For the past two weeks I have been nursing a pain just above the ankle on the inner part of my left foot. At the start of the run, it flares up and I acknowledge it with light steps until it eases into a throb, that disappears after five minutes of continuous running.
Today the pain did not leave, it ignored our pact and stuck around, until I cried “Uncle” and stopped running. I stayed close to base, nursing a sore foot while my running group completed a three mile run. I was reduced to a spectator, watching the athletes perform.
As I drove home I chuckled at my petulance. This was such an old story, such a familiar pattern and still it takes me awhile to recognize it.
When I want something, I go out and get it. I believe in the power of decisions and I always make a choice. Once the decision is made, I say “come hell or high water” I am doing this. I make it rain, I turn night into day, I create magic. I am relentless, driving myself to the limit, not stopping until I hold what I want in my hand. I am able to just do it.
I remember the annoyance I felt whenever my mother warned “be careful what you ask for”. I cringed every-time that she said this and wondered, “Why is she so cynical?”
It took long time for me to understand that she was not making a negative comment. She was cautioning me to slow down, and pay attention to what was happening around me as I moved towards the goal.
Now I see the truism in her words. There have been times when after I got what I wanted, I realised that it was not what I wanted or it was not as I expected, or I lost a lot to acquire it. I also know that each of those times, as I moved towards the goal, there were warning signs all along the way saying, “Stop. This is what you chose, but this is not for you.”
It took me a while to make meaning of this. It did not sit well with my belief in the power of choice, that goals are to be achieved and that decision making propels us to achievement. However, over time, I have slowly accepted that I am only human with a limited view of the infinite wisdom of the Universe and though I am important to her, I am one part of many, that she keeps in play at any point in time. I know now, that even though I desire something, there may be another plan ahead. So when the world says, “Stop” I need to stop. If not, then she will stop me.
So tonight I stopped trying to run on a sore foot and respected the wisdom that is greater and older than me. I reasoned that even though I chose and decided to run, it is Okay this time, not to achieve a goal.
What do you need to just STOP doing?