There is a lovely path which I walk every morning. I am so thankful for it as walking along the edge of the narrow Costa Rican highways as the Ticos(Costa Ricans) do is still outside of my comfort zone! Right now the Halloween crabs are plentiful along the path and we eye each other up and cross to the opposite sides as we slowly pass each other, suspicion in our eyes.
Another sight I see on my morning travels, is two dogs on the farm yard I pass. Life is different here for dogs. These two are well fed and healthy, obviously cared for, but are chained to the barn to protect it. This is always a good exercise for me to remember that I can not be Canadian-centric. There is a whole world of ideas and ways to live, mine are not the best or the only ones.
Last week, one of the dogs was no longer chained to the barn. The next three mornings were the same. I thought that surely the dog would run off or at least run up to me and my dog for a sniff, maybe worse. To my surprise, the dog never wandered far from where he usually sat.
Healing can be a little like the dog, that once freed from restriction, did not know or care to stray far. I had a friend once who was waiting for a liver transplant. In the end, he was sleeping 23 hours and 45 minutes per day. When he did finally get the transplant, he said the hardest thing to come to terms with was the fact that he was going to live.
Moving from extreme difficulty and near death, to living fully again, you would think would be a totally joyful experience. However from my experience and watching others journey to health, I had found that making the mindset shift to living again can be one of the hardest parts about that journey.
It is like living on an island where there is a volcano that intermittently erupts. In the distance, you have heard there is another island which is a much better place to live but you have not been there. It is the fear of the unknown and the odd feeling of not being fully here nor there that keeps us stuck where we are. Where we are now may not be good, but we know how to cope, what strategies to use to survive it. When we step out, who knows?!
What can make all the difference is having a guide who has made the journey before.