This past Saturday I went hiking with a group of my friends. I’d been informed that so long as I was used to being in flip flops, I’d be fine on this trail in them.
You know in movies (especially in chase scenes) where someone climbs to the top of a fence, swings both their legs over, and then fall on their feet?
Picture that and then remember it.
Two minutes into the trail, we came across a log about three feet off the air. The group split between those that went around in the bushes and those that crawled over the log. I chose neither, as I decided to do that awesome high-speed chase jump over this log. That jump itself was pretty epic, but it was the landing that did me in. I somehow landed like a ballerina. Quickly catching myself, I laughed it off.. until I stood still. I glanced down and noticed my entire foot was covered in blood. It looked a bit like this:
I quickly assessed the situation and decided that since my toe was cut open and my flip flop was very slippery, it would be best if I stayed behind. After convincing my friends I’d be alright, I watched them climb down the hill we were on and begin their journey.
My toe really began to hurt. So I did what anybody would. I started exploring, trying to find a way to the river water I could hear flowing. Every potential trail was dangerous and scary.
After 30 minutes of exploring, I found a small grassy clearing and sat there in the sun, reflecting on myself.
I thought back to a set of root canals I got a few months ago. Towards the end of my second root canal and the fitting of my crown, the anestesia began to wear off. I remember the excrutiating pain as I felt them set my crown in place and then use one of those metal tools to pull my gum back over the crown. I clenched my fists and curled my toes and dealt with it.
Though my toe was killing me, I dealt with it. I ended up building a bridge, finding a lizard, and then standing on that very same log, keeping watch for my friends.
I soldiered on.
At first glance, this response seems perfect. No complaining, no whining, just compliance. But the more I started recognizing areas in my life where I emotionally soldier on, I’ve begun to realize that my inability to create conflict or accept the past has left me in a continual state of woundedness. Instead of actively tending to my wounds, I continue to walk around with open sores and every so often deal with emotional infections.
So how do we resolve the past? How can I take this old wound, where the same person continually lets me down, and address it, tend to it, and allow it to heal? What does this look like in my life?
I’m not sure, exactly. But I am sure that as my toe is sore, so my heart and spirit is becoming emotionally and spiritually sore by carrying the burdens of unresolved wounds.
My toe is alright, by the way. I impressed everyone with my robot like skills and ripped out a splinter from my open wound without a second thought. Tonight I ripped off the dead skin and cleaned out the nasty tissue that’s been hanging around the wound. Sometimes it takes a little more pain to gain the liberation that comes when our injuries have healed.