Posts Tagged ‘healing’

watercolor painting

A Time To Heal (watercolor and ink by Barbie Dallmann)

When I was a senior in high school, I broke my left knee playing flamingo football–boys against the girls. After six weeks on crutches, my leg wrapped in plaster from thigh-top to toe-tips, the day came for cast removal. I vividly recall my first glimpse of the leg. I say, “the leg” because it really didn’t resemble MY leg. The leg was shriveled, dirty, and hairy! But even worse than how it looked, was how poorly it functioned. The knee didn’t bend, and it couldn’t hold any weight whatsoever. It was a useless, pitiful little thing, just hanging there with no cast to protect it.

After weeks of physical therapy and excruciatingly painful exercises, I was able to take my first tentative steps without crutches. It was over a year before I could attempt running and even longer before I could operate the clutch pedal of our extended bed International Harvester pick-up truck.

Now, over 40 years later, there are still times my knee “acts up.” It’s not particularly fond of steep, downhill descents on rocky trails. For the most part, though, I go through life, walking three or four miles a day without giving it much thought. I climb stairs, ride bicycles, and easily deploy a clutch pedal. Once healed, it’s hard to remember the process of recovery: limitations, pain, frustration, and wanting to give up.

I think the same is true for healing emotional wounds. For a little while, it’s okay to wrap ourselves in protective armor while the worst of the injury heals. But the longer we wait, the more we atrophy and the harder it is to return to normal. And it’s no more realistic to expect instant emotional recovery than it is to remove a cast one day and plan to run a marathon the next.

Sometimes the recovery period feels worse than the initial injury, and certainly some wounds are worse than others. The more traumatic the injury, the longer the recovery period.

Ultimately, I believe in the wisdom of the body and heart when it comes to healing. If we take our bruised egos out of the picture, surrender to the reality of the situation, release whatever needs to be forgiven, and listen to the small, still voice within, we will heal. Healing–both physical and emotional–calls for patience, kindness, self-compassion, and self-love. Lots and lots and LOTS of self-love. And maybe a trusted friend or two to lean on while you’re learning to walk again.



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I was feeling a little confused at the cottage this morning. I’ve been so unmotivated, so tired, so content to just sit and stare. That’s just not me. And, yet, it has been me for a while now. Where is my energy? Where is my inspiration? After all, it’s Dannie who’s going through radiation therapy. It’s normal for him to feel tired and listless right now, not me. So what gives?

I was directing my questions to The Universe and fully anticipating some enlightening answer when I heard a THUMP. Something had hit the glass of the French door. I looked out to see a wren lying dazed on the front deck. I swooped up the tiny creature just before my cat pounced on it. I shooed the cat away and took the bird inside.

House Wren

Such a little creature and perfect in every way.

I sat in my rocking chair, cuddling the delicate thing in my hands. I looked at its beauty, watched it breathe, and wondered what would become of it. I decided that for the moment, it didn’t matter. I would simply hold it, rock in the chair, and appreciate the rare gift of holding a tiny bird in my hands.

After a while, it squirmed a little and then hopped onto my shoulder. From there, it hopped to my knee and then flew toward the window. I gently picked it up, opened the door, and threw it high into the air. I watched until it flew out of sight.

Back in the cottage, I thanked the Universe for such an amazing experience. And then I heard the message, “You are like that little bird, a bit dazed but basically okay. I will hold you safe in my hands until you are ready to fly again. Just rest here for a while and let me enjoy the miracle that is you.”

Okay … who could argue with that?

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