Tuesday night, walking down a set of stairs, I tripped and my leg went one way, my foot another. Its my right foot and I’m right handed. I didn’t know I’m also right foot-ed. I try walking in my usual manner, and find I simply can’t. Its strange to see the sideways glances of people who see me wince in pain as I awkwardly hobble. Finding no parking on the first floor of a parking garage with no elevators made for an excruciating six flights down. I can’t imagine how I will walk up them tonight.
The sprain has occurred during a time in my life that stress is reaching all time highs as I’m studying for exams, writing term papers, preparing for hajj, applying for jobs, and working on getting certified to sit for the bar. And I don’t handle stress well.
But with each painful step, and each sideways glance, I am reminded that this pain is temporary. For many, such pain, such sideways glances of pity and curiosity never fade. Though the pain makes me walk slower its giving me a reminder of perspective. As though God tapped me and said, “Um hello. Are you seriously feeling sorry for yourself when I have blessed you with the privilege to worry about such things? “
There was a time in my life that I looked at everything as a blessing. A hurt or a loss was a challenge from God that He knew I could handle and work through. A kind smile or opportunity, a pat on the back. Somewhere along the way this perspective slipped through my fingers, and I’ve been sifting though the sand to find it again. This sprained ankle is making me realize that just as I’m walking painfully one step at a time, icing it, compressing it, elevating it, and doing what I need to do to slowly heal and regain my gait, I must slowly begin working to regain my spirituality, for perspective and spirituality go hand in hand and through painfully building it up again bit by bit, eventually it may become whole again.
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” -Buddha