I was talking with Lori, who’s one of my favorite people in the world. She has rheumatoid arthritis, and it’s playing havoc with her body. This vibrant, vital person is every bit as strong and effective as she’s ever been. But the disease process has her in a wheelchair and finding compensating strategies at every turn for the pain and loss of mobility.
At one point she pulled out a picture of the 2015 Ford Mustang (not to be confused with the pic above, which is the 2013 model). She told me this was the car she intended to manifest over the next year.
Yeah, I can see that! It’s a beauty…sleek and powerful.
And the second I saw the picture I remembered something profound my brother in law told me.
Cliff is a serious car guy. He has his 1968 Corvette Stingray parked in the garage, in perfect condition. He’ll take it out every once in a while. But mostly he just loves admiring it.
A few years ago he and I were talking about that year’s Ford Mustang. I think it was 2011. He told me the car was absolutely stunning, but there was a major problem with it…
The engine was so powerful, the body couldn’t handle it.
He told me (and I don’t have any first hand knowledge of this, so take it for what you will) that many of them got up to such crazy speeds with so much power behind the engine, the body of the car had a hard time with the G force. Supposedly, there were instances where panels were just peeling off at high speed.
I don’t know how that resolved itself, if at all. I don’t know if Ford reinforced the body, or decreased the power of the engine. There’s a hot 2015 Mustang that people have their eye on almost a year before they release it, so something must be up!
Because she’s brave and bold and fun, I told Lori about the Ford Mustang, and that it made me think of her. I wondered if she has an engine so powerful her body couldn’t handle it.
Of course that’s silly. There are many people, in fact I’d say most of us, whose inner workings closely match their outer workings. And of course you can find exceptions every which way.
The body builder who is still an angry, scared little kid on the inside.
The cheerleader type who is jealous, possessive and quick to put others down.
And the other side…
The woman who raised a strong family. Her children and grandchildren visit her in the nursing home. She delights in it, even as she doesn’t remember all the names.
The World War Two veteran who survived Pearl Harbor…who puts on his uniform every December 7 and salutes the flag from his wheelchair.
The child with cerebral palsy…whose bright and inquisitive mind lives inside a body that won’t obey his commands. Instead of ridicule, his classmates fight to see who gets to carry his lunch to the table.
And Lori Ruff.
Really, it’s all of us.
We are more than the sum of our parts. We catch glimpses of eternal truth and joy.
Our reach always exceeds our grasp. That is, if we’re doing it right.
Tomorrow I’m going to show a group of people how to juggle. Some will think of it as a neat little party trick. Some will curse themselves (and me) for wasting their time.
Some will understand…only a little bit of the joy of life is in the achieving.
Much of it is in the challenge. To get better. To take in more…even when our abilities seem at their end.
To laugh at the decline we will all eventually have…some sooner and more profound than others.
Our thoughts, our emotions, our capacity to grow and evolve will always outlive our physical apparatus.
(At least I think so.)
Our engines are so powerful, our bodies can’t handle it.
So enjoy your body.
And enjoy YOU, whatever condition your body is in.
Know anyone who is living joyously and courageously through some physical challenges? Got something else to share? Please comment and share below!