Lessons from A Fall
On the scale of things, a small fracture in a small kneecap is minor. But whether minor or major, unexpected interruptions in our life demand attention, on many levels.
It was a sunny afternoon when I fell and the damage was immediate. Pain shouts its message, which is a good thing. My body reacted in other ways too, and my emotions. The first was denial. “It’s just badly bruised,” I told the kind shopkeepers who brought ice, even though the swelling was clear and my loud yelps when it moved were clearer.
Later scans revealed a fracture and I was set with a brace and instructions to be off my feet for one month. This was not on my to do list!
Karma catches up with us, in its own time. This very reasonable system of action and reaction keeps the world in balance. However, there is also the Krishna factor. We see His hand in things, how the fall could have been a lot worse, and how little control we have over a lot of things. In Krishna Bhakti, we have something to hold on to as we sort things out. There is also assurance, comfort, and guidance to navigate our response.
With my movements restricted, my mind was having a field day. Not being able to get up and about to check on things caused anxiety to flow right in. The practice of trust was essential here - trusting Krishna’s timing, trusting that things will be fine without me (imagine that!), trusting that I am where I am meant to be, and trusting my ability to adjust and still be of service. Minding our mind, it takes work, but can be done. My fall presented an opportunity for ‘suitable practice and detachment’ - the remedy for mind control offered by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.
At the end of the day, it’s not exactly our ability to move and act that matters. It's our consciousness. And Krishna consciousness is about putting our minds, our awareness, our intention to do and be, whatever the context of our lives, in ways that take shelter of, stay connected to, and express our affection for Krishna.
Our life here is this body is temporary, with unlimited ups and downs. Our choices are always ours. The first and best choice is to keep the main thing the main thing - chanting the maha mantra to walk with Krishna and make it to the end in one piece.