Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's Your Story?

"What's your story?" the emergency room doctor asked me. "Everyone has a story," I replied. He nodded and chuckled. My story consisted of a tale of being rear-ended and having some sore parts. (Isn't there a Rudyard Kipling story where a leopard says his spots ache? That was me on Sunday. Having freckles, I have the spots to ache.)

So there you are one moment driving along home with your weekend booty of grocery and art supplies and the woman behind you bends down to scratch her knee and boom, you get a whack on the back of the head. Dharma lesson on changeability. We never know what will happen or when.

I had a whiplash injury many years ago so the first thought was, (after what just happened?) I hope I don't have whiplash. And I could see the propensity to go with this oh, no, fear based dark little drama. And I'll admit to dipping my finger into this dark, enticing little sauce for a taste.

But I remembered something the Dalai Lama said in a piece I read recently. He commented that westerners get so elated when outer experiences are going well and so depressed when things are going badly. And as I looked at what had just happened I decided to try a little experiment. I resolved to navigate this without throwing myself into the deep end of the gloomy swimming hole. How about a little even keel? I asked myself. How about just doing the next thing that needs to be done? No story about how this might turn out and oh no, not my poor body again. How about ditching those habitual gloomy thoughts that stick to me like little prickly burrs in the grass. A little asking for help, a little prayer and an inclination to think everything might just be okay.

So we placed the accident report, found that the local hospital functions as the walk-in clinic and took care of business. I reminded myself not to succumb to my deep seated fear and dislike of hospitals. That's a big one for me. There is a physical and mental positioning that one creates based on fear, expectations and past behaviour. I did not put on that tight fitting black cloak for my walk through the hospital door. I am just doing what needs to be done, I reminded myself. No big deal.

And so here I am a couple of days later, feeling better and on the mend. We got to see the local hospital, meet a local doc and see that it is possible to navigate the unpleasant without adding on a whole lot of extra stuff. So there it is life unfolding and the Dharma showing the way.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of your accident! It sounds like you are moving through it all with such awareness... Your "story" of how you moved through it is encouraging - as I too share similar fears. Glad you are on the mend!

    Heart Hugs...

  2. "Doing what needs to be done", I will try to remember that:)

    Sending positive thoughts your way. Take care,


  3. So happy you are ok and healing! The "getting on with life" part of me often takes charge but these days I think it's got more intentionality behind it than being a reactive process to threat/trauma. Nice to have it reinforced for me in your words. Thanks!

  4. I'm also glad you are on the mend and have moved through the process of getting the help you need. I have a strong catastrophe mind and it is helpful to read your loving movement through fears and into just taking care step by step. Thank you for sharing

  5. Neat story. I loved the line "I did not put on that tight fitting black cloak for my walk through the hospital door."
    I guess I need those visuals.

    Glad to hear you are well!

  6. Good to hear you're feeling okay!

    Isn't it amazing how much extra anguish and pain is created through the things we tell ourselves?! Sometimes it really blows me away.

  7. "How about just doing the next thing that needs to be done?"

    What a great line, what a wonderful teaching. Thank you so much ZDS.

    And wishing you good health,


  8. Ah yes...
    "Dharma lesson on changeability. We never know what will happen or when."

    So glad you are OK and that your brain training comes through when surprised by life. Terrific pop quiz.

    Gotta a sec? stop by my recent post to check out my bright pink knuckle to elbow cast.

  9. Thanks everyone for stopping by and for your kind wishes and comments. Ah our habitual stances and our stories, seems everyone can identify with them. It is encouraging to hear from folks who are all working with these things. And I am coming right over to check out that bright pink Cast, Merci33!

  10. It's interesting to see the dharma in action, so to speak, as you dealt with a challenging experience. I also enjoyed the Dalai Lama quote. Thanks!

  11. I really like the feminine features of your Buddhas. They're refreshing~

  12. ps,
    I'm glad you're okay, too!