I hate being incapacitated.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to do everything for myself: make my own clothes, write songs, poems, stories that I wanted to hear/read, grow my own food, and so on.
This stubborn insistence on being self-sufficient has stood me in good stead in many ways: I can make a lot of things, relieving (I hope) some of the burden that a consumer lifestyle produces. Of course, raising three kids also meant I didn’t really have much choice; I had to learn to do things alone. Mainly, though, I just can’t stand the idea of needing to lean on people, of anyone being inconvenienced for my sake.
All well and good, you say. But there’s a danger to this obsession with being capable. I take on too much; assume things will take less time than they end up taking; resist delegating as it’s a hassle, when actually it could take a weight off my shoulders.
And so, after sustaining a bad sprain to my right ankle just before Christmas that rendered me pretty much kaput for six weeks, I go and sprain the other one yesterday 😓 Which gets me thinking…is this just dumb luck? Me being clumsy and disembodied because I’m spending too much time on a computer, up in my head? My feet are disconnected in some way from my brain?
Or…I need to recognise my weakness sometimes. Capability can lull you into a false sense of independence, which isolates at the same time that it seals the heart in armour. Not every fight should end in admitting defeat, but life doesn’t have to be one long fight. I’m starting to realise that accepting my limits would allow me to rest more, and perhaps not end up pushing myself so hard that I trip.
With these thoughts, and stuck on the sofa unable to move without pain, I picked up the Diwan of Sidi Muhammad ibn al-Habib (a well-thumbed copy, but still liable to yield gems), and I read this, in the introduction: “…spiritual opening comes quickly to sincere fuqara [spiritual indigent] who realise the true attributes of their state: ignorance, weakness and neediness. He who realised his ignorance, Allah will sustain with beneficial knowledge, [and he who realised his weakness, Allah will sustain by His Strength], and so forth…”
And suddenly I get the use of the 🥀 emoji that I’ve seen so much lately on IG…swoon! There’s a secret in weakness…I wrote about it on this blog years ago, as it relates to the menstrual cycle.
So I’ll be (reluctantly) putting my foot for the foreseeable. Maybe reading. Maybe knitting (it’s impossible to be completely inactive, I’m far too restless…knitting and crochet are nice slow crafts at least!) But also trying to realise my true human state, and in doing so, hope that a Divine one will come to replace it.