Saturday, August 25, 2012

A leg to stand on

It was two weeks after my knee injury, the swelling subsided and I'd regained most of the movement in the joint. I thought I'd almost healed and was excited to resume skating in a matter of days. God had other plans. As I walked through my garage, my knee abruptly gave way and twisted in the same manner I'd initially injured myself. To make things worse, I fell directly on my knee cap which, until then, had been intact. In a matter of minutes it was heavily inflamed.

Worse than the acute pain was my loss of trust in my leg's ability to support me. I realised that at any moment my leg could collapse again under my weight and send me crashing to the floor in agony. Nevertheless, as horrible as the experience was, it served as a catalyst for deep insight into the correspondence between the legs and two of the Sefirot - spiritual energies - on the Tree of Life, the central Kabbalistic model of reality.

Trust and Loyalty
The Sefirot associated with the the right and left legs are Netzach (trust) and Hod (loyalty/sincerity) respectively. My former understanding of the link between these qualities and the legs focused mainly on the fact that as the legs must work together to enable a person to walk - unlike the hands or eyes which, relatively speaking, can function independently of each other - trust and loyalty are interdependent qualities. One can only trust someone who is loyal, sincere and committed, otherwise the trust is misplaced and will sooner or later be undermined.
Trust and Loyalty

After my second fall, however, I discovered a more obvious connection which had been right under my nose (pun intended) the entire time. Since the legs support one's entire body, they, more than other limbs, require our trust in their loyalty. I'd always taken my legs' 'loyalty' for granted. I hardly noticed that I had to trust them to support me at every step. After my second fall, however, where my leg was 'disloyal', my trust in it - or the lack of it  - became apparent.

At this point I needed reassurance that my leg was indeed healing and that I could safely rely on it in the near future. I visited my physiotherapist. After examining my knee and explaining why it failed to support me, he bolstered my confidence that my normally loyal friend would come around and regain my trust - of course, on condition that I stop 'looking down' at him!

So it seems, I still have a leg to stand on...


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