Then, I began reflecting upon how I had caused this. It was so clear to me that I had allowed self-pity to claim my consciousness to the point of losing my temper. Since I hadn't neutralized the anger before flying down the hall, it gained momentum with each step, opening the space for karma or fate or destiny, take your pick, to deliver the lesson.
Now, I wasn't going to be going anywhere too quickly for a while.
So, if self-pity had produced the lesson, then compassion would be the suitable outcome. Empathy would make me more self-reliant, more willing to be honest in my assessment of situations, more forgiving of the time required sometimes to learn. I know how important walking around is, I learned that lesson over a decade when a lower back pain put me flat on my back for a few days. This lesson was not so much about the physical condition of mobility, as it was the symbolic condition of my spiritual foundation. I knew if I was going to heal this, to become better than I was before the injury, I had some serious claiming to do. The lack of mobility gave me sufficient space to reflect upon these things, and I did.
Within six days I was able to stand – in shoes – while giving a four-hour presentation. Within six weeks, only a dull pain remained when I would move the foot in certain directions. Within six months, I was able to practice most of my chi gong movements. Along the way, when self-pity might rear its head like a hydra, I would return my mind to the commitment I made the night the entire experience was set into motion. I made conscious choices to give my best, even when tired, and let go of my expectation for reimbursement for kindness. Conditional love is one thing, conditional compassion is yet another. I learned that this year, and my life is freer and clearer for it.
That's what my thoughts connected to as I walked out to the Peace Dome nursing my pained thumb. Having finally decided to consult my chiropractor on the condition of that left foot, the final remnants of discomfort had been treated just days before. I am so grateful to be walking with ease and grace where there could have been a very different outcome.
Injuries and healing. Temporary conditions providing opportunities for a greater understanding. Perhaps Wanda the Wasp sacrificed her life at the bottom of my teacup in the cause of my revelation. If so, she did not die in vain, her purpose is fulfilled beyond the confines of her imagination, or my own.
The memory of the sharp pain in my left foot and my right hand can surface in my conscious mind even now, and when they do, my response is to give thanks for the power of restoration and a bodily temple I am learning to better appreciate each day. A year that began with a careless moment of self pity fueled by anger and resentment, ended in a thoughtful moment of support guided by empathy and compassion. The attitude made all the difference in the world; it always does.
I attended to Wanda's legacy for most of the hour's gathering in the dome. Projecting healing to my thumb as I massaged it. After I left the gathering, I didn't think about the sting again until hours later at the midnight meditation. When I moved to place my hands in mudra poses, I realized the thumb didn't hurt anymore, and my foot rested peacefully in full lotus.
Lessons understood and applied. A New Year had begun.•
Barbara Condron is governor of international education for the School of Metaphysics, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational institute in the U.S. The author of two dozen books, her latest is The Takaka Yoga of Kuan Yin: Receiving Your Inner Teacher. Learn more about her at www.som.org.