the good that's nestled in between the pain. Joy awaits you there.