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From the past or to the future?

Perceptions define our beliefs, experiences and expectations. The perception of this door can identify the past or the future. It depends on which way you want to look at it. But, can you look at it more than one way? Can it be both? Can this door link the past with the future? Of course, it can! Here is why....

This door is the door to my great grandfather's house that was built in the 1920s in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is the door to the home that my grandma lived in when she was a child. This is the door that my dad also lovingly took a picture of. This picture has allowed me to shape my perception about hope and has impacted my attitude and my expectations in recovering from bilateral hip surgeries recently.

How can this door shape my expectations and beliefs? It is weathered and creaky much like my hips. The paint is chipping. It is far from perfect, but it is beautiful. It is also the picture that I used as a focal point when my father was battling a brain tumor. The words that I consistently repeated to myself during his illness were, "Hope allows us to walk through the door into a future."

At that time of my life, I absolutely needed to learn the skill of positive self-talk. This is a skill that many must learn, but can be difficult. You tell yourself, "I'm afraid, but I trust one way or another I will get through this." or "Yes, this is going to be really hard, painful and scary, but I trust my healthcare team. I will be okay." or "I am in so much discomfort and pain now and I know that this is going to challenge me to my max, but I can do it." This skill must be learned and the self-talk done until you believe it. Talk to yourself until it is part of your being and innate to your belief system.

This door and the mantra I attached to it have become part of my belief system. This is how this door is connected to my future as well as my past. I want to encourage you to look at your life and what may be impacting your recovery either positively or negatively. If there is some experience or belief positively impacting your hip recovery, then embrace it and honor it. Celebrate it! If there is some experience or emotion coming through that door from the past that is negatively impacting your recovery, kick it to the curb. It serves no function. Figure out how you can truly close that dysfunctional door and open the door into seeing your recovery with a new set of lenses whether it be from imperfect hips or any other challenge you may have.

Surround yourself with people who can support you through this challenging journey - not only your physical journey, but the mental and emotional journey of recovery. Trust your doctor, your PT, your friends and your family, but most importantly trust yourself. Find the symbols of health, recovery, patience and hope that scream your name. You've got this!

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