Off the Cuff with Jacqueline Ross – January 2023

By Jacqueline Ross

Roxanne Scianna Photography

Greetings, Human

I hope everyone’s year is off to the new beginning that they’ve desired.  If not, I hope you find the silver lining in your current season.  Not sure if anyone reading this is a tennis fan, but I’ve always enjoyed watching Wimbledon since I was a kid.  There is a quote from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If” that is engraved on the wall of the Centre Court: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two imposters just the same.”  This quote has always fascinated me; though I would never truly understand what it meant, until many years later.

Over the last four months, my recovery journey from my ACL surgery has taken me on quite the adventure.  As brutal as this recovery has been, it has been one of the most beautiful times of my life.  I’m learning and unlearning a lot of things, about myself and life. 

I had complications during the first three weeks after surgery.  Since then I’ve had to weather many storms and climb out of a lot of valleys.  I literally go through therapy everyday with myself, not only physically, but mentally as well.  Though my heart and mind are in harmony about what I desire and how hard I’m willing to work, my ACL is on its own timeline. I can’t control the time this ligament needs in order to heal and for my leg to become stronger, however, I can control my attitude, peace, and daily efforts. 

Many days I eat a slice of humble pie.  There were times even over the last month where I feel as if I’m getting stronger and making progress only to witness defeat the next day.  Every day is different and I am learning to give myself grace through this process.  It’s a marathon and, even though I’m still on crutches, I show up every day and continue to take a step.

Through the storms and valleys, I’ve discovered a part of myself that I never knew existed.  The part that has learned how to surrender.  For as long as I can remember, I always thought “surrendering” was a form of weakness.  I’ve come to learn it’s just the opposite.  Learning how to surrender has become a form of strength for me.  Sometimes the one who is the helper needs to ask for help; and it’s okay. 

In the presence of surrendering and feeling helpless, I’ve discovered a deeper wellspring of character traits in myself: patience, courage, and perseverance.  To question everything and think many thoughts, but not be consumed by them.  The ability to continue to step forward every day into the unknown.  I just keep letting go and continue to move forward.  Who knows, as this journey continues to unfold I just may head over to a monastery in Taiwan and become a monk.

The universe works in mysterious ways.  If certain moments hadn’t transpired the way they had we wouldn’t be where we are today. Collectively, we all have our own mountains to climb and obstacles to get through.  Our character will constantly be tested, and it’s up to us whether we will become bitter or better. 

Let’s have Sun Ra close us out, “Heaven is where you’ll be when you are okay right where you are.”

Perfect time, perfect place.