My husband dropped a glass on the floor last week and broke it. He swept it up, and we both thought that it was good enough. However, true to how these things usually happen, there were little shards still left on the floor and one found its way into my foot.
It was too difficult and taking too much time to remove, so I put a little Neosporin and a band-aid on it, and hoped that it would find its own way out of my foot.
For days I kept ignoring it and putting a band aid on it. Until finally, I just stopped putting a band-aid on it altogether. It hurt, but I was too busy to attend to it. I kept hoping that it would magically take care of itself. I limped about, but I refused to deal with it. I pretended it wasn’t there, and I would only think of it when the pain got too great. Eventually after a week, my body closed around it and healed with the glass still in there. It hurt, but the entry point of the glass healed and closed up. It looked like nothing was wrong with my foot, but the pain inside was still present.
When I realized that the entry point healed, I panicked. I knew I had to get the glass out because I could only wear one pair of shoes. Anything with even a slight incline, hurt like heck. I searched around on the internet (because that’s where we find solutions to everything, right?). I found out that my problem was not so uncommon and that there were solutions. Solutions that would take work and time.
One post said soak it in epsom salt, another said baking soda, vinegar, then there was bacon fat (yes, really, bacon fat), heating a needle for digging it out, tweezers, and a scalpel. I settled on soaking it twice with baking soda, vinegar, and epsom salt, re-opening the entry point, and digging it out with a sterile needle.
Finally, I got the glass out. When it dropped out it was a tiny little thing. I am still incredulous that a tiny little thing like that could keep me out of most of my shoes. It’s still sore from all the digging and literally putting salt in my wound, but it is much better and on the mend.
That ordeal made me think about the cleansing journals I am always asking my clients to do. No one ever wants to do them. Now I see why. Like with my foot, we feel too busy, too distracted, and too preoccupied to sit down and deal with the little irritants that hurt us. Rather than cleansing out the pain, we’d rather ignore the pain and hope that it naturally takes care of itself. It if it only bothers us when we think about it, then we think we can handle it. It feels like too much work to address it. It’s just too much of a bother.
Amazingly, your body accommodates you when you suppress pain and irritants. With my foot, my body healed right over the foreign object. My body accepted something that was not me, so that I could keep going on with my daily life. God has made us fearfully and wonderfully, and so our bodies easily accommodate whatever we allow to come into them, although there is always a price if we allow too much of the wrong things into our bodies. My body allowed me to go on, but I was injured. As a result I was cranky, hostile towards others, and in a generally sour mood. Every once in a while I would complain about my foot, and my family felt a little sympathy for me at first. Eventually, they didn’t care if my foot was hurting me, they had their own little irritants to deal with. My crankiness had actually become an irritant in our family life, and no one, not even me, attributed it to my glass injury. It just looked like I had a bad attitude. I didn’t look like a person in pain.
Eventually the pain became so unmanageble that I had to take the time to deal with it. I soaked for about 1 -2 hours in hot water, salt, baking soda, and vinegar. The process hurt, stung and burned. As a matter of fact, I had to increase the pain every once in a while to remove the foreign object, by heating the water I was soaking in to draw out the glass and by digging in my wound to find the glass. It’s the same way with cleansing journals. It’s necessary to silently sit with the pain. Dig around to find the source of the pain. Slowly, draw it out. It is part of the process. We know that the process hurts, and that’s why we put it off.
It was also time consuming and it required my full attention. Because I was soaking in the tub, I couldn’t really be on my phone or computer, although I tried. I just had to sit in silence and wait. I had to really focus on my injury, and there was not once ounce of entertainment in that process. This reminded me of sessions that I have with clients when I am helping them to see that the things that they think are them are not actually them. The labels, titles, descriptions, and judgements are foreign objects. When clients are asked to really take some time to focus on that concept, they are usually not at all happy about it. If we took the time to sit quietly each day, we would be shown how to eliminate foreign objects out of our lives and bodies. Many times we carry unnecessary baggage because we don’t take the time to reconnect with God in silence. We become too addicted to entertainment, distractions, and life’s fluff, so that the idea of sitting in silence feels super boring. However, when we do allow ourselves to reconnect in silence, we find that it is anything but boring. It is enlightening.
My husband tried to help me. After the broken glass, he tried to sweep up all the glass. He tried to warn me not to walk in bare feet. When I finally decided to address the pain, he got me a chair to sit next to the tub, so I’d be more comfortable. He offered me music to listen to while I waited. He gave me suggestions on how to locate the foreign object, and even tried to tweeze it out for me. It was good having a helper. His suggestions helped me. His assistance comforted me. However, at the end of the day, it was my pain. I knew where it hurt, and I had to deal with it. Again, I was reminded of myself and my client relationships. I am a helper. Some call me a healer, but I know that I am not. I am a helper. I assist my clients by offering suggestions, comfort or discomfort (whichever will helps the process), guidance in identifying the foreign objects in their lives, and tools to help the process along. I know that only God heals. Once clients are ready to submit to healing, I help them to find it. Just like my husband helped me. I had to do the work, but he helped me by creating the right conditions.
I got the tiny little piece of glass out of my foot although it took effort. My foot still aches from the salt and digging. But I can walk on it without searing pain. It is healing. I know it will take a little more time for the pain to stop completely, but I am sure that I have cleansed out the foreign object. This is what I tell my clients about cleansing journals: If you are doing one from a old past injury, only do one per week. Allow yourself time to feel better. Allow other feelings surrounding the incident to surface. Allow yourself time to process all that you’ve removed. Allow your body to be free of it. Sometimes, your whole existence has been built up around old, unaddressed injuries, and you need time to be a new you.
If you are doing one surrounding a recent event, feel free do as many as you’d like. The injury has not settled into your body, and it can be easily removed and forgiven. It has not become a part of your belief system. If I had taken the time to soak my foot on the first day of the injury, I wouldn’t have been cranky from pain, I wouldn’t have been limping around, and I probably wouldn’t have had to take hours to dig and draw the thing out.
The Cleansing Journal…(in case you’ve forgotten the steps)
- What happened?
My husband dropped a glass on the floor, tried to sweep it up, missed some pieces, and I stepped in the broken shards. My foot was hurting and I was limping for a week.
- How did it make you feel?
It hurt like heck. I felt annoyed. I didn’t want to deal with having to remove it. I felt helpless having it in there, when I didn’t ask for it. I felt cranky and irritable because I was in pain.
- What was your role or responsibility?
I walked in bare feet on a floor where glass had just been broken. I refused to takeÂ the time to take care of my injury. I thought I could cover it up and that it would take care of itself.
- What would you like to happen now?
I just want the pain to end. I want my foot to be normal again.
- Why will you forgive yourself?
I sometimes get busy. I forgive myself for putting other things before my own health. Neosporin has helped things like this in the past. I forgive myself, for trying to cover it up with a band-aid thinking that what had worked in the past would work this time. I forgive myself for being to busy and for not slowing down. I forgive myself for making the poor choice to walk in bare feet on the floor, even after I received warnings not to. I made a mistake. That’s okay.
- Why will you forgive others?
I forgive my husband for dropping the glass and missingÂ the pieces. He tried to make it right. He tried to help me heal. I acknowledge that he tried to help. I forgive him for making a mistake. He wouldn’t intentionally cause me all that pain. I know that he loves me, and I acknowledge and appreciate his efforts to help me.