Have you heard the current expression “You Do You!”? It can be a rather affirming remark. “Go ahead, be yourself, don’t worry about comparison or judgement or trying to pose as anyone other than your true self!”
It can be rather comical and revealing though when circumstances prevent you from “You Doing You” your way. I had a total hip replacement 4 weeks ago and I’ve been restricted from doing certain movements for proper healing. To prevent a dislocation (who wouldn’t want to prevent that?!) I may not twist nor bend more than 90-degrees. In other words, if I’m sitting up straight I best just stop right there…no reaching down to pick something up, putting on lotion below the knees, curling up on our too low and cushy couch, etc..
To help me with this 90-degree restriction I have a tool my husband and I have named, The Claw. I pull a lever at the handle and it grabs what I’m trying to reach at its end. I can testify that this is good for picking up a dropped phone, pulling on pants, putting dirty clothes into our hamper, getting my blow dryer from the bottom shelf, and picking up my cane when I drop it! I paused as I was writing this essay to use The Claw to get the cord off the floor that charges my computer. I can also testify you may not want to lift a book you care about off the floor with The Claw.
The Claw helps, but it doesn’t miraculously let Me Do Me. I’ve learned a lot about what it means to me for me to do me. Keeping my house tidy and/or clean the way I like it when I like it. Sleeping on my side, not my back, thank you very much. Crossing my legs if I feel like it. Having friends drop by – when I’ve made the house “presentable”. Going quickly up and down the stairs to get something I’ve forgotten. Standing at the kitchen counter to prepare an easy meal. Leaving the house alone.
I’ve noticed a pattern. I want what I want, when I want it, in the way I want to do it, myself!
Is your You Do You as self-absorbed as my Me Do Me? If it is, it is self-defeating. I’ve been frustrated with the inevitable. One of my friends has been rather surprised to discover that I’m so impatient. She hadn’t noticed that trait in me. She has wisely reprimanded me by stating the obvious, “You had major surgery!”. I laugh each time she says this (yes, she’s had to say this at 3 weeks and twice 4 weeks post-surgery). But then when I’m alone I regress to my internal whining.
So, how do you bring Jesus into your everyday when you’re aware that you don’t get to let “You Do You”? A few verses have come to mind:
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-12
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Oh wait, you mean it’s not all about me?
Earlier this week I had my first post-op appointment. I was given the go-ahead to drive, walk without a cane, sleep on my side and bend more than 90 degrees! Whoo Hoo! I was also given a new set of exercises. When I set out to do those exercises for the first time I was not able to do some of them. Also, when I bent down to pick up a small item from the floor I was not able to do it with ease. I discovered sleeping on my side is no longer comfortable. Then when I drove for the first time, getting out of the car was painful. In other words, “can” is not equal to “able”.
It was an opportunity to confirm to my aforementioned friend that I am not the patient person she had pegged me as. I had the audacity to complain to her that my range of motion wasn’t something I’d realized I’d have to work on. “Carrie, your surgery was only 4 weeks ago!”
My thought life has become comical. The verse that comes to mind has been a staple in my life for over 30 years and yet I have thrown it to the side for the past 4 weeks.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice. Let your forbearing spirit be known to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:4-5 Most versions translate this verse “Let your gentleness be known to everyone”. I memorized it years ago with “forbearing” in place of gentleness. I’d like to think God knew I’d need to work on the forbearing attribute of gentleness.
Philippians 4:6 has a big influence on how You Do You, so let’s not stop with verses 4-5. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”
To stop the whining, thanksgiving is essential. For crying out loud, I need to stop crying out loud! The very fact that there is a total hip replacement surgery is cause for thanksgiving. (I was born with a deformed hip). By most accounts the recovery from said surgery is pretty remarkable. That’s cause for thanks. We had the insurance and the means for me to get this surgery. Thank you, God. I have a husband, family and friends who are supportive, encouraging and compassionate (and know how to put my present circumstances into perspective).
And, don’t forget, I have The Claw!
The word “I” is in this blog post Ad nauseum. Please take my story and think about how “You Do You”. What claw and what scripture has God given you for you to do you HIS WAY?