When we sustain an injury, a little self-care may be necessary if we’re to return to the game. Consider taking an intentional approach to recovery. (Click here for Part 1 of this two-part post.)
Acknowledge – Be real with ourselves and our situation
Pride is a killer. I hate it when I have to admit that everything’s NOT okay. But sometimes it’s just not. And while our difficulties don’t need to be broadcast to everyone, we need to be willing to tell the truth at least to ourselves. It’s normal and healthy, and in fact good stewardship, to say, “I need to take care of myself. Thanks for your concern.” Receive what’s helpful, reject what’s not. Start by being honest with yourself and a significant one or two others. There’s no gold star for mastering denial.
Assess – Determine what’s needed
There are as many remedies as there are ailments. There are general guidelines for physical health yet each body is unique. For example, we all need to brush our teeth, but one may be anemic and need extra iron while another may need to monitor her blood sugar and receive insulin. The same is true of the inner life. What is helpful for one may not be for another. Pay attention to what gives you life. Listen to your own inner voice and to wise counsel of those who know you. There is a time for solitude and a time to be surrounded by a trusted community. Openness to both will help you determine what you need.
Act – Respond appropriately
All the good counsel in the world is useless unless acted upon. Jesus didn’t just say, “Find someone to help you follow me.” Rather, he said, “You, follow me.” Whatever you determine is needed to promote restoration, do it. Maybe the right response is to do nothing for a time–which may be the hardest of all! In either case, trust the process. God holds you.
Responding may come in the form of solitude, silence, prayer, celebration, Sabbath rest, study, play, spiritual direction, community worship, giving, sleep…all good practices that contribute to a life of wholeness–none of which heal in themselves, but all of which help us open to the God who does.
A Slippery Slope
For a time, getting to the gym seemed to be more trouble than it was worth and I seemed never to have the focus or self-discipline required to go alone. At my lowest, lowest, I took a good look and saw that my feet had begun the slippery descent into a poor state of fitness. As much as I liked active sports, I hadn’t the initiative to make good on my intentions. It appeared that this kind of enjoyment was a thing of the past. It was the voice of another (who good-naturedly nagged until I gave in!), that pushed me over the edge. “Just give it one more try. Don’t quit yet–I really think you’ll like this!” And he was right. (That was painful… 🙂 )
Without this process or one similar, it is likely that one’s continuing participation in a favorite sport, or engagement with God and others for that matter, will be over almost before it has begun.
Except for this…
God is always and already at work recreating, renewing, and redirecting. So…
- If you’re needing a little self-care, don’t despair. God will hold you for as long as it takes.
- If you’re feeling nudged onward, then take courage; it may be time to get moving again…to venture back out on the court.
- Just remember to take care of yourself. Maybe these one word reminders will help:
- Acknowledge – Be real
- Assess – Determine what’s needed
- Act – Respond appropriately
I’m back–slightly less ferocious, but still “got game!” In fact, since drafting this post, I’ve played kickball and two-hand-touch football at a family birthday party. I included a pic of the ripped jeans to prove it. 🙂
What keeps you from giving attention to the care of your own body, mind, spirit?