Last Wednesday was familiar: Bill went to a neighbourhood film show on conservation; I stayed home. My back doesn't do sitting at movies. It was tempting to feel left out and I shook myself sternly. And made the best of it. I listened to music, read and had a long, deep bath. In fact, it was a delightful, deeply satisfying evening, which made me wonder: do we actually get what we need? Even if we don't know it!
What was that evening, that I thought I wanted to go to? Chitchat to start, which I am not good at; confusion because I am face-blind, which is a great strain in large groups; a documentary which could be condensed into a few paragraphs; pain. What did I get? Music to feed my soul and take me to a wonderland of memories; a warm whirlpool to soothe my back; an interesting book that gave me unexpected insights; a warm reunion when Bill returned. I was just where I should be.
So it made me think that perhaps when we think we are missing out or lonely, it is just that society has told us what we should do or want and waved a tantalizing picture before us – what our friends have or do, what makes a successful life.
Then I wondered do we have an innate intelligence that knows what is right for us – to which we don't listen, preferring the carrots that the media dangle in front of us? And does that wise self arrange subversively for the exact right outcome? How often do we pretzel ourselves into knots, trying to be or do what we think we should? And when we sabotage ourselves, is it in fact that wise self fighting back?
Can I look at pain the same way? It corales my life, but do I actually want to do many of the things I can't do now? Adjusting my life to pain has made spaces for growth, reflection and joy. It doesn't mean I wish pain on myself, but without it would I have stepped off the merry-go-round of trivia into pools of peace?