No, You Can’t!

Remember what 15 felt like?

Can I...?”  “No, you can’t.”

I want to…”  “No you can’t.”

May I please…?”  “No.”

“Why not??”

I feel like that.  It’s my body saying “No, you can’t.”  And inside I’m screaming “Why not??”.

My rheumatoid arthritis flared up all week.  It was mid-90’s hot.  And humid.  I wanted to drive 4 hours to a weekend retreat for people who are HIV-positive from all over the southeast.  Only the dining room is air-conditioned at the rustic retreat center and the paths between buildings are uneven and unpaved.

“I can’t,” I told the director of the day center where I volunteer.  “I can do hot or pain, but not both.”

I’ve read several books lately about our bodies and our spirituality.  I see layers of metaphors in my decision to take care of myself.

I allowed myself to be sad for a day or so.  Limitations frustrate me.  And I realize some of the changes in my body can’t be fixed or reversed.  My granddaughter, at 15 months, can almost outrun me.  More metaphors.

I’m not what I thought I’d be at this point in my life.  (Is anyone?)  So I pray for willingness and acceptance.  And the continuing ability to laugh!


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What is that saying? — the only constant in our lives is change. I know I find that I can accept some changes more easily than other changes. Seems like lately that the Serenity Prayer is my mantra, looking for the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know what to accept because I can change only my attitude and not the situation. I can sooooo very identify with what you wrote!

    • I needed the reminder about the serenity prayer. Thanks, Donna.

  2. Robin –
    Your decision was made out of both necessity and great compassion towards yourself. I know it was a difficult one for you. We missed you at the retreat, but you were held in spirit there. Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom and reminding us to pay attention to what our bodies tell us daily.

    • You all were in my prayers all weekend. I can’t wait to hear how it went! Thanks, Anne, for reading.

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