I've been going through something for a while, and that internal journey has been illustrated in a completely different way this past week.
On Tuesday, I attempted to lift my daughter onto my shoulders. The resulting pain in my lower back taught me what a 10 was "on a scale from one to ten." Ten is when it hurts so much you are screaming and/or crying.
The past few days have been a drug induced fog. I know I had help from Muad'Dib and his mother, Dreampacker. I know that my children even picked up the slack. Rivulet took care of me as though she were the mother and I were the daughter, not the other way around. Lemur got in on the game, playing with my hair and scratching my back. One one such occasion I said, "Lemur, you are such a good helper."
He looked confused at the praise, "It's what you would do, mom."
The few people I have told about this inevitably ask, "What did you do?" or "What happened?"
I don't know.
Even if I was lifting with my back rather than my legs, such a movement should not have resulted in nearly a week of pain and immobility. I have taken such good care of my body over the last four weeks . . . my mind is boggled trying to comprehend it. Isn't one rewarded for doing good?
What am I going to do now? One doctor said that if I didn't feel better in five days, I should come back and they would do an x-ray. Another doctor recommended an expensive two to four month program of chiropractic care.
And here is when I admit to feeling helpless, powerless and - up until this afternoon - hopeless.
I have had a handful of times in my life where things are - by all accounts - going well. Then something crappy happens. In over half of these situations, the bad is SO far out from left field, that my mind and emotional center scrambles to make sense of it.
I was running. I was doing yoga. I was eating well. I was doing good things, living principles and watching them come to fruition as they are promised to. And then this. Where I can't do much besides a few exercises, take pain drugs, watch T.V. and either sit or stand for short periods of time.
I received a blessing today that spoke of hope: hope to be healed and to know what to do to recover quickly. And honestly, more than anything, hope is what I need, for it is what I lack.
How many of us accept a state of being for so long believing that we cannot change it - that even IF we were given the power to change it, we would not because we no longer hope?
I just realized that I don't even know what hope is. I mean, besides the Sunday school answers. I don't know what hope means to me. At this moment, I cannot call to mind a time when I employed hope over another process like knowledge or trust. Is hope different than these? Even when I say things - true things like "Take time out of the equation and success is inevitable" - I don't lack the faith in that truth or that it could apply to me.
I lack the hope that it will.
I have the faith that if God or one of his prophets commanded a mountain to move, it would. I have the faith that if God saw fit to remove my stumbling blocks (or 70lbs for that matter), he could. I have the faith that if God wanted to heal my spine and erase my pain, he could - and easily. I lack the hope that he would. There is a difference. And I'm beginning to feel the pain of the void.
Can one have faith without hope?
Maybe this is why I hurt my back. So that Rivulet can know where I am at any given time. So my children can have a dose of caring for me. So I can be reminded how good it feels to be productive serving my family. So I can sleep (yay drugs). And most of all, maybe I hurt my back to learn about hope.