Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Run it like you own it!

We have all mastered the fine art of beating ourselves up, blaming ourselves and hanging in relationships long after it was time to leave and trying to fit in and compromise ourselves because well that's how most of us were trained. We tend to react to our environment rather than realize that we have the power to be co-creators with the Universe.

Recently I am learning how to be tender, loving, joyful and playful with myself as I heal. I realize that trying to recover from paralytic polio in a violent household was no easy feat. I did a very impressive job of getting myself through and now I have this exquisite opportunity to heal everything that went before as the Universe opens doors for people and teachers who support me.

I talk to my body with the tenderness and strength of a mother and father's love. I remind myself that all is healed and that I am a beautiful work in progress. I tenderly support my right hand to steady a glass or put on mascara although some days, everything connects. I relish those moments knowing that eventually those moments will become the norm, especially as I continue to love myself well. I honor how I had once lost use of my right arm due to an infection in the bone that required open joint surgery and severing of muscles and nerves in order to clean out the joint. I am also clearing out fear from my central nervous system and making new connections to heal the effects of polio. I am running my life like I own it because I do!

As I prepare for Friday's race, I have wonderful conversations with myself especially my legs and remind myself that I am strong, well trained and ready to take on the Finish at the 50. I am deeply grateful and truly blessed to now be partnering with Jeff Spratt, principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC. The work we have done since 4/19 holds me in great stead for my comeback race.

So this begs the question, how did I find my way to Jeff?

There were what I'd call yellow flags when I first started working with my previous therapist. I'd been referred to him by a runner friend so I presumed he was a runner's massage therapist. Yet he only did Zero Balancing on the front of my body. Back then I hadn't found my voice and was still in the wake of the trauma of my nephew's suicide, the events of 4/15/13 and my own trauma. As a good trauma survivor always does, she makes the best of the situation accepting what is being offered rather than asking for what I truly needed in order to heal.

Because my drive to heal was so strong, I took what was being offered and used it to heal. There were times when he was compassionate and joined with me in the field of all possibilities, sharing in my journey but it was not a whole-hearted, I'm all in with you partnering with you to heal kind of partnering with me. He wasn't a runner and couldn't resonate to what I wanted and needed to do as a runner. And after being injured in December, I told him I wasn't going to have any more surgery and was going to heal my left leg. He shrugged when I said this saying, well you just have to surrender to whatever is meant to be.

Um no I don't. I have the power to heal my body and would do it without or without his support because I run the marathon of my life like I own it.

Things began to shift with and rather than saying that he no longer wanted to work with me which hey happens. He even agreed the conversations he was having with me were convoluted. As a social worker, I know sometimes you go as far as you can with a client and then need to refer them on, he became angry and edgy with me telling me that my work was 95% done; that my body was healed and my mind just needed to catch up. God bless him but the mind and body are one and it is through coherence that total healing happens. I did ask him how he knew what I was experiencing in my own body and what I needed; he told me it is his job as a provider to dictate the terms of treatment. He'd continue to work with me but only on an every other week basis. I won't go into more details here but suffice it to say it wasn't pretty and the Universe was telling me it was time to leave.

But I hung in there for about 6 weeks of this behavior. I told him that with the upcoming anniversary, I felt vulnerable and would like to work with him on our regular schedule until after the anniversary of 4/15/13. Yes I was paying for this and it was all part of my soul's journey for which I am ever so grateful. I share it here to both shine the light on the grace (it's coming) as well as to help others realize that you don't have to settle! You own this life of yours!

The Thursday before the anniversary, after a deeply relaxing treatment, the therapist told me that he set aside time to talk with me and he hoped I'd have time to stay and listen to what he had to say. I told him that I really couldn't deal with anything at that moment and so wanted to leave but Spirit held me fast. For a moment I thought maybe he was going to tell me that he was going to retire or had been given a life changing diagnosis that would require him to only work with me every other week.

No - that wasn't the case and for almost 45 minutes, he told me that he needed to lay down boundaries and ground rules for the work we were going to do together from this day forward including no more hugs!

It was a blessed opportunity for me to see myself as an abusee .. sitting there and listening to someone's projections onto me. I went into survival mode and even began considering working with him under these new conditions until clarity came to me in a meditation. It was, however, a process over several days and receiving a strong dose of reality in a very long Skype conversation with my dear friend Christa who told me not in so many words that I needed to run my life like I own it!

I said to the Universe - I need someone new to work with.

So as I was meditating in the early morning hours on April 14th, I decided to see who was going to do chair massage at One Boston Day.

Jeff Spratt.

I googled him and at first thought he was on the Cape because his work as part of the CISM/ERMI came up first on my iPhone. Then I saw he worked at WaveHealth at the Seaport Hotel. Oh no I thought to myself, how could I ever afford to receive massage at the Seaport Hotel? Oh Universe, hmmm, the rates are the same. {And now I am paying less than what I paid with Joseph because gratuities are included and because I am a long term client, Jeff wanted to offer me a package discount!}

So I decided to take a chance and made an appointment for the Sunday before Marathon Monday.

I discovered through Facebook that we had several friends in common from my running club - L Street.

Okay Universe - this is looking better and better.

And so I dashed off an email cancelling my appointments with Joseph.

The person who made my appointment at Wave suggested that I introduce myself to Jeff at One Boston Day and described him to me. Everyone had been raving about their experience with him. I took a break from manning my table selling copies of Journey Well and providing support to survivors and their families and went up to meet him. He could see that I was experiencing a lot of emotions as I took a deep breath and said, "I just need to get through today." He said, "Let me give you a hug."

And with that sign, and feeling held and supported, I knew that the Universe sent me just the right person to partner with me on this next leg of my healing journey. What I thought to be the worst possible timing turned out to be just what the Universe was orchestrating for me.

I would come to find out in my first treatment that back in the day he provided sports massage for members of L Street Running Club after their long runs. He also asked me "What leg are we rehabbing?" He believes as I do of the body's enormous power and capacity for healing. He tells me what an absolute honor and privilege it is to be working with me.

I could have stayed with Joseph jumping through his hoops to maintain the relationship and allow myself to continue to live out the role of someone who does not get her needs met and who had to struggle through to heal, but instead I took a leap of faith believing that I deserved the very best therapist to partner with me to go the distance on my healing journey.

I am poised and ready like a filly at the gate for Friday's race. As fears arise I overtake them with knowing this race and this marathon of life is mine. I run it like I own it!

Cheers! To life! Love yourself well!

I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing journey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and 9 years of childhood domestic violence in Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility.

In Journey Well, the journey continues in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11 and the events of 4/15/13. Through my journey of healing and transformation, we learn that no matter what life circumstances happen to us, we can always find a way to journey well.

I am writing "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems," and "Going the Distance," chronicling my journey on the road to the Newport Marathon 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Mary, I loved reading this today. I started out feeling very sad reading what about what was happening in your life. However, by the end I was so happy and ready to cheer you on. BTW, BIG HUG to you!! Love Lori