Honor the Slowest Part

For most of my life, I was a pusher. Whatever the challenge, I could push my way through. Emotional, physical, professional. It didn’t matter. The name of my game was “just get it done.” Worry about the consequences later. Sound familiar?    And then, four years ago, in less than the time it takes you to read this post, everything changed. Driving on the freeway. Construction zone. Traffic stopped. The guy behind me didn’t. The damage to my car was easily fixed. The damage to my brain, not so much.   In that instant my life turned inside out and upside down. Nothing remained the same. Well, almost nothing.   Thankfully, the accident didn’t affect my heart, my soul, and my commitment to grow through, and beyond, whatever curveballs life throws my way.   But I’d never seen this pitch before. It didn’t respond to my pushing. In fact, pushing was the very worst thing I could do. Brains are tricky that way. First, they take way, way longer to heal than any other organ.  Second, every brain is unique in how it responds to injury and how, when or even if, it heals. What works for one person, doesn’t’ necessarily work for another. In this sense medical advice has something in common with microwave instructions:  your experience may vary. My challenge was learning how to live within my new limits, rather than in spite of them.  And, as anyone living with chronic pain or illness knows all too well, this is a hard lesson to learn.   In the beginning, I was a very reluctant student.  I fell...

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