Monday, January 18, 2010

The last 10%

When someone has been injured and they come in to see me for bodywork, it's a process of gradual improvement. There is generally a pretty steady upward curve for the first segment, and then it's down to the last 10%. The final portions of recovery are the parts that take the most time and awareness, and are usually the most frustrating. By the time the injured party is at that point in the process, they feel pretty good most of the time, and it's usually then that an important mistake happens: "You know, I've been wanting to build that retaining wall in the yard. The weather's pretty nice this weekend, so how about we just crank that out?".

The next thing I know, said client is back on the table in a condition that I may have not seen for months! When a system isn't fully healed and stabilized, doing something very strenuous can put things backwards quite a bit. It isn't because that last 10% is such a big piece of the whole, it's because that 10% is the foundation for everything else, and when it goes, everything else goes to pot in sympathy.

So, I've been thinking about this idea in connection to relationship "injuries". When there's been a trauma in a connection, taking the time to do the rehab on it is valuable, and even when things feel highly functional and positive, it may be worth considering that some of the latent injury may take time to become fully stable.

As PG and I have hit the reset button on our relationship, this is something that I want to keep in mind. To not push too hard, too quickly, to back up from something if there's a sense of strain, rather than continuing forward to prove that I can do it (whatever it is), because it may not be the right time to push ahead, because the long-term stability piece is more important to me than getting all the i's dotted, and t's crossed immediately. So, I shall attempt to allow things to find a equilibrium without managing that as actively, and listening to those little twinges before they become full-out spasms.

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