The Wisdom of Legs

So I’ve been trying to live a little more through my legs.

And, unfortunately, this seems to have coincided with a return of the old pain.

My somatic therapist has been disconcertingly surprised at the return of old symptoms. My husband, who knows me better than I know myself at times, has not been.

And then I read – just yesterday – an article on Facebook about all the different pain trigger points on the body and what they really mean. And it turns out that my worst pain – the sciatic one in my left leg – is probably the pain of unprocessed betrayal.

I don’t have to dig too far on that one – Christmas was, for too many years, the time when things were always at their unbearable worst with (let’s call her my “abusive therapist” for want of another name here).

And I am only just starting to acknowledge the extent and depth of the wound caused by that betrayal – the total trust, huge investment and raw vulnerability on one side and the promise to – if nothing else – keep me safe on the other…

So my legs, it seems, know better than me just what’s going on. They speak a truth I would rather ignore – ‘I’m looking forward to Christmas,’ says me. ‘So much still to process around what happens at Christmas’, say my legs.

And I also read something (something I’d read before, but it’s new every time for me, because I always need reminding) by Lao Tzu:

If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.

Truly, the greatest gift that you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

And it’s a timely reminder – because winter and Christmas are times, it feels to me, to turn inwards – hibernatory really. And yet London, at least, feels more manic than ever. More busy, anxious, sick… Just yesterday, all the trains were cancelled because somebody threw themselves off the platform at my local train station.

All of us are being told to be “out there”, living up to notions of success and happiness that have nothing to do with us half the time.

Maybe the emphasis is all wrong. Maybe the “luxury” of working on ourselves isn’t a luxury at all, but a necessity. Maybe, the problem is that we are all pushed to be “out there” solving the problems of the world, all the while neglecting our own inner lives. (And, as evidenced by my old therapist, it is tricky – impossible? – to truly love and heal the rest of the world when we haven’t even learnt to love ourselves.)

And maybe it feels easier to look at other people’s crap than our own. And maybe there’s more social reward and status attached to the former.

As for me, my legs keep telling me I’ve got my own crap still to look at. My legs, it turns out, are wise.


Sarah Nabarro View All →

New mum, old soul… Finding beauty, wisdom, spirituality, and opportunities for learning in the everyday (hopefully)…

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