Up on the hills and away from the bustling concrete jungle I prepared another hour of gruelling pain spreading rehabilitation with a smile. The lift doors opened and I walked through a set of doors greeted by a breeze of chilly air and the smell of exercise. To the right I landed at the gym and saw what appears to be my wizard friend. Just like all great wizards he has a white beard and a curious faint grin on his face, with a human touch of his shirt being tucked above waist height to a nice rounded belly.
Still living opposite times from the rest of the day dwellers, I woke up to a glimpse of light. Just enough to take in my daily double dosage of sunlight before the blanket of the night sky pulls over.
With the fading sun, I go off to take advantage of the final hour in the salon to raise my hair and lower my ears, because such services are not provided during the night. I then scurried off to grab my belongings and headed for the membership club to swim. For today my haircut pushed the time back, and I could not make the time allowance for swimming hours at my place.
After grabbing my belongings, I hopped into a taxi where my eyes met an unusual sight. The driver was an elder gentleman with rubber washing gloves on, with the fingertips cut out for his fingers to go through. I asked him in Cantonese, “ Did you injure your hand?” He replied with a shaky gentle voice, “ No, this is for convenience and support. Other driver’s won’t wear this because they think it looks ugly.” I responded, “ It’s not how it looks, but the practicality and effectiveness of it. You’re good with me.” He looked up at my reflection through the front mirror, “ And what’s wrong with you? Were you naughty?” glancing at my walking stick. I explained the situation that had occurred and my current circumstance. “ Oh my, that’s really serious isn’t it..” I replied, “ Yeah, I’m lucky to be moving around again. I’m happy to feed myself or be able to go to the bathroom. No more contact sports for me. My life has changed.” He responded, “ Life is like that, one event can change everything. You’re lucky you know…” I darted in, “ Yeah, I am…” He continued, “ If you were my age, you might not have healed. Good thing you’re young.” I knew that my previous physique and youth had contributed a lot with healing, and I would not have been so lucky without grace. I opened up, “ But I’m not fully healed yet. I’m at about 80% good and I do rehabilitation everyday so that I can come to this stage.” The elder gentleman replied, “ You’re walking pretty well.” My lips curved and I had a full smile on my face. I don’t know if he was able to notice through the shadows, but it meant a lot to think of everything and link it with this moment. The memories that flooded this moment added so much more than the power of the words alone. This next piece of information he said, took me aback, because it was so true, “ You cannot be afraid of pain. There will be suffering whether you like it or not, you just have to accept it.” This is true. In all hardship, nothing comes easy. If we just learn to accept it, go through it, and press on more than have the battle is won. He kept repeating the statement, “ You cannot be afraid of pain or suffering…”
The taxi turned a corner and we were there. I wanted to continue speaking to this gentleman, but we had come to the end of our journey. I said, “ Your words have touched my heart, please keep the change.” He turned around to me for the first time and said, “ Please don’t.” I interrupted, “ But I insist, because you understand.” He responded with a smile, “ Just give it to me next time when we meet. Good luck with your recovery. Accept pain and suffering, but don’t go overboard with training.” I exited the taxi and accepted as part of my process towards a full recovery. Until we meet again my friend, now it’s time for a swim.
All challenges are character-building experiences. Accept that the process won’t be easy. There will be difficulties. These hurdles are there to help us learn and grow. Once we have accepted it in the right light, this power can be utilise to help us blossom.
How is your journey of acceptance unfolding?