It’s 3:41 p.m. on Monday. I haven’t felt creatively inspired this week. And how could I possibly write something more entertaining and (I hope!) engaging than Mr. Joe Biden calling my teenage son Alec? I committed to myself and my family that I’d compose and publish a blog every week.
The cursor has blinked obnoxiously on a stark-white screen for the past hour. I showered, drank water, had a protein bar. I put lavender and frankincense essential oils in my diffuser. I even began to organize and purge items in my closet; I just did this a few days ago! This is a telltale sign that my anxiety is beginning to boil over like a forgotten pot on a hot stove.
So I begrudgingly stomped back to my laptop. I needed to lower the boil to a simmer; the words and ideas were overheated. For the third time today, I noticed the inner crease of my right arm. Zoe had asked about it earlier this morning. “Why does that bruise look worse than last week,” she inquired. I said bruises often look worse before they get better.
Zoe’s simple question sparked an idea, just as another one had a few weeks ago “Why Do the Littlest Things Hurt the Most?” (Please click on this link to read it—> https://daralevan.com/why-do-the-littlest-things-hurt-the-most/ ) I realized the multi-colored and rather grotesque image on my arm could be a metaphor for life. We ALL have bruises. Every single one of us.
Last Thursday I attended a phenomenal all-day health conference. I am grateful I finally met Dr. Mark Hyman, who I’ve learned from and followed for years. Several other reputable, renowned practitioners spoke. During one of the breaks, I decided to have my blood drawn for a reportedly specialized test. Why? I still do not know. I probably should’ve stayed near the other exhibitors who offered less invasive services and information.
Before I continue, and I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve been told I have “good veins.” I am darn proud of my allegedly big, easily accessible veins. I am not afraid of having blood drawn because it usually flows and rarely hurts. For some bizarre reason, this flubotomist stuck me with a butterfly needle (I now feel it ought to be renamed!) that stung worse than a wasp sting. I said “ouch” rather loudly, which I’d hoped would be a clear indicator of my pain.
She started to fiddle with the needle and muttered “nothing is coming out.” DUH. No kidding, genius! So she tried AGAIN in a different area. I allowed this because I figured certainly the first unsuccessful stick was a fluke. The woman hurt me AGAIN. This time I held up my hand assertively and said “enough.” This isn’t baseball; I wasn’t waiting for a third strike. I was out.
My arm throbbed for the rest of the day. By the time I got home, it was clearly swollen. A bruise formed almost instantly. Needless to say, I asked for and thankfully received a refund. It has been five days, and the bruise is a melange of yellow mixed with purple and blue. This would be a stunning palette on a canvas painting rather than my pale arm!
There are significantly more painful bruises than the one I just described. Some souls have had other types of external bruises. I know of a few people personally who are survivors of domestic abuse. There are several more in our world. They’ve been beaten, bruised, and broken. And thank goodness those physical abrasions have healed.
However, the deeper work is healing the wounds we do not see. The spouse or partner who used demonic, demeaning words. The parents who fat shamed, gaslighted, manipulated, and invalidated a child. The boss whose controlling actions and language left trail of insecurity in his/her wake.
We ALL have bruises. And time does not, I have found, necessarily heal all wounds. Sitting with the discomfort of honest emotions does. Sharing discerningly yet openly with others does. Surrendering to and digesting the moments you’d rather repress does. I’ve finally learned to accept what happened. I acknowledge my own (and others’) experiences. Bruises can break you. Or, they can fuel your healing and resilience. I choose the latter.