Nearly all of us have had the experience of “having the air knocked out of us.” That sensation of breathlessness after a physical shock is often accompanied by the reeling pain of the event that did the “knocking.” It’s frightening and confusing. However, as we take that big gulp of air and the body’s tissues stop crying out for oxygen, the adrenaline rush calms, too. We look around to see if the threat to our safety has been neutralized, and deal with it or go on about the day.
Sometimes that blow is emotional. When it happens, it’s no less frightening and confusing. Sometimes, the confusion is greater because the enemy doing the “knocking” is unseen. We cannot physically subdue the subject of our distress. The source of the pain is either a response to something someone says to us, something we witness, or news that something bad has happened or is about to begin. We are left feeling helpless.
Sometimes, those “knocks” come in rapid succession from multiple directions. Having just caught a breath after the first blow, a second and third rain down. We cannot control others. We cannot control the thoughts or actions of others. We cannot control disease processes. We cannot control many aspects of life that bring us to our knees. Those are the moments when the first order of business is to remember to breathe… just breathe…
I had planned a different kind of blog post for today. I thought of something fun to try to make a difference for people affected by an issue that is close to my heart. Right now, my heart is elsewhere – in my throat.
Today I forgive myself for not consciously trying to make a difference for others. Today it takes effort to breathe. I give myself permission to breathe. Just breathe. Just do the things that must be done.
Today I accept that certain things are beyond my control. I pray for the grace to accept whatever may come and the strength to be a comfort to the others those challenges may affect.
I can go back to changing the world tomorrow – one breath at a time.