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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Stiff or Flexible: it's up to you

Ten months seems a long time, but maybe not for a body which needs to be healed. I slipped a disk last February and today, trying to do the shoulder bridge at pilates, I was so aware of the rigidity of that region of my spine and how, rather than rolling back down, I just suddenly clunk.

Clunk. We have an injury. It heals, but unless we work at it, not fully. There is a residual rigidity. A stiffness and an awkwardness and an apprehension. A tinge of fear that too much pressure on that spot will cause another collapse, another slippage of the inner gel that keeps me straight and is designed to keep me supple.

Interesting that what is designed to keep me supple and flexible can, when leaked out of its allotted space, be the thing that hurts and stiffens.

After a few attempts at the shoulder bridge the teacher thought I was beginning to look a bit more agile and able to peel off the mat one vertebra at a time. I am not so sure. I still felt a clunk when I tried to lay my spine back down. But I have hope. 

The stiffness (I hope) doesn’t need to be there. It is not a life sentence. It can ease off. But I sense it will only ease off as I strengthen my core and learn how (after 63 years) to better carry this skeletal frame on which the rest of my body hangs.

I am still apprehensive though. Fearful of re-injuring myself. Tending to want to pamper and protect rather than extend and project. 

I’ve said it before, but the Bible says it 366 times. God knows our proclivity to fear. Do not be afraid, he counsels. Counsels? Or commands? 

He counsels because he knows that it is only in allowing our bruised bits to be vulnerable that they will be healed and strengthened and better able to withstand new tests further down the line. 

He commands because he knows how many excuses we can make to exposing ourselves to further hurt. 

I know I can’t do it on my own. I can’t shed the fear without his help. I can’t shed the strait jacket of anxiety which can cripple both my body and my spirit. 

There was a woman bent double who Jesus encountered once. When he set her free she was able to fully stand once again. 

I want to fully stand, to fully lift, to fully flex, once again, and trust that with God’s help and my own willingness to work at it, that will happen.

When Jesus sets us free, we are free indeed.

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