When a life event knocks on our door? Do we try to return to who we were, and our old life? or to embrace what’s possible? and try something new? A tree, once grown, goes through the same cycle. Or so it seems. Its branches break, and new ones grow. Every year, it dresses in a fresh new green gown. Is it the same as last year’s? The rings added to its truck are the hidden proof of change. Immediately after the car crash. After I returned to my body, the one I walked with for years but was now broken and wounded. Immediately after – I had no idea how significant the shattering was, that it was past the point of no return.
What are the parameters for improvement? What was? Or what can become?
While healing, the physical focus was on getting back. Curing my body and helping it gain its ability to do what it did before. Could it? Nobody made any promises. Can it today? No. Like a newborn baby, I had to learn what my body can do, and what it cannot. What nourishes it, and what does not, to be left behind. The parameters for improvement adhered to the criteria of what was. Not what can become, not what was possible. A comparison to an old self of mine that did not exist anymore.
A crisis invites us to become. Not to return to who we were before it took place.
But then, none of us know that. I knew something significant had changed as soon as I woke up from the induced coma in the ICU. And it was not about the physical state I woke up in. It was within me. The way I perceived the world around. I knew but did not have any words to explain it, even to myself. So I accepted the outer criteria. The one according to which, my curing, is about getting back to what I was. Back to my physical abilities. Back to the old way of behaving. Back to the things that made me laugh, and the type of work I was doing. It was all contrary to the greater invitation of this event.
When life invites us to embark on a journey, it is not to have us return to what was before. It is an invitation to transform. A change on that layer we need to reshape. To clear the unnecessary from it. Like in pottery. To first knead the clay, and then to let it sit on the earth. Let it adjust. Learn the studios’ climate. Then, knead it again, and sit again. And knead again, until it is ready to be sculpted into something new.
Becoming takes time.
I, too, needed time. Time to figure out what had happened and what supports my new body. What I can eat. What should leave our pantry? What I can do. What I cannot. What I let others do. What I insist on finding a way, a new way, to be doing too. Finding a way to become my daughters’ mother, when others provided all the caretaking and hugging, was one of those things. Becoming their mother again was the one motivation that did not change throughout my long healing process.
Could I? I could not provide any of the caretaking. As in all the elements of my new life, I could—but not in the way things were before. It was about finding ways to become. Realizing that the crash and the near-death experience did not come into my life to keep me stuck where I was, but to shift and mold. I had to find out who I am. I had to find out what parenting is about. Parenting in its deep core meaning. Parenting that is beyond caretaking. My answers came from the gates that opened in my near-death experience, integrating them with the reorganization of my physical body.
Trees start from seed. A seed from the fruit. A seed that found nourishing earth to warm up in until it was its time to sprout. It grows, and very soon, it seems to look the same every year. Only when we come close. Only when we touch its bark can we feel those inner changes beating. It is never the same as the year before. It, too, acquires wisdom and understandings. Little by little. Twig by twig.
When life invites us on a journey, it is for life to forever change.
What life event invited you to the point of no return? Did you chose to return to what it was? Or to become?