It was the Love that got’em
Living in the very “green” city of Freiburg (where bike-riders abound), it may sound unbelievable that I had not ridden a bike in approximately 16 years. But it was true. So when 6 family members invited me to go e-mountain-biking up by Titisee in the Black Forest, my hesitation was understandable.
It was a perfect, summer day on the morning we rented our bikes and began our tour. I was surprised at how the e-bike made biking so much more enjoyable than I remembered, especially on those uphill stretches. After about 1.5 hours, however, the map we were using led us up some very steep and treacherous trails; the kind you see 26 year-olds scaling in sports documentaries - not 66 year-olds in short pants!
A long story short: As my front wheel hit a large stone, the e-thrust kicked-in and up into the air I soared, flipped backwards, and quickly landed squarely on my back. Really, it must have been quite a sight. The mountain-rescue team finally were able to get me off the mountain, into an ambulance and then to a local hospital.
While lying on the table in the emergency ward the pain somewhat decreased, which allowed me to think once again. I had an epiphany. I suddenly remembered what I always tell my students to do after an unpredictable–and even unpleasant–event occurs: say “thank you”. I recognized that I had to make a quick decision not to entertain victim-oriented thoughts, but to rather find gratitude within my heart for what had just happened. For it is only within my heart (not my head), that I knew that this situation was a blessing, a gift of Love directly from the Spirit.
I simply began repeating the words “thank you” again and again. The deep gratitude that I had purposefully created in my heart made it much easier to accept the diagnosis of compression fractures of two lumbar vertebrae. In fact, when receiving that news I immediately felt deep gratitude that the injury had not been worse, and that no long-term damage had been incurred. But that wasn’t all. In my heart, I honestly felt that–no matter what the diagnosis–it was exactly what I needed, at exactly the right time, even if I had absolutely no idea in my mind of WHY! At least not at that moment.
Within seconds I began to recognize chemicals running through my blood that made me feel completely safe, valued and intimately connected to a thoroughly benevolent and omnipotent Source of Love. No; that wasn’t the effect of painkillers, for none had yet been administered. By using my mind and heart in the way that I had, certain areas of my brain had been activated, which released natural chemicals into my bloodstream that caused those feelings. And as warm relaxation penetrated my lower back, it was crystal-clear to me that the healing process was well underway.
I was in such a good mood that the attending doctor and nurses were not only a bit surprised, but they also joined in with extraordinary kindness, levity and laughter. Afterward, they probably dismissed their altered state as one caused by another “crazy American’s” antics. But I knew different. It was the Love that got’em.
Since that day four weeks ago, I have become acutely aware of many reasons why that precious gift had been given to me. But that’s a story for another time.