• Jan Rybeck

Disappearing Act

Updated: Dec 15, 2019

March is the month for losing things.

Two years ago, I lost my voice. All of it, totally gone, for 8 full weeks.

The next year, almost exactly to the day, I lost my appendix. Can’t say I’ve missed it, but alas, that tiny part of me is gone.

This year, I cracked and then lost a tooth.

Bit by bit, I seem to be disappearing.

Perhaps this is just another form of spring cleaning…. That primal urge to purge that comes with the brightening of sky and spirit. Clean out the closets, throw out those papers that have collected on the corner shelf in the kitchen, prune the branches before they bud.

And yet, I wonder what else might be going on.

When laryngitis stole my voice, I had to surrender to silence. In the quiet space, patience emerged.

When I found myself in the hospital and unable to do anything but give myself over to skilled medical staff for 48 hours, I discovered grace.

The moment I bit into breakfast and felt my tooth give way, I had no choice but to accept my lot, and lo and behold, there was a cache of gratitude right there, reminding me how lucky I was to have a dentist who answers the phone on a Saturday morning.

So yes, perhaps I am losing parts of myself, bits and pieces that have made me who I take myself to be (though I still have no idea what that appendix was doing for me).

But in the losing, I seem to be gaining. Surrender, grace, and acceptance are all quiet forms of power that work from the inside out. There is no power pose that precedes an act of surrender. It’s more like a melting from within that softens my edges just enough so that the mysteries can seep in and do with me what they will.

And as for acceptance, that to me feels like a dying into what is, trusting that all is as it is supposed to be, no matter what I think or feel.

You wouldn’t think that letting go could release so much power but the minute I let go into that dentist chair, letting myself be held by the chair and care provided, the pain just fell away. Disappeared. Like that. Oh wait, maybe that was the Novocaine.

Funny how much of life is acting, showing up for a reason, or to make something happen. Inherent in that effort-ing, there is expectation and wanting. Pain, suffering, and let down are inevitable on the other side, as “this too shall pass” and give way to what’s next.

What if this disappearing bit by bit is but a reminder of the futility of my actions. In the end, I don’t get to keep any of it. It’s all illusion and impermanence and I am but a foot print on the water’s edge.

And what does that mean for how to meet the day?

There is a part of me that feels terror in that- meeting the day without a sense of place or surety that I will leave a mark feels unsettling at first.

And then it gives way to the bigger surety that there is indeed something bigger and beyond me at play. And perhaps, the best action I can take is to let go into that and show up fully, minus an appendix and a tooth.

How do ideas of how you are supposed to be or what you need to accomplish get in the way of being more fully here?

What allows you to accept what is?

What would be one thing you could do today that would allow for a bit (just a few minutes) of grace? Gratitude? Making space for someone or perhaps a part of yourself?

#change #anxiety

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