It seems like half of my life is spent taking care of normal everyday hygiene. Pooping, peeing, showering, getting dressed, shaving and everything that I once did in a few minutes to take care of myself, now seems to drag on for an eternity. One of the supposed outcomes of meditation is that you become more acutely aware of your simple day to day activities. Things that the average person simply does without even being aware that they are doing it. For example, when someone goes through the motions of washing their hands and face at night, the physical activity is taking place but all the while the mind is streaming a random tangent of thoughts, completely detached from the physical senses and actions which are taking place. Meditation raises one’s consciousness to a higher state so that both the mind and body are united as one during simple activities such as washing up before bed. The feeling of cold water across your skin, the tiny bubbles that form in the folds of your palm, the sound of the faucet turning on and the intricate pattern you never noticed before as it drains towards its new destination. You feel the cool water against your skin as it washes away the grime from a long day and trickles down your eyelashes and down your cheeks. Hundreds of simple sensations and images to absorb and experience in the once hidden interaction of water, soap and the human consciousness.
Unfortunately, in many of the daily activities I must endure, I cannot focus on the inner actions I’m experiencing but I must focus on the inner actions someone else is having in what is most likely some sort of unpleasant activity they’re performing on me. I don’t want to consciously experience my father sticking a tube down my penis or the smelly activities my mom is enjoying beneath my shower chair. I cannot consciously enjoy my father shaving me because all I can think about is how I would be doing it differently. I then get a few moments where I can attempt to have simple conscious experience as I sit beneath the shower head and feel the warm water ran down upon me. The moment is instantly ruined when my dad walks in for father-son shower time. “Hey Dad, I think you missed a spot on my left testicle.” After shower time I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel as I lay naked in bed letting my crotch air out and trying to decide what pair of pants I would like to wear that day. I’m finally able to once again except my present situation in life after I’m fully dressed and in my power chair.
Forgive me for my pessimistic rambling, but this was my life this morning and for many more mornings to come. On mornings like this, I’m not really sure how I deal with it exactly. I think most of the time, I just pretend that it’s not happening and I actually try to let my mind drift off to some other place or some other time. This is probably not the best tactic to take during these situations but maybe I should rather except what is happening to me as something I must do to assure that I maintain a healthy body. It is during these moments when I think about what my life has become and realize that it is a whole other world in which I live, one that the average person is completely oblivious of and will never experience or understand in their lifetime.
I do understand that even though it seems like mornings like today last a lifetime, the time in which I can personally experience my interactions with the divine world we all live in far exceeds the time in which I can’t. Of course my interactions with the divine and the infinite consciousness will not be the same as if I was never injured, but I probably wouldn’t be trying such nonsense otherwise.
So how do I approach such situations as father-son shower time? Do I except it and experience it as it is, or do I continue to drift away and pretend it is not happening? Unusually, my writing has not led me to the answer. I can have faith that my life will not be the same forever. If I do not reach a point in which I’m doing these things on my own, I can be sure that someone besides my parents will be doing it. Life does not stand still. There is no single moment which is the same as the one before it or the one afterwards. Change is inevitable and for some this may be a disappointment. I can confidently say that there have been moments in my life I wish never ended, but at the present moment I can find peace in knowing that time is not stagnant and if I choose it to be, the future can always be brighter than the past.
It is a shame that I can say most of the time I’m awake, I’m frustrated. It is not in my nature to be a frustrated person but recently it seems as if the emotion is completely out of my control. I felt at peace yesterday morning but then the simple event of a sandwich falling apart tosses me out of orbit as two egos clashed. There’s nothing worse then wanting to make a personal change in your life but feeling like there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. There’s really no reason for me to be frustrated. This may sound like an odd comment, for yes I am paralyzed, but things could have been so much worse. For one I could have died and if the level of injury coincided with the vertebrae that crushed, all I would be able to do is move my head and shrug my shoulders. Instead, my C5 level of injury gives me limited movement in my arms enabling me to perform some simple tasks on my own. I am in perfect health except for the occasional UTI and I have been blessed with an incomplete classification which is why slowly function is returning as well as sensation. The progress may not be in my time but there are people who are getting no progress at all. It is all about perspective and I guess it’s OK to feel like I’m living in my own world because in a way I am, and I have the same potential for happiness in my world than the average person splashing that cool refreshing water on their face at night.