A Need For Control. The Universe. And A Back Brace.


Two and a half weeks ago, I screwed up my back. It’s happened before of course, here and there, but not to this extent – this was the worst one yet. 

I had been upping my game in the running department, and being conscious of the fact that I’ve had back issues in the past, I started to focus on some core strength training as well – turns out I over did it. 

It took me down…it took me down, hard. 

It was like the universe had timed it perfectly to coincide with a handful of other stressful events happening in my life; my daughter starting school for the very first time ever during a global pandemic, our kittens getting fixed, and some good old fashioned family rumbles. 

Side note: if you’ve never put a neck cone on a cat before, consider yourself lucky. If you’ve never seen a neck cone on a cat before, that’s because IT. DOESN’T. HAPPEN. You can’t be a respectable cat and wear one of those things – it’s in the cat code.

In any case, the stress, frustration and anger, mixed together with the crippling back pain, created the perfect storm. It left me feeling completely and utterly powerless – which is enraging, and at the same time, hopelessly defeating. I couldn’t exercise, I started eating badly, simple tasks became difficult, and of course the kids fought more – a lot more. 

Side note: if you never tried to yell or get angry with a busted back before, consider yourself double lucky. It’s horrible and just puts you in even more pain. 

But, in true Taylor fashion, whenever the universe seems to knock me down a peg, I try to zoom out for a big picture perspective in order to get a better understanding as to why. Sometimes the “aha!” moment happens right away, and sometimes it takes its sweet ass time. In this case, it was the latter. 

Let me first say that yes, I can be stubborn, and yes, I don’t necessarily do well in unpredictable situations – they tend to make me nervous and anxious. As a result, I like to be prepared and have things under control. And that my friends is the key word: control. 

My back injury and the other stresses happening in my life, were things outside of my control. 

Now, it’s not as if I haven’t experienced this lack of control before – I definitely have. In fact, being a parent allows you to indulge in it on a daily basis. But whenever it happened before, instead of sitting with it or learning how to surrender to it, I would just transfer it on to something else. If the first few tick boxes of life were chaotic and unmanageable, then I would zoom in on another one and put my focus there. 

The tick box I chose to concentrate on was exercise and eating well. The more control I exerted, the better I felt. Not only because of the endorphins and the top notch food fuel, but also because amongst the deeply messy chaoticness of life, I was still able to manage SOMETHING. 

Now, you might be thinking, what the heck is wrong with exercise and eating well?! That sounds like a pretty good deal, no? And it was, and it is for a lot of people, but for myself, in that particular situation, it became problematic because the need to maintain and manage was teetering on a jumbled up mess of anxiety. And as such, even when I needed to let go a bit and have some much needed balance and flexibility, it became a difficult thing for me to do.

So, unfortunately, the universe needed to really get my attention, and it did. Probably more so because this isn’t the first time its tried to teach me this lesson. 

Side note: I didn’t even try the back brace on until a week and a half into the pain. That’s how stubborn I am. 

So I’m trying to embrace the messy and relinquish the control a bit. But for me, it’s not an easy thing to do, clearly even when my back is down and out, it’s still something I resist. But it is something I’m determined to work on. And sometimes that’s all you need. 

So for anyone who needs to let go more, or for anyone who needs to exert more control in their lives, depending on your particular situation – good luck to you. Because I truly believe when we pay attention to the lessons, and continuously try to change and grow, life flows more smoothly and there is more time to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of it all, which is really what it’s all about. 

So for now, you can hear me saying my new mantra to myself, “less control…less control…less control.”

2 thoughts on “A Need For Control. The Universe. And A Back Brace.

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