My 12-year-old son broke his wrist last weekend at a hoops tournament, four weeks almost to the minute of his dream to play baseball with his travel team for a six-day extravaganza at Cooperstown, the youth baseball mecca where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located.
If you have a young boy who plays baseball, chances are he shares the same dream.
To say that my son was upset would be putting it mildly. To say that we, as his parents, weren’t heartbroken for him, would be a lie.
Even his 82-year-old grandfather, his namesake and a professional baseball player for 17 years, was teary-eyed when told the news.
But interestingly, being the deep sea diver that I am, already in less than a week’s time, some important understandings have bobbed to the surface (still to be worked through more thoroughly), slowly making this unexpected and “negative” turn of events not only acceptable, but ripe with possibility.
One of my favorite sayings is Grow is Me rather than Woe is Me. However, it is important to note that this understanding often does not come out of the blue or from passivity, and it also need not wait to surface until long after the turn of events has been resolved or healed.
I have found that to gain the most from a difficult life event, one must be willing to look actively and consciously at the multiple angles of a situation, both inner and outer, mostly inner, to fully witness their relationship to it beyond the obvious.
While every life experience is unique to those actually involved in it, I felt it may be helpful to share some of the realizations that have been brought to light for us so that others may benefit from our experience, if so desired.
They are, very briefly and so far, as follows:
1) There are always much more devastating and life-changing unfoldings than what we may be experiencing, and while that truth should be recognized and remembered throughout the healing, don’t let it diminish or invalidate the feelings at hand.
The disappointment/sadness/pain must be allowed and fully felt without guilt or shame that others may have it worse. Our experience is sacred and is to be highly valued as it is tailor-made for our own personal growth, and the growth of all others who have a relationship to it.
2) The above being said, however, there is no denying that GRATITUDE is one of the most powerful energetic vibrations in the Uni-verse and can be used to promote healing in many ways. To appreciate all of the existing blessings in one’s life serves to uplift any situation, always.
3) Looking closely at the timing of an event offers many clues as to the lessons to be learned and the root cause. What will be missed offers a large clue as to perhaps underlying, subconscious fears and beliefs. And, the more acute the perceived loss, the greater the opportunity to experience a new perspective. Very valuable insights can be dredged by paying attention to the detail of timing.
4) Identification and Attachment are two of the biggest areas to dissect. We often identify ourselves strongly in a few ways, but the bottom line is we are infinite beings underneath all the cloaks of the ego. Dismantling these cloaks is what the awakening journey is about to a great extent. The letting go of holding on too tightly to identifying ourselves in a certain one-dimensional way creates a wider, deeper vantage point—a more accurate one.
In my son’s case, he was born an athlete. Even as a very young boy, he exhibited much fluidity in his physical movements. He identifies with his athleticism more than with any other aspect of himself. Many others identify him in this way, too. To navigate life from a different perspective for several weeks, especially during a season where he has always stood out as a talented athlete, will be a profound shift for him, both as an athlete and a human being.
While his athleticism should be acknowledged as a beautiful gift, he is so much more than that alone. This injury opens up the tidy box, and THAT is a powerful thing.
5) As far as identification and attachment, it is often not simply for the injured to examine. In my case, I realized this week that I feel attachment to my son being a gifted athlete. I identify myself through him in some ways because of his natural athletic abilities. I recognized that I felt disappointment not only for him, but for me. And along with this realization, I felt shame, all of which will be looked at more closely in the ensuing weeks of healing.
6) The location of the injury provides a clear clue as to the inner growth needed and possible at this particular time. In my son’s case, it is his wrist which represents flexibility. This makes a lot of sense to us in regard to him, and we are already gently beginning to help him look at this more closely.
7) Conscious participation in our own healing is not to be missed. Doctors do not know everything! I quite honestly was astounded at not only the lack of warmth, but the lack of depth related to holistic practice from our renowned orthopedic hand specialist.
Not one mention of nutritional enhancement to help mend a bone (magnesium, zinc, calcium phosphates, high fruit and vegetable intake, high protein intake, no soda which depletes, no ibuprofen which inhibits bone growth after swelling goes down, not just milk alone if no vitamin c to help absorb, etc.) was offered. I could go on and on with the nutritional information that we discovered on our own through our desire to help his body heal optimally, but absolutely shocked that in this day and age this was not part of the allopathic assessment.
8) Visualization of the bone mending—also not mentioned by the doctor—is another terrific way to take ownership of our own healing. Look at the x-ray. Learn about the fracture online. Know in no uncertain terms exactly what our body is up to during the weeks of healing. PARTICIPATE in the healing actively and consciously!
9) And of course, not offered by the doctor (my daughters had to call me on this one knowing that this would be too much to expect in 2013 from a traditional doctor), BUT no mention of becoming more intimate with the wrist in an openly expressed, if only privately in the mind, dialogue of love and gratitude for all that a healthy wrist allows.
INVITE our own wrist to heal. Let the intelligent cells that make up the wrist know that we are doing everything in our power to support the healing. Much can be done energetically that few of us fully understand, but offering acknowledgment, appreciation and love to a body part is definitely available to all of us who choose it.
10) Understand that there is much to be gained from watching and observing life experiences rather than always actively participating. Already I sense that my son will be picking up a lot at practices and games involving how he relates to others, how peers interact, how coaches teach and nuances of the sport. A shift in focus is a tremendous gift…
11) And finally, since he has always been #11 due to his turning 11 on 11-11-11, I can already visibly detect how much this life disappointment will deepen my son.
He has since voiced many inner observations aloud letting us know that his well of compassion and empathy is expanding. His appreciation of himself, his body, others and the game of baseball unknowingly grew by leaps and bounds the minute that wrist snapped.
Once we knew that he was going to physically heal, it became quite apparent that the wrist break was actually secondary to the inner healing and growth that was possible.
I could write so much more on my uncoverings in these past six days. Perhaps more will be shared over the next few weeks, but I just wanted to offer some initial thoughts in the hope that others may benefit if they ever find themselves navigating a similar situation.
Warmth and LOVE,
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A modern bridge between the mainstream and the mystical, Annie Burnside, M.Ed. is a soul nurturer, award-winning author, and teacher specializing in parenting, conscious relationships, authentic living and spiritual development. Her book Soul to Soul Parenting won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Book Award. Connect with Annie on her Facebook Pages and engage with her on Twitter @annieburnside