Concussed — 3 gifts of hitting your head
A month ago I landed on my face and got a nasty concussion. I was in denial, then angry, now grateful.
No longer looking like the morning-after a bar fight, I’ve reflected and accepted three gifts from the accident that are relevant whether we hit the wall or screw up in life.
Before my fall, I felt on top of the world. I had just spoken at a powerful women’s’ dinner in L.A., discussing how to make investments that had a positive impact on the world. As I went for a run the following morning, listening to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”, I tripped over a tree root and landed on my face. Ouch.
My neurologist told me I had the second worst kind of concussion — (the worst is when you die) and I had to take my recovery ‘seriously’. After spending time in my reluctant slowdown — I am usually a whirling dervish — I have realized three blessings of being whacked in the head.
Lesson One: Embrace the Love
My number one rule of life is, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Yet I prefer to give than receive. It was time to take my own advice.
After posting a picture of my bruised face, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from my clients, colleagues, family, friends, neighbors & synagogue members. Gifts of love ensued: calls, texts, messages, visits, essential healing oils, babysitting and meals.
In my weakness, I was forced to receive. I felt guilty, but was finally open to accepting kindness and love. I realized for years I had used giving as a form of escape, to maintain control in a chaotic world and avoid being vulnerable. I learned it’s courageous to admit you’re vulnerable and ask for help.
Gift one: to ask for help and embrace the love.
Lesson Two: Accept your fragility
In my crazy world I felt invincible and that morning ran like my body was my servant. I was traveling on an 18-city speaking tour bringing in new investors, blogging, enjoying time with my sons and planning our vacation to Bali…but that all changed in a minute.
After I stumbled back to my hotel, blood rushing down my face, I finally started listening to my body. It is not my slave, we are a partnership. If I ignore it, it will force me to listen.
Gift Two: be grateful for your power and accept your fragility.
Lesson Three: Own your fall
I am still not 100%, but healing. My face is scarred and energy low. I tried to keep going as if nothing happened. So I cancelled a few speaking gigs, went offline for a week and thought I was fine. I wasn’t. I nearly collapsed.
Why did I push myself? Fear. I was worried I’d lose my job. I didn’t want ANYBODY to see me as weak. My stubbornness and pride was knocking me out once again.
Finally I got the lesson. I have told everyone I fell, I’m concussed, and I’m taking time to heal. I’ve cancelled more trips and speaking gigs, and daily I’m reminding my kids and my colleagues I need to rest. It’s helping. I am human.
Gift Three: Own your fall and allow time to heal.
I am grateful for my concussion. Every injury has a gift but it is our responsibility to find the hidden blessing. As the Rabbis taught: “true strength is controlling your passions”, and I can finally see that success does not mean we have to work until our body is 6 feet under. I love my work investing in technologies that change the world but more than anything I love life and my three sons.
So the next time you fall, think of my lessons: Embrace the Love, Accept Your Fragility and Own Your Fall.