I’m watching the way that my right leg floats to the top of the bathwater even while my left leg rests gently on the bottom of the tub. This tells me that since I broke that bone in my foot, that this leg has .... lost perhaps some muscle and that the left leg has picked that up as it bears the weight of my whole body.
There was a time when those two things were switched. Twenty years ago when I had my left hip replaced it was the right leg that bore the weight for the whole body. And really before that it took a lot of the excess and even still I probably still use it a little bit more. It's also my dominant foot. So in this moment when I can put no weight on my right side, the left is doing something that it has never had to do before. Carry a whole load.
It’s just an interesting thing for me to think about how much that models just moments of life. Where sometimes we rely on something more than other times, when perhaps in a relationship or in a moment we are the one that bears the weight and in a moment we are the one that has to say I need you to help me. It’s a lesson that I learned both then and again, to say yes when people offer to help, to actually ask when people say let me know if there's anything I can do. A kind neighbor has picked up a few things at the drugstore for me. My dad took me to an appointment. And a friend who was coming to do a task in the house also picked me up from another appointment where I had cabbed to, and brought me back .... ....
Life is like that I guess, even in our whole selves we nurture children, we carry them and lift them and there may come a day like the one I'm living in where I am caring for my father-in-law .... .... There are moments when even as adults we turn back towards our parents looking for their comfort, their advice perhaps, or just their listening ear. And other times when we are the listening ear.
I don't know why in our culture it has become so hard to ask for help to, um, we seem to value the doers, the givers, without recognizing that it becomes both one sided and kind of .... I’m not sure what the word is but I'm thinking of patriarchal or .... When we will only offer and not receive, it's as if our offering is for us and not for the other. We .... become the great saviors of her own story the superhero. And in our cultural myth the superhero doesn't need to be rescued. And it's not even about rescue it's just about life. It's about give-and-take. It’s about offer and receive ....
I have to learn not to put weight on my right foot because it will heal if I don't put weight on it, if I don't further damage the break or misalign the bone. And if I do, because I refuse to consider that that foot doesn't work or that foot can't offer in this moment, then I risk damaging it and ultimately it will be out of commission for much longer.
And I think we're just the same. Learning the lessons, and I say this as someone who learns this lesson over and over and over.
And I am grateful, I have to say, for the people who patiently offer, say yes when I ask. Look at me in bemusement when I think I can do it myself. But are standing by for when I say, “Actually can you help me with this?”
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