Thursday, August 28, 2008

Larry (part three)

As meaningful as the Individual part of Larry’s lesson to me was … it was, in truth, the second aspect of the message that I received. The first, and immediate, lesson was (as I watched him employ all of the might and strength developed by his upper body in its accommodation of his lower body’s needs) … (and Yes!! This is literally the exact thought spoken to my awareness in that very moment) … “If I suggested, to Larry, the idea of amputating his legs in order to make his swim less of an effort … he would tell me,
‘You go to hell ! These are my legs … a part of my total Self … and I am fully capable of taking care of and looking after their needs. Because they are a part of Me. And I love them just as I am lovable.'

And I … right then … and right there … as I stood in the swelteringly humid and overwhelmingly loud swimming facility at The University of South Florida … I understood the responsibility of the total Body … to the less functional … even “handicapped” … part of that Body. I saw … heard … sensed … and knew that the all of the parts of the total Body, known as Humanity, have a natural and completely appropriate right, to be loved, and cared for, as members of that Body ... though they may be crippled by circumstance. I understood … in the midst of all of those cheers for Larry and his beautifully determined commitment to the success of his Entirety … that we, as The Body of Humanity, become stronger and more wonderfully balanced … as we care for, provide for, tend to, and nurture every aspect of who we are. That is what that room full of people were cheering for. Character! Commitment! Determination! Those were the values that spoke to us all as we watched Larry’s determined focus and purposeful struggles. We all had an awareness stirred within us in that moment.

And I knew, then, and have been repeatedly convinced, over the course of the nearly thirty years since, that we, as a Society … as a Global Body … have a daily opportunity to tend to the needs of the Entirety of our Self … as One. And the more care we give the members of our Body that are limited in some way … the stronger and better developed the rest of 'Us' becomes. This is what motivates me to seek out and respond to the Hurting and Disadvantaged. They are members of this Body that is Me. And I do not see amputation of them as a healthy remedy to their conditions or circumstances. No, indeed! I see the gentle, loving, and nurturing care of them as an opportunity to develop and make stronger the totality of the Body, of which I am but a small, but valuable, part.

This is what Life whispered to me in that long-ago moment. The Truth that lies in the balance of all that is intimately an aspect of Me … in my Individual Self … and just as importantly, in my universal Self. I am part of You. You are a member of this Body of which I am a part. We are healthy and functional when and as we accept, respect, nurture, and care for the Totality of who we are. In this way we become worthy of the cheers and applause of all of Eternity. To that end, I extend my encouragement and loving efforts … to You.


lime said...

amen, amen, amen. very well said, my friend.

Lisa L. said...

So true!

aims said...

I was thinking that you were going to tell us that you built Larry something that would support his legs while he swam. Then I got thinking about my friend Terrence without his legs and his joy of life and how he told me that losing his legs was the best thing that happened to him.

Then I got thinking about Larry again and how he can swim "without" his legs! How hard that is! What an incredible accomplishment that is! Imagine trying to do it in the first place - what a strong person Larry is!

Then I got thinking about how many people have shunned me because of my mental disability - when I had the breakdown. How the world shuns and looks down on people with disabilities.

Your words have opened up a huge gaping hole of sadness within me JM. Only because as a society we are all handicapped with our thoughts, words, our actions. Those who have so often look down on those who have not. Arrrghhh!

John-Michael said...

Thank You, my Precious Lime. I so enjoy harmony with You. (Prob'ly 'cause I love You.) [smile]

John-Michael said...

You nod of agreement is valued and appreciated, Dear Lisa. I look forward to the growth of our friendship.

John-Michael said...

A KEEL! That is what Larry's legs provided for him, my Darling Aims. Just as your experience brought all of your efforts and focus to bear on one singular focus of basic Survival. So our perceived 'handicaps' can provide the hull-righting weight, and the hydro-dynamic direction to keep our craft upright in treacherous winds of circumstance ... and headed in the direction of our chosen harbor, when the currents and waves of life would push us off course. That heavy, cumbersome, and unseen (to the passing eye) keel is what keeps balance in the craft ... and direction in the navigation. This is also part of what Life brought to my attention, through Larry's demonstration.

Lovingly ...

Suldog said...

Beautiful, beautiful insight, John-Michael. As you know, you already touched me deeply with the previous parts of this entry. No less with this, my friend.

Sandra Ree said...

You, my dear man, peel layer after layer away until the light that needs to escape shines through. Because of circumstances that I can't control and struggle with daily keep me chained to a certain mind set, it's hard to read sometimes the beauty of your words. But always, a way is shown to me and I am always thankful and at peace when I understand your message.

Thank you for having the daily courage to look after others, John-Michael, you truly are a beautiful soul.

Classic Charm said...

Wow....I went back to read all of your story. Ah, it is so true my friend what you say so elequently.
Glad to see you back, hope you're taking care of you.

Annie said...

I am reminded of the Body of Christ again, when I read your story! It is always amazing to see it in action!


Classic Charm said...

Stop on over, I could use your encouragement today.

Classic Charm said...

Thank dear dear man! For taking the time out of your life to come over and let me lean on your shoulder. Your ideas are just beautiful....and I will take inspiration from them. THANK YOU for being there.

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