Thursday, March 10, 2016

The All-Powerful

It was not a place of power--the dentist chair. It is, perhaps, a place of the least power possible, where sharp tools remind you of all you haven't been doing well enough on your own, and where even your ability to speak up on your own behalf is impaired. Yet, as I spent an hour in said chair, I began to feel unbelievably powerful. I could do nothing to change the adjustments that were being made in my mouth, but I was doing what needed to be done. And at the same time, I couldn't, so didn't have to, be responsible for anything else. For an hour, I couldn't check my email or answer a text. I couldn't clean my apartment or handle anything for my kids, because I was in the dentist chair, doing what needed to be done.

Most minutes of most days, we are consumed with all we have to do and all we haven't done well enough. And that can be exhausting. And demoralizing. How often do we simply not live up to all we expect of ourselves, and what others expect of us? Yet, in the dentist chair, all that is expected is that we sit still, that we "open" or "close" or "bite" when instructed to do so. So, for an hour, though we may be in pain, it is pain that will be over. For an hour, we don't have to be powerful, or successful. We just have to be there.

I may not always feel all-powerful, but today I had the opportunity to pause from trying to be. And to think that I was just going to have a cavity filled...

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