I am better than I was. It is a commonly used phrase. I have heard it so many times. I am better than I was. Every time I have heard someone say this, or in fact any time I have said it myself, I understood it to mean only one thing. I (or you or other person) was bad, but now I am not as bad as I was. For example, someone who has been sick or in hospital, who is on the mend…
Now, I am understanding the phrase in a completely new way. Allow me to explain what I mean. Last Thursday night, I spent about five hours sitting at the kitchen table, getting my website sorted. I started at about 9pm, and just as my dear wife was heading to bed, she said to me that I was going to be sorry the following day.
Visitor: I hear you’ve been very sick. How are you now?Commonly heard at hospital bedside.
Patient: Ah, I’m better than I was.
As it turned out, I was not nearly finished, and I was sorry the following day. Good God almighty, Dear Wife was right once again!
Dear Wife: You’re hunched over that laptop and you’re going to be sorry tomorrow!
Me: Ah, shur, I’ll be grand. I’m nearly finished now.
Having sat with bad posture for such a long time, my lower back was achy on Friday. The following day, as I thought it might be a bit better, it was worse; and by Sunday it was downright painful. I noticed that I needed to walk very gingerly and even a few trips down the garden did not bring me the usual joy I had come to expect.
On Monday, I decided to skip my session in the gym and begin to help myself in some way. I rested, I slowed down and I also spend some time stretching on the mat. I did two fifteen minute stretching sessions, and spent the day being generally kind to myself and my dodgy back.
A friend of mine mentioned that perhaps I might try to see the positive side of the previous few days, and immediately I knew that she was right! Yes indeed, look for the bright side. Delve a bit deeper to see what lies beneath.
I knew that she was right about delving deeper into what was happening. I did have some time on my hands later that afternoon, and I did succeed in finding the gift! In, fact as I went to bed last night, even though I was still not fixed, I reminded myself that it was very likely that my back pain would be gone when I woke up.
So, you might be wanting to know, what was the gift? Well, to be honest, you do not need to know what my gift is. I am able to understand myself better because of the issue I had with my back for the previous few days, and that’s as much as needs to be said for the moment.
So, let us go back to the phrase I started with. I am better than I was. Here is another way of interpreting that little phrase.
Me (having reflected a wee bit about life and stuff and four-day back-pain): I am better now than I was. In fact, I am better than I was before the back pain started. I was sore, I did some sensible things such as resting and stretching,
I was open to understanding why this stupid pain came my way, and this morning my back was no longer sore. Hurray and yippee. Now, let us bring it one step further. Not alone am I recovered, but I want to mention now that I am better than recovered. I am better than I was before the five-hour laptop marathon.
Why am I better than I was? Well, for starters, I no longer have pain in my back, but much more importantly I now have an insight into myself that I was not aware of last week. I am better than I WAS.
Have you had a negative experience that was painful? After the pain was gone, did you just say to yourself, thank crikey that pain is gone? If so, was that the end of the matter? Would you have been able to see the setback as an opportunity? By living life in a positive way, there are greater opportunities to become aware of the incredible strength we have within us.
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