I have this stupid nagging injury. When I really think about it, it’s been plaguing me for the better part of a year. Since it won’t seem to heal, I’ve been having regular stretch sessions, adding more protein into my diet, and foam rolling several times a day. I tell everyone I know what’s going on with my leg, hoping they’ll have the answer for an easy cure. I've enlisted a masseuse who spent an entire hour on my affected muscles. I even went to the doctor, a place I avoid (usually until it's too late).
And then it hit me. I am backtracking, taking care of a problem that has arisen as a result of my own neglect. If I had taken care of myself to begin with, maybe I wouldn’t be here. If I had made sure I stretched properly before running, and especially before sprinting, I wouldn't have injured myself. If I had spent more time strength training, maybe my hamstrings wouldn't be so weak. If I had been on a regular routine of eating enough protein after a workout and foam rolling/stretching at night, maybe I would've stayed looser and avoided injury. Instead, I am retracing my steps, trying to make up for the things I didn't do, like a hamster in her ball, always trying to get ahead, but bumping into the wall again and again, going nowhere.
So it is with the state of my soul.
The injury is not a pulled hamstring, or an over-stressed IT band, it is a broken spirit. And the broken spirit is a result of skipped down time, drive through dinners, and constant complaining. It's not giving others the benefit of the doubt, but assuming the worst. It's perusing facebook feeds in place of morning devotions. It's placing precedence on Pinterest perfection instead of real, messy, perfectly imperfect life.
And so I backtrack. I make a plan to get up earlier to be alone in the still, dark quiet of my home. I write out a menu for the week and do the grocery shopping. I place a rubber band on my wrist, with the silent promise to move it from one wrist to the other with each complaint uttered. I vow to seek out the best in others, and to hold my tongue when I want to gripe about someone or something. I sweep up the pieces of my perfectly imperfect life and put it back together, in an attempt to mend my heart in the process.
That's what it all is: a process. And it'll never be easy. As long as I keep up with the process, and do it again and again, I will be alright. The more I hold my tongue, the less I'll let it get away from me. The more I plan ahead, the better I will feed my body. The more I schedule down time and time with God, the more peace I will experience and the more my body will crave this peace. And it will get easier to accept that life isn't perfect and to recognize the important things. What's important, my spirit, is intact when I take care of myself before I get to the broken place. I keep on trying. I keep on doing the next best thing, without looking back, always moving forward, always getting better.