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  • Writer's picturechironokeefeauthor


When we are children, balance is a playful game. It's a thrill to navigate along a wall or poise between two branches of a tree. It's an unconscious skill we develop, not really thinking about how we have to hold out our arms or clench/unclench muscles. We've been playing this game since we first toddled.

Ironic perhaps that one of our first goals in life is the most important. We balance work and play, thinking and feeling, friends and family. We rarely stop to notice the mechanics of something that we do automatically. Mechanics that really came to my attention after my fall and my muscles stiffened and my knees ached. Then every step became measured once more. Every movement handled cautiously.

Life itself is a balance between what we can control and surrendering when events appear beyond our control. And this is where hindsight serves us best.

An athlete might tape an event to later observe the plays and decide what changes to make in a future game. Every musician who has recorded knows the pleasures and occasional wince when reviewing the performance. Yet though a director can yell "Cut," giving the actors another do-over, there are many scenes in life that simply have one take.

We are here to learn. We are here to gain empathy and understanding, to discern the stark difference between destructive and constructive choice, to develop skills and explore talents, and it's a balancing act between what we can consciously choose and what we set up "behind the scenes" to challenge, teach, or awaken us.

For a long time now, my go-to approach has been two-fold. First and foremost is to recognize that life is a waking dream, ripe with symbolism; and the challenge may be to interpret this scenario from that perspective. What would this mean if it were a dream? What am I trying to tell myself with these events?

Once I have an inkling as to what those waking dream symbols might mean, I can seek the purpose. "What did I hope to learn here?"

In my latest "surrender event,” I learned many things.

I had to release control and trust someone to take care of me--to take care of the stuff I normally do, and even more importantly, to let myself be taken care of. To stop with the "You don't have to do that," and instead say, "Thank you, I really appreciate it.”

There is always purpose, there is always meaning, there are always hidden gifts in every circumstance. Sometimes if the challenge is overwhelming, we don't have the time, the space, or the emotional bandwidth to deal with circumstances, much less process any possible meaning. And that's okay too. Yet I find that taking those moments when I finally have a breather to return to my true North of seeking understanding is strengthening and ultimately reassuring.

Plus, just like any recurring nightmare, I'd rather unravel it and move on to more satisfying dreams.

Today I find that walking is much easier, though I'm still cautious and protective of my knees. I'm grateful for the insights gathered but equally grateful to release the need for this challenge!

Today's affirmation: "I am resilient and strong. I seek insight from challenges which enlighten and strengthen me. Through acceptance of my current moment, I gain strength, clarity, and wisdom. I trust in my path and appreciate the opportunity to clarify exactly what I want, releasing what no longer serves me. I am resilient and strong."

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