Two and a half weeks ago, I broke my leg. My left fibula to be precise. I did it while climbing a V2 warmup route on a beach in Hawaii. If there’s a place to break your leg, it’s on a beach in Hawaii. There’s no more beautiful spot to ruin your day.
It’s pretty frustrating to break your leg, I can promise you that. It’s even MORE frustrating to break it on a climb you’ve done multiple times in the past, that is well below your limit. But isn’t that the way it always goes? You get hurt on the warmup – something familiar – because you’re being complacent. But that’s not really what this post is about. This isn’t about WHY or HOW we get hurt, but about healing.
The universe is awesome. Our bodies are awesome. The very fact that a bone can break, put itself back in place, and knit itself back together again honestly blows my mind a little bit. But none of us question this. Anyone who’s broken a bone understands that there’s no getting around the prognosis: YA JUST GOTTA GIVE IT TIME. We can get frustrated at the situation – we can get bored as hell – but no one gets mad at the BONE for healing at the speed it does, and taking the time it needs to do the job properly. We get mad that we can’t function the same way, that we can’t work or play or even shower without help – fine. But ya don’t get mad at the bone.
So why is it that we get so mad at our heart when it doesn’t heal at the speed we’d like?
Let’s look at the healing process for a bone.
Immediately after a break, the muscles, tendons and ligaments are HOPEFULLY still intact enough to rebound the bone back into a decent, non-displaced alignment. Blood rushes to the area to create a mass of blood cells in the space between the pieces of bone, and swelling occurs. Slowly, and over time, a new bone matrix gets formed in the space between the break, sealing the gap. At this time, though, that new bone is still soft and weak, and needs to be protected. Over time it hardens and gets stronger, though it never looks the same again. The bone has the potential to become even stronger than it was before, but ONLY if it’s left alone to do its job properly, and fed the right nutrients. If you try to do too much too soon, you could slow, stall, or even create lasting issues due to improper healing.
I’ll bet that process sounds familiar, even to someone who’s never broken a bone in their life. Why? Because it’s the exact same process our hearts go through when they’ve experienced an emotional pain or trauma. The universe, like I said, is an amazing thing – and at the end of the day, EVERYTHING pretty much operates the same way. Our hearts heal in the exact same manner as our bones.
But we never get mad at our bones.
Our INSTINCTS are often to use that heart as quickly as possible! Throw it at someone else as quickly as we can! Maybe USING it will help it heal faster! But all we’re doing is creating conditions that won’t let the heart heal properly. The REAL nutrients the heart needs?
Time. Space. Kindness. Self Love.
All of those things take immense courage, but we wouldn’t think twice about giving our bones time, because that’s what the doctor tells us. Well, think of the universe as your doctor. Simply in the way we’re designed, it’s clear the steps and the path that leads to proper healing in all things: Time. Space. Kindness. Self Love.
So for those out there struggling with the end of a relationship, the death of a loved one, or ANY type of emotional turmoil, look to your bones, and draw strength from the fact that our bodies work exactly the way they’re designed to. You WILL heal. You just need to respect your heart in the same way you’d respect the oblique fracture of your left lateral fibula.