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  • Writer's pictureMarc-Henri Sandoz

My new teacher

Let me introduce you to my new teacher: my prosthesis, spending hours with me each day and constantly making me discover some precious lessons of reality.

I'm not trying to be ironic. Some days after my amputation, I've written in my personal journal: "to be a survivor and not a victim". And my best way not to be a victim is to learn everything I can from this situation I go through. My prosthesis is here to help me in that process.

The lessons are many, here are some I already could understand:

1/ I can face things, even when they are more difficult than I ever could have imagined.

2/ I'm frail, nothing is granted, and it's part of reality for everyone of us.

3/ I need others, and there is love and care in the human tribe: from my loved ones of course, what would I do without my wife, children and stepson, friends? But it's also true with less intimate relationships: what would I do without the skillful prosthesist, my precious psychotherapist, the physiotherapists, doctors, uber drivers, insurance employees...

4/ I must not let me be defined by how others see me. For that I need to grow a strong sense of value rooted in being and not in doing, and to find more and more freedom from my egoic view of myself.

5/ Frustrations, pain, discouragement are and are going to be part of my life. They are not ennemies if I learn to welcome them and listen to them.

6/ Spirituality is not a way to escape reality or to transcend it. I've got this intuition/feeling/belief that God/the Great Mystery/What Matters is present at the very heart of reality. And my reality is made of many moments of frustration, discouragement, even pain. It's difficult to learn to walk again with that equipment. It's hard to face how people in the street look at me. It's still harder to face my own anger, self pity, sometimes contempt for my new body and new condition, often arising when I face my new limitations.

This prosthesis makes sure I don't forget all of this at any moment. It's a constant reminder of my new condition. And it's teaching me a great message from Reality: What Matters is precisely here. The presence of the Divine is surfacing in those very moments that seem the most trivial and difficult. Here and here only can I discover how much I'm loved and accepted as I am and where I am, unconditionally.

And how do I discover that?

Mainly by giving it to myself: by learning to love me better, accept me and support me better as I am and where I am, even if it's difficult and if it makes me face all my wounds and black spots, all my resistance to love me and accept me. I'm the first one who needs to express and embody the divine love for myself, and when I learn to do that, even painfully and partially, all the universe, all the reality is supporting me and helping me, for I go with it. I'm like the surfer who doesn't fight against the wave but uses its force and rides on it and with it. And even the little fragments of this love and acceptance that begin to arise in me are very precious, because they make me softer and more able to love and accept others in the same way that I can do it for myself.

The Divine/the Great Mystery is very close to the ground, much more than in any highest place. Precious teaching!

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