It is an exercise in patience.
You feel the twinge of an old injury--one made years ago from overwork and an addiction to busyness that still haunts you. It comes and goes in time with the rise and fall of the semester.
The overachiever in you was once tempted to strengthen that shoulder with weights and more complex yoga postures and more time on fancy workout machines. You know now how futile that all is. It only buries the pain deeper inside your tissues.
No. The answer to your injury is at once more simple and more profound than that: you must listen to your body. Your shoulder, like a wing stretched too tight around your back, is remembering how to unfurl itself, how to let one feather after another relax its grip on your ribcage and do what it was meant to do. Let it reach skyward even as you lay your roots in the earth.
Your shoulder. Full of infinite strength but too often asked to carry more than it should. With each feather that unwraps itself from your body, each gentle exercise that allows you to move your shoulder back into its place, you let go of the weight that has held your shoulder down for too long. You let go of the memories embedded in the socket, the feelings your body remembers but that your mind strives to forget.
And at the end of your work you are left with this one answer, this one truth: your body heals only when you stop trying to forget. When you stop. When you listen. When you truly let yourself mend.
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