i write to you after eleven spacious days of rest and recuperation following the surgery i mentioned in my last newsletter. the procedure (laser stapedectomy), helped to reverse the effects of otosclerosis, a genetic condition that has contributed to significant and progressive hearing loss for me over the years. i am beyond grateful for all the love shown in the form of encouraging notes, flowers, offers of meals and errand running, walks and massive amounts of prayers and visualizations sent out to the ether in my name.
the day of the surgery (even before the anesthesia!) i felt this tangible sense of floating on a cloud of light, covered with a blanket of love that allowed me to fully surrender into trust and receptivity. every single person that cared for me at the hospital, from the warm receptionist to my outstanding surgeon, felt like their own unique species of angel. there was constant synchronicity and serendipity that flowed through what could have been a scary and stressful day and i’m thrilled to report that the surgery went extraordinarily well.
i now move through the world with a very small piece of titanium (with the strength of titan himself, no doubt) that has replaced my right stapes middle ear bone. this makes for much better mechanical functioning of my hearing so that suddenly, after years of often frustratingly unclear, muted sounds, i can hear SO MUCH!!
in many moments over this last week and a half, as my body adjusts to the prosthesis and the amplification of sound, this gift of hearing has felt overwhelming and painful. the fight or flight wisdom in my nervous system was suddenly on high alert – interpreting nearly every sound as loud and jarring. airplanes flying by, the blender making my morning smoothie, the telephone ringing, any music or audio being turned up beyond the lowest volume, the voices of those i love and even the hum from the refrigerator were suddenly sending distress signals to my whole system. there were many moments i felt anxious and inundated with stimuli. i had several waves of physical and emotional pain, which at times felt like they would last forever. the moments of relief came when i allowed myself to sit still, simply being. when i could let the sounds be there; witnessing them as they were, there was less resistance in my body. when i let myself just feel the emotion, however sucky, and make unfiltered sounds of the pain or distress, my suffering diminished and resourcefulness to ride the waves arose.
my patient and kind husband cared for all my needs so that, as much as i allowed myself, i was free to simply rest, integrate and be. with time, as the surgeon promised, my body’s innate wisdom has been recalibrating to receive my auditory environment with more ease. as the swelling reduces and the middle ear area heals, sounds are getting even more refined and clear. yesterday i returned to work and noticed for the first time in years that i could hear people speaking quietly without strategically placing my body. miraculous!
this experience has offered me more than the gift of hearing… it’s been an invitation to be here in each moment more fully, with all of my heightened senses. it’s a been a chance for my expansive, compassionate and strong parts to hold space and nurture the parts of me that feel weak and scared. the journey has amplified and confirmed a profound knowing of the absolute genius of our bodies and the brilliant minds that create and perform such miracle surgeries. the pace of my life has necessarily slowed and reminded me that nothing i produce or check off my daily (or lifelong) to-do list makes me any more worthy of a human being. and it’s revealed just how deep and wide the circle of people who love and care for me is.
perhaps most significantly, i’m feeling the unleashed power of having moved with and through something that scared me. there were some small but serious risks to this surgery, as there are risks to choosing anything that veers us in a new direction from life as we know it. within every frustrating and painful circumstance, or pattern of thinking, there is always a choice. we can either remain stuck in the familiar pain or walk into the risky unknown. when we make the choice to move forward with trust, either the circumstances, or the way we view the circumstances, will change. either way, we find ourselves with access to more energy.
something deep within me pointed to going forward with this surgery, so i went forward, fear and all. i let the fear remind me to do my due diligence and prepare as well as possible, but i didn’t let it stop me. listening to my soul’s whispers prompted me to make a choice that now allows me to hear you whisper. hear, hear to that indeed.