I did laundry this morning, which felt like a perfectly normal activity. And, oh yes, the dishwasher – I should empty it. Not being at my alertest, I tumbled my hands down towards the cutlery baskets. I’ve always been a “forks standing right side up” type of guy. Today I paid the price. Tines impaled me beneath my right thumbnail and the blood flowed. Turned out to be not much of that stuff but pain at the 4 to 5 level on a scale of ten. And I’m still there.
I like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abe contended that if our basic physical needs (such as freedom from pain!) aren’t met, we won’t be open to transcendent needs, such as loving and being loved. Well, I’ve had a day to explore that theory.
At 2:00 pm today, I planned to be on a video call with members of the Evolutionary Collective Global Community. It’s fair to say we explore the consciousness that’s possible between two or more people. At 1:30, I was lying in bed, feeling sorry for myself and my grievous injury. I wanted to hunker down and lick my wounds. No human contact today, please. “With pain like this, I won’t be able to give to the people on the call, so why even try?” Such a whimpering and potentially persuasive voice.
At 1:55, I lifted myself up off the bed and onto the couch, laptop in hand. And something happened when I saw the 17 of us on my computer screen. I got that my presence was important. I was one of 17 presences, each with the ability to contribute to the group, to “be with” other human beings. It’s not about saying something wise or having my empathy reach another member. It was simply the fact that I was there, damaged thumb and all.
For part of the hour, we are paired with another person for a mutual awakening practice. Today I wavered between listening into what my partner was experiencing and falling down the hole of physical pain. Back and forth I went, knowing that I wasn’t “doing as well as I usually do”. But that didn’t matter … we were together.
Tonight I went out to a movie with a friend and the pain was still a 5. Truly – so what? She needed my contact, our conversation and our exploring of what matters. And once again I saw that I could deal with the thumb and be present in the relationship. We had a sweet time.
Bad stuff will no doubt continue to happen to me but the world needs me to deal with it and move on, experience the pain but not wallow in it, fall down and get back up, and return to my real job … loving people.