Two years ago, nerves in my left arm were damaged during a surgery. In the days that followed, although it was hard for my mind to be willing to even form these words, it became clear that my arm and hand were numb and paralyzed. Even typing this now I don’t want to breathe.
My mind jumped immediately to permanent loss. No more guitar. No typing. No feeling, Less masculine. Obviously crippled. Permanent.
About two months later, I received an unexpected call from a business associate. Although we had had a working relationship for many years, he had never called me. On that day, for unknown reasons, he told me about a time when his left arm had been paralyzed during a surgery and he was no longer able to play guitar (I didn’t know he was a guitarist.) He talked to me about his slow, but complete recovery. He gave some advice on how to proceed.
In that conversation, he introduced something that had vanished from my mind: that time heals wounds. It had completely vanished. He flipped on the switch for possibility.
My hand and arm, though still a little numb, now have almost 90% use. I’m playing the guitar. I’m typing. I’m tying my shoes. From the day of that conversation, I stopped my declaration that all was lost.
This isn’t unique in any way, including in my own life. Time heals wounds–maybe not always fully, but it always heals. The real pain that I felt was in the absolute certainty that all was lost. It was the pain of forgetting how this works.
I’ve learned now that, maybe above all else, the best gift I can receive in the middle of loss is a mind that is quiet enough to allow time to pass. The wisest request I can make, the most peaceful blessing, is for a quiet mind. Please.
Divine, the pain of all losses has eased with time.
Quiet my mind as time is passing.
You can find more prayers in my newest book, co-written with BJ GALLAGHER: