January 12, 2011

The World Beyond My Big Toe

Me and my right foot have been taking it easy ever since last Friday, when I had the strangest accident, while trying to do the morning dishes.   Interestingly I was hoping to move gracefully through all my dishes, applying my newly discovered practice of mindfulness. 

Almost as soon as I started my project, I got off on the wrong foot.  I found myself losing control of a cast iron griddle, so that it landed perfectly the big toe of my right foot. That same foot had only been rehabilitated this past November. Somehow I did not curse God in responding to the shock, nor did I blame myself. I just went down with empathy, for myself and my error, and prayed that I would not have a broken toe come out of this mishap.

My swollen, black and blue toe has kept me from playing out in the snow during our three recent snow days, but thankfully was not broken. Today was the first day I could comfortably wear a closed-toe shoe and go walking through the icy snow. 

It is only in looking back, that I see how my practice of self-compassion, had become almost automatic in how I perceived my painful accident.   I did not condemn myself for the lapse in attention that allowed gravity to take the griddle from me, and onto my foot. I simply felt the pain and went on to consider my plan B. I put an ice pack on my toe and went to watch a spiritual movie.

As the worst of the pain subsided and I decided which activities I would not do as a result of the injury, I realized an unexpected blessing. This injury would be easier for me discuss with others, than my psychological relapse.  Recovering from this injury would give me something universal to share with others.


  1. Ouch--I hope that your toe heals quickly. Sometimes the mental pain is much worse than the physical.

  2. Mental pain is less.. direct...perceptible, harder to share...Thanks for stopping by, Syd.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~