my broken wing

This is a long one…

It’s been quite some time since I last posted, and for pretty good reason. Nine days ago, while at the end of a short hike with some gal pals, I tripped on something and fell directly onto my right arm. And that, my friends, is when the screaming began. An angel of the human kind appeared in the form of a rescue worker also hiking the trail, and he helped me walk to the car, screaming all the way. A friend who knows how to drive a Prius, drove me and my screams of pain to the local ER. And I screamed pretty much all the way through the X-rays, the doctor’s prognosis of fractures on and dislocation of my humeral head––the bone that attaches to the shoulder. And I definitely screamed while the staff put on the brace and sling to stabilize the injured arm.

Life has gone sideways ever since, with my having to let go of teaching a workshop that weekend, teaching my beloved, stress reducing, joyful Zumba Gold classes, and life in the fast and flowing lane. The pain has been intense until today when there has been some respite and forward progress––yay. And wandering around with a sling in a brace has been challenging to say the least. At times I feel like I’m in bondage––and I’ve never been into bondage, if you know what i mean. Yet today the pain was low grade enough to go out into the world of the local farmers market where I received a number of gentle sideways hugs.

Now, you know that this adventure does not come without the requisite big life lessons and spiritual messages. So I’d like to share a few of the messages and lessons, because life does occasionally throw us a curveball, or down to the ground, or way out of our comfort zone–I realize this may be true for many of you reading these words. So here’s what I have, shared from my heart:

#1. When one is in intense pain–– the kind that, if asked if it is on a scale from 0 to 10 with 10 being maximum ouch, one answers “11,” all reason, all calm and spiritual thoughts, all transcending the ego goes out the window. So one needs to work with the human, the one who is screaming in pain, the one who is already feeling helpless and hopeless, the one who could give a fudge about breathing through it, or being open to any tricks up one’s spiritual sleeve. Let her or him scream and shout out profanities, or whatever else is needed in the moment. The divine nurses and physician’s assistant at the hospital actually said to me,  as I was left to deal with agonizing pain for hours before any medications could be administered: “That’s okay, say bad words!” In other words, this was not the time to try to make me feel better. That wouldn’t work, because I needed to cry and yell and grieve. So, in the initial throws of a painful event, don’t try to take the gifts of those moments of truth away from you or any one.

#2. Let go, completely, of life as it was. Let go of what you think should happen, let go of all your considerations about the situation, and definitely let go to the helpers––they are there for you. They certainly have been for me. I needed to let go of quite a bit at first. I needed to let go to the fact that I may not be able to work for quite some time, and that I needed to cancel a full class with a waiting list, as well as the aforementioned Zumba classes. I also needed to let go of pride—my wonderful housemate Deb attended to me and dressed me and fiddled with the brace and the sling and me crying and sniffling the whole time. I needed to let go of the fact that I thought I needed to be brave through all of this. I needed to let go of doing this alone. Which brings me to…

#3. Let people help you. The truth is, your true friends really really want to help you, but they need to know how to do this. They need to know that you are open to their support. The gifts of their support is actually gifting them with something tangible that they can do for you. And that is a huge relief to those who are concerned about you.

So I let them help me and support me with food, offers of rides to where I needed to go, and even money to make up for lost income––that one really got to me. Accepting money for “no work” was difficult. But I knew somewhere in my soul that if I allow them to support me in this way, I could breathe and allow the healing to happen, unencumbered by financial worry. I allowed my housemate and my husband to help me get dressed and drive me to appointments. And this allowance has made all the difference, and has brought me to this day of relatively little pain. Thank you to all who’ve supported me in this process so far and who will support me in this yet to be determined journey.

#4. Pain is difficult to deal with when it’s intense, but pain can also be an ally and a guide. For a very active person like myself, pain has directed me to be still––as still as possible for me––and allow the healing to happen. If I overdo it, and even attempt to move in a somewhat normal way for me, the pain guides me to understand the error of my ways. So there you have another letting go––I had to let go to stillness. I am embracing quiet, not being in charge, and, in moments that are becoming more frequent, truly hearing the voice of Spirit in new and exciting ways.

#5. Speaking of the voice of Spirit, of course my human immediately went into “Why did this happen to me?” mode. Why, when momentum in in my work was really flowing, did I have to put on the brakes–-full stop? It didn’t make any sense to me in the first few hours, but now, even if it doesn’t make entire sense as to why this happened, I am absolutely grateful for all the gifts that this challenge has given me. I give thanks to Spirit for the grace to receive the love, care, good wishes, heartfelt prayers, energy healing from a distance, and so on from my beloved community. If it were true that Spirit wanted me to sit still for a while, well this was a good way to do that. But I think it is beyond getting me to sit still—I think what Spirit truly wants for me is to know that no matter what happens to me, no matter how painful the circumstances, Spirit’s Love is unending.

In the nine days til today, I have read books I usually do not have time to read; I’ve allowed others’ love and care into my life; I’ve had dreams of a possible future I wasn’t aware of until after this accident. I’ve sat still. I’ve allowed myself to wince and curse and be very very human. In a few days I will get more tests to see if there is extensive damage that needs surgery. And I have to admit that when the doctor said she was leaning towards no surgery and a more conservative approach to healing, I was relieved. Yet what I truly desire is whatever will serve me in my highest and best interest, and if that is a necessary surgery to bring about complete healing, then so be it.

Meanwhile the class that I canceled over a week ago—Interpretation of Signs and Visions, will be rescheduled for July 21. Other classes will be moved around as needed. And this is all contingent upon whether I need surgery or not. Also meanwhile, I am here for you. I have a good phone and a microphone and some wisdom to spare, so if you need me to counsel or support you, call me—I am available.

May whatever incidents and accidents that befall you on this road of life also provide you with many gifts–– Gifts of Spirit, compassion and humanity.

I promise I will keep you posted. Don’t stay a stranger.

With love and heartfelt blessings,

Posted in

Elke Macartney


  1. Diane on July 8, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    YES! I love this insight. ‘My human’ really spoke to me. I heard all you wrote and love the ‘time to ‘listen’ to what I have heard:)

    Hugs Elke and thank you for your transparency and unconditional love ‘example’ for yourself and others.

  2. Patricia Francisco on July 10, 2018 at 4:54 am

    Dear Lady. Be still indeed. I have often looked back at my healing as such a time of learning. It changed my life. It changed how I live. The memory of the pain slowly fades and we are left to make peace with all that was experienced. Would I go through it again…no. Though having overcome the struggle, I am appreciative of what I learned.
    I wish you speedy healing and much love.

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