Do you use crutches? By that I mean not the walking tools sometimes needed by people with walking difficulties, but the mental blocks that so many of us inflict on ourselves. When we rely on these crutches, we guarantee a failure of accomplishment. So a crutch can just as easily be mental as physical.
The context of this reflection is physical exercise. When a surgical nurse spotted me practicing Tai Chi outdoors nine days after colon surgery, he remarked that the surgery was "debilitating" and that he would expect me to be at home in bed. Now THAT would be a crutch, at least in my case.
Sure, I could just lay around for a month, but for what purpose? To be oh-so-careful that I do not hurt myself while I recover? If I cannot be careful while I practice Tai Chi, I must be pretty careless. But Tai Chi practice has made me hyperaware of my body's changes, both inside and out, so I have been
able to use my Tai Chi sensitivity to listen to what my body tells me. I even went back to the doctor once just to be sure about what I was "hearing", but that was just my hyperawareness in overdrive.
Tai Chi made the surgery easy on me; I am convinced of that. Practicing now is speeding my recovery along. I am not shortcutting the doctor's advice, but I am certainly augmenting it.
The sad thing is that so many people today use any excuse at all to avoid exercise, both physical and mental. Those people, I would say, are living on crutches. One thing we know about crutches is that we never learn to walk using crutches. We never recover from a leg injury while using crutches, because recovery requires normal activity. Crutches are incredibly difficult to use under the best of circumstances. You cannot restore your body's structure, or balance, or muscle or nerve health, as long as you simply hang off of a fancy pair of sticks. You have to walk the walk.
Similarly, you can never improve at anything as long as you make excuses. The only improvement you can
hope for comes from doing.
Are you living your life on crutches? What can you do to stand on your own?
Think about it.