My hip continues to improve (please see last post), and I am grateful for that, though at times I find myself sad. Maybe it’s because I’m dog tired, or maybe it’s because I still lapse into wrestling matches with worry and fatalism and feeling old. Three against one is not really fair.
My work with the meaning I assign to it all is, obviously, ongoing. I’ve chosen to see it from the highest possible point of view, to let the meaning unfold from a place of clarity and wholeness, and to stay the heck out of the wrestling ring (why do they call it a ring when it’s square?). For the most part, that’s what I’ve been doing, and I’ve managed to enjoy the blessings that have already shown up and to stay open to any more that might happen by. I’m grateful for that, too, as well as for the fact that I speak about these very things every Sunday. Knowing I’ll be up there inspires me to practice what I preach!
Somewhere in my process, I realized I was in good company and that some of my heroes had “bad” hips, too. Charles Fillmore, the co-founder of Unity, broke his hip in an ice-skating injury at age 10 and was left with “permanent” deformity and disability. Ralph Waldo Emerson also had a chronic hip problem. In neither case did it stop them from shining their light on the world. More good news is that both were “cured”. Fillmore, who was told he wouldn’t live past age 18, and whose withered leg was markedly shorter than the other, died at age 94 with 2 legs of nearly equal length. He attributed his healing to prayer, meditation, affirmations and denials, and basically “spiritualizing” his body.
Emerson was reportedly cured by “a quack”. Somehow I feel really good about the way both of their healings came about.
And then there’s the very first case of a hip injury recorded in the literature (as far as I know). The hip belonged to Jacob and the story is in Genesis. He wrestled with “a man” all night. At daybreak things were still at a stalemate when the man struck Jacob on the hip and “put it out of joint”. Still Jacob clung on and grappled until the man (who Jacob then realized was God or an angel of God) asked to be let go. “I will not let you go unless you bless me”, is Jacob’s reply. The angel blesses Jacob with a new name.
I have found great meaning in this story this week. For Jacob, being in exile for 20 years for fear of his brother (whose earthly inheritance he stole), an all-night wrestling match with God and a dislocated hip were finally enough for him to surrender his ego and embrace his divine inheritance. His new name signified a new state of consciousness. For me, this is possible in every moment.
The word “wrestle” is derived from the root of the word “turn.” So every time I’ve realized I was wrestling with things from a limited, fear-based, ego-driven place, I’ve remembered to “turn the other hip” to the other side of my nature, the unlimited, whole, divine side. I’ve done this by forcing myself to consider all there is to be grateful for, by breathing into my heart so that my brain didn’t continue to fly solo, by inquiring into the meaning I’ve given to things and opening up to other possibilities, and by reminding myself that joy and peace were closer than my next breath.
Every time I’ve done this, every time I’ve looked at things with both my heart and head engaged, every time I’ve turned the other hip in this way, I’ve come away with a greater understanding or awareness. Every time I’ve brought things to that place in my own consciousness where God and I are one, I’ve felt less sad, more hopeful and more empowered. I’m not sure what will happen with my hip, but if choices are to be made or actions taken, from that place I know I can make them and take them from a place of power and presence.
Jacob’s story also reminded me that whatever it is I might wrestle with, it will not let me go until I bless it. In order to bless it (or him or her), I have to first see things from a different place, a truer place, a more expansive place. And as soon as I do, the need to wrestle with it begins to let go of me. So I bless me hip, because not only has it provided me with a bunch of rest and relaxation, it has also reminded me that joy is always a choice away and that I don’t access it by wrestling. I experience it by turning; away from the often crazy and limiting meanings I give things with my surface mind, and toward the bottomless well of love, strength and wisdom that is always right here, right now.
And if that’s all I remember, that’s more than enough for now.