Yesterday afternoon I accidentally cut my thumb. It was just a nick, but it actually went a little-deep – I pierced a good 2-3 layers of skin. The cut isn’t very long (1/8th of an inch or so), but it is located in a prominent place (at the tip of my thumb) – so every time I attempted to grasp anything for the remainder of the day (a fork, a pen, my toothbrush) I felt a twinge of pain and physical irritation.
Yesterday the injury site was bloody and raw. I went through several band aids over the course of the evening trying to keep my thumb dry and clean. Before bed I put a big dab of ointment on the cut, wrapped my thumb in a heavy-duty bandage, and hoped that lots of clotting would occur overnight (or at the very least that I wouldn’t get blood on the sheets).
This morning I woke up, unwrapped my thumb, and was relieved to see that my white blood cells has been working overtime while I slept: a protective shell was starting to form over the still-too-new, prematurely exposed deeper layers of red skin.
As I went through my day today, I occasionally felt a jolt of a tiny electric current if my thumb came into contact with a surface in just the ‘right’ way. While my thumb was no longer throbbing like it had been last night, it was still clearly in need of a little extra consideration.
But the injury occurred less than a day ago. So to have my body shift from “ow, pain!” to “ooh, careful, that kind of stings” to “oh yeah, remember to watch out for that little nick” in a matter of only hours amazes me. And what genuinely delights me is that my body was (is) able to heal itself. With absolutely no intervention on my part, with zero direction from my mind, my body knew exactly which actions to take: which cells to generate, which antibodies to produce, which messages to relay. My body contains levels of knowledge and wisdom my mind simply will never possess; so for as smart as I might think “I” am, my body is infinitely smarter.
And my body didn’t decide to heal itself (“me”) because I’m a ‘good’ person, or because I’m ‘worthy’ of healing, or because I hold certain beliefs or aspirations or goals… My body healed itself (me) because that’s simply its nature. It will always strive towards health, towards balance, towards wholeness; it will always do its best to show me compassion.
I was genuinely heartened by these awarenesses, and by how amazingly cool they all are. They are marvelous in the most literal sense of the word. Talk about something to celebrate and be happy about!