Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. – Dr. Seuss

For the past 8 months, I have been taking a yoga class. Yin yoga to be exact. It’s the kind which is good for deep tissue stretching. Or, as my yoga teacher likes to say, “It’s yummy!” I must admit, it really is.

Why yoga? Because two years ago, I severely injured the iliotibial band of my right leg. In spite of months of physical therapy, medication and plenty of rest, my leg has still not healed 100%. You would never know it by looking at me but deep in, I am still injured, and I needed to add something else to my healing toolbox.

At a yoga retreat I attended recently, I bravely attempted a new pose. In this challenge, I extended my good leg straight behind me, high in the air. With hands flat on the mat in front of me, I would use my injured right leg to propel my entire weight straight up and off the mat. What could possibly go wrong?

Deep breath…go! Nothing happened. Over and over again I mentally struggled to attempt this new move. I even resorted to cheering myself on…Come on girl! You can do it! But the truth is, I just couldn’t. For some reason, my leg refused to lift off the mat.

I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do it. Waves of discouragement settled in with each failed attempt. I thought I was stronger by now. I thought I was more healed than I am. In the middle of my search for understanding, God answered.

Hey there, girlfriend,

Injury has emotion attached and it’s name is FEAR. Fear tethers us in place, preventing our injured parts from propelling us upward or forward.

When this happens, fear becomes an injurious presence.

You see, when we are injured by something or someone–spiritually, emotionally or physically–a certain amount of fear takes up residence inside of us. We fear trying again. We fear re-injury. We fear vulnerability. We fear falling, failing, or possibly breaking. We fear the known. We fear the unseen and we fear the what if’s.

We allow fear to become protective over our injured part, fiercely guarding it like some priceless treasure.

Can you relate? Have you been injured by someone or something and now have this lingering fear which wasn’t there before? If so, that could be why you feel stuck to the ground sometimes–unable to lift your entire weight off the mat so to speak.

Think on it: First, identify your injury. Now ask yourself…where in life have I become tethered in place by fear because of it? Relationships? Career? Decision-making? Health? Faith?

Now, what if you could change the vocabulary of fear in your life by renewing your understanding of its meaning and how it relates to your own injury?

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines fear as: an unpleasant, often strong emotion, caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

Did you catch that? It is an unpleasant, strong emotion. The emotion of fear attaches itself to our injured part.

Hey there, girlfriend,

Fear is merely an indicator notifying us that something painful has happened or might happen. Beyond this purpose, fear wields no real power nor serves any further benefit to us.

Strip away the grip of fear and what we have left is an injured part. We carry that injured part with us everywhere we go. It might not be noticeable to others, but inside, we are different. We no longer are who we once were.

There is some great news! While injury is a part of us, it is not the sum of our whole being. We have too many other viable, moving parts to remain tethered in place.

But, shouldn’t we be gentle with ourselves and not push beyond what we are comfortable with? Absolutely! However, the time will come when it’s time to move and if you let it, that fear will keep you bound to the surface unless you put it in its rightful place.

Hey there, girlfriend,

Living whole is not about becoming uninjured. It’s about learning to integrate your injured part into your whole self and embrace its limitations.

When we embrace our injury for what it is, we are able to push down fear until we finally feel ourselves rise off our mat.

The reality is, injury gives us a different lens which we now see our world through. And you know what? That really is okay. God uses our injured parts to make us even stronger. They are still useable–they are just used differently.

So what now? How do we push past…move on…rise up? How do we live injured and yet still whole?

Hey there, girlfriend,

1. Fight, but not alone. Seek after God. Invite Him in to the sacred place of pain and ask for help.

2. Drag fear to the surface, not once, but every time, and let God demolish it. Show up with a pair of spiritual scissors during prayers and intentionally sever the tether of fear.

3. Reject the lies informing us that we are unable, incapable or too injured. Replace those lies with truths boldly declaring I am able, I am capable and though I have been injured, I am healing strong.

4. Work small and build up tolerance. Be realistic with limitations, but refuse to be limited by them.

5. Try. Try again. Try again and again and again until we finally see slivers of light shining between us and the mat.

Learning to live whole while injured is similar to yoga–progress is made with regular persistence. The more you persist, the more limber, strong and stable you become. But only you can practice it in order to receive its direct benefit. No one else can do it for you.

Hey there, girlfriend,

The Law of Physics states that motion is only possible with the applied force of movement.

When you start moving, even a little, you set motion into action, action into momentum, and momentum into progress.

Come on, girl…you can do it. Rise off that mat!