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heartbeat: 100,000 Steps

Hi All,

It's back to the "heartbeat" series with another edition called "100,000 Steps." As always, there are so many things to write about in the process of healing and moving forward, but this phrase came to me the last few weeks as I was thinking about a particular relationship in my life. I won't say much about it at the moment, but the phrase is regarding what it feels like to get from point A to B or even A to Z in some of the adventures and circumstances of life. When something good comes in after so much prayer and petition, your mind has to shift from what it would be like if that thing you wish for could happen to what you need to do if it actually starts to happen. If you've been waiting a really long time for something particular you've prayed for to happen in your life, this shift can be an important learning process because it tests you, your baggage, and your ability to be transformational in your life.

I've talked about my recent car accident a few times now since it just happened 5 weeks ago and I'm still in the ups and downs of the healing process. What I have noticed more in the last few weeks is how much it affected me at the heart center where my seatbelt was. The force of the rear end hit into my previous car shoved my body forward not in a coil but as a long line from my head to torso being forced forward towards the steering wheel while I was then immediately pushed into two skids during the increasingly dangerous hail storm that reduced the ability to see. That's why I had slowed down before I was hit. It was becoming harder to see and a normal speed would not allow me to stay in control of my car. That piece of information is pretty important. If I had been going any faster and I had been hit at the rate of speed that the kid behind me hit me, I might not have been able to control my car or the force of the hit could have put more pressure into my sternum making it harder for my body to heal right now from the chest inflammation and whiplash. Currently, my PT has the burden of trying to solve problems at my neck, chest, and lower back. I was taking a walk around a lake yesterday, and I realized by the time I had gotten about three fourths of the way through that I was having trouble walking. Elements of the accident force had dysregulated my nervous system and skeletal alignment. Even doing basic yoga poses are difficult at the moment. That said, I'm committed and I'm pushing through because I know that non-movement is no way to get back to normal movement and strength. What I've been more humbled by though is my healing and inflammatory response. Some days, I'll make huge steps in progress only to have a day when I'm a mess and fragile. I do the work I know how to do and then I have to surrender and let my physical therapist help me clean up what my body is doing. What holds me humble is how much trauma was hidden in my body. I wasn't just physically tight. PTSD had ravaged my body for the better part of a few years both metabolically and mentally, so I was tight from all of the guarding and from the accident. What the car accident did though was wake up all of the trauma inside my body at the head, neck, chest, heart, and lower back. After every release technique that my physical therapist would perform, I would then spend some days in awe of what would come up from old chapters in my life. Everything from childhood memories to more recent held trauma from past relationships. Even the deep grief of losing my grandmother came back to me. Then, of course, with the sensitivity and vulnerability, all of your baggage comes up so you can figure out where you are and how you will proceed. At least, that is the way it has been for me. My PT is just glad it's coming up and out. It's happening so quickly that I'm having to change nutrition protocols and find new ways to adjust so I heal correctly while these dynamic shifts are happening.

So, let me come back to these 100,000 steps. What I realized as all this was happening is that there was something I wanted but I had to consider my side and the other side of the relationship. It was and it is this really BIG thing. I don't have all the answers and neither does the other side, but at the moment, it's a place for healing. There is an endgame or a result that I'd like to see but as I look at it and see the moving pieces and the things that need to come together, I realize how many steps are involved. It can seem daunting, especially when we live in a society that is all about getting what you want when you want it. Beautiful things take time, and I am reminded of this all the time, and I am a product of what time can do to a broken life. I'm no stranger to it, and I am still the living progress of time and transformation. We all are, but for those of us who truly want the best thing and the good thing to happen, it's important that we pay attention to each individual step, not just the 100,000th step. So, I am invited back into the place of intimacy and vulnerability. It's an unknown territory because the end result may be that I'm not doing so much on my own and alone. It's not that I can't do life on my own. It's that I don't want to. I want to do life with a good man, and healing myself to wholeness to be that good woman for a good man in my life is the product of making good use of your time. We are all trying to make use of our time and efforts better during this pandemic, but when you realize that much of the great things can be a 100,000 step journey and that your heartbeat calls you to pay attention more to each step rather than losing the trail, then you may be called to make different choices like I have. It's a pivot that is allowing me to stop the madness. As I focus more on what is truly important to me and I'm listening to the good people in my life telling me to put my healing first, it helps me to support the process of others around me who are doing the same. I'm better at helping others heal when I put my healing first. I have a larger cup of love to pull from when I'm filling my cup up first. I'm more present. I can discern my needs better. I'm not weighed down by the world, but I am an active force in it. A large part of this process was getting unattached to the old ways of doing things, and allowing the good in my life to lead the way into something better and more effective. Leading with the heart doesn't have to be a soft thing. It can be a strong thing. My heart knows love from so much depth and it's teaching me again to find it. My love can be soft, silent, supportive, active, spoken, and navigating. It seeks to find the way through. On a 100,000 step journey, remember that each step can be a miracle. Each step is important. Each step is helping us let go of more baggage so that we can do more with the steps ahead. Don't be in too much of a hurry rushing toward the 100,000th step and miss these little steps. Your life is hidden in them. One thing that I have learned by trying to plan and organize and nudging things forward is how much this can be one sided if the person you want to do all this with is still working to get there with you. Don't run ahead. If you are committed to the journey, breathe and listen. Don't miss out on knowing each other on the levels that are most important when you want to arrive at an elegant, mature, deep, loving, and committed relationship at the 100,000th step. Do the work. Explore the simple. Love the soft places. Let love in to reshape and heal you. Be grateful that God showed up to help out.

When we forget that we are small against this big force of God out there helping us on the path, we realize that it's okay to not have all the answers but to just commit to being in the relationship while the next steps show up. In all the ways we protect ourselves for all the right reasons, let's not forget that vulnerability with the right person at the right time can break barriers and help us move forward. Many of us want to move forward and not stay in setback, so when something good comes in, take moments to express deep gratitude. This will continue to do good. Right now, we could use all the good we can get, and the more we appreciate the good in our lives, the more that we can be a force of good for others because we know and remember what it looks and feels like. Commit to this. Until next time, Jennifer

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