Insights from a Jar of Pickles

OK, have you ever done something as simple as attempt to open a jar of pickles and injure your hand until it hurt so badly that you couldn’t bend your fingers, make a fist, or pick anything up? If you haven’t, count yourself lucky. Yesterday morning after a great early morning workout lifting weights, I simply meandered to the kitchen to make my lunch for later. Upon twisting the new jar Jar of Picklesof pickles I felt resistance and then major pain. Ouch! And I wasn’t even fighting and struggling with the damn thing like I sometimes do (when I try to teach the kitchen items who is REALLY boss LOL!).

So I went from strong savvy lady to whimpering fool in a matter of seconds. And, you just never know how much you rely on your fingers for things like: holding items, typing, using a mouse, personal care, carrying stuff, opening stuff, driving (thank god I don’t have a stick or I’d still be in the driveway 2 days later), and the list goes on.

While I’ve been nursing my hand and icing it, it really hit home how powerful something like this temporary setback is for cultivating understanding and compassion for others and gratitude for what I DO have.

For instance, the past two days have made me much more aware and opened my heart to people who have chronic pain of any kind, folks with some limitation due to deformity, illness, or injury. It has reminded me of the need to ask for help — like hello can someone open this bottle of water for me?? And, it has made me creative in ways I never thought of before. Do you know how many things you can hold in your teeth? Did you know that if you athletic tape your fingers together it makes them stronger even when injured (thanks to the high school basketball coach for this gem) although I don’t recommend it for typing on the PC.

It has also made me stop and remember to be grateful for what I DO have. Every time I experience an injury, illness, or limitation, it brings home the point of just how amazing our bodies are. Despite our tendencies to bitch about everything we don’t like about ourselves – too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, blah blah blah to beat ourselves up, we really are amazing creatures. It’s more than just the leap from the primates with our opposing thumbs — it is so much more!

When the body is sending a message in the way of pain or dis-ease, it is always time to listen. It is hard to be comfortable in our own skin & thrive as the powerful women we are unless we do.

So…beware of those killer pickle jars and take a moment to celebrate your body!

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