Friday, April 15, 2011

Accepting all gifts as if it were one I had chosen ...

Photo from Flickr.
Last night I finally got a decent night's sleep ... I only woke up once (at 4 am) and fell right back to sleep. It's been 30 days since I've slept soundly through the night. For the past month i've only been able to imagine (yes, even fantasize) what it would feel like once again to lay my head down on my pillow, and fall right to sleep like I used to, have sweet dreams (or lucid, meaningful dreams) and to wake up feeling rested. I don't feel completely rested as I know it will take time for my body to catch up, but I am grateful and relieved for the gift of a decent night's sleep. Maybe it was the 50 mg of benadryl I took early last night in combination with my body reaching its limit and saying to my heart .... "you can palpitate and you can thump and you can scream, but tonight I am going to ignore you and I am going to sleep right through the irregular pounding thumps!" Or maybe my heart, simply conceded  ... regardless, it doesn't matter how or why I was finally able to sleep through the night. I am simply grateful.

So today I am able to reflect more on this past month, on what my heart has been doing and the new twists and turns in my health journey. I am grateful to my cardiologist who pushed to get my appointments moved up ... early Monday morning I go in for a cardiac MRI and early Wednesday morning I meet with one of the few electrophysiologists in the state of Minnesota. My cardiologist called him up directly to discuss my case and he agreed to meet with me on a non-clinic day. I had to reschedule my appointment with the hematologist for next Thursday. Finding relief and figuring out what is going on with my heart and why the electrical patterns and rhythms in my heart have gone awry has taken priority.

This morning I came across a beautiful poem by Jane Hirschfield, "Each moment a white bull steps shining in the world." It reminds me of how important it is for me to welcome and accept all gifts that come into my life ... even the frightening ones ... and to embrace them and accept them as if I had chosen the gift myself. I don't know why I've been having so many health challenges over the past couple years. What I do know is that it has made me a better, stronger person. And what I do know is that in the end, no matter what, I will be okay.

So I felt compelled to share with you Jane Hirschfield's poem ... inevitably we will encounter something, someone, an experience, an event that will scare us and make us want to run the other way or put our defenses up. Today ... my gut reminds me that behind anything that scares or frightens us, there is peace, love, light and joy. Today, I remind myself to be rooted and grounded.

Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining into the World
~ Jane Hirschfield

If the gods bring to you
a strange and frightening creature,
accept the gift
as if it were one you had chosen.

Say the accustomed prayers,
oil the hooves well,
caress the small ears with praise.

Have the new halter of woven silver
embedded with jewels.
Spare no expense, pay what is asked,
when a gift arrives from the sea.

Treat it as if you yourself
would be treated, brought speechless and naked
into the court of a king.

And when the request finally comes,
do not hesitate even an instant - 
stroke the white throat,
the heavy, trembling, dewlaps
you'd come to believe were yours,
and plunge in the knife.

Not once
did you enter the pasture
without pause,
without yourself trembling,
that you came to love it, that was the gift.

Let the envious gods take back what they can.

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