A Beautiful Mistake

Yes, I was utterly mistaken. I admit it after years of intentional ignorance. I have to charge myself guilty of having said: “I was born like that.”

As a kid I used to have back issues and I could never reach my toes with my hands while standing. Nothing serious but worth a few sessions of physiotherapy and a concerned mother. The way I experienced the whole complication led me to believe I was naturally having this disfunction and there was nothing I could do against it.

When I was working in a clinic for rehabilitation I once complained to one of the physiotherapists working there about my issue. She laughed and said that there is no such thing as being born with an inability to touch your feet. I felt offended for her not taking my problem serious.

In university a friend dragged me to Pilates classes. I was making fun of myself as I had learnt to believe that my back bone was unfit and I pictured myself struggling badly during the class. Well and in fact given how little sporty I was at that time I had a one and a half hour long challenge that evening. Eventually, I continued going after the initial moments of awkwardness.

Since then have I been dilettantishly practicing Pilates on my own or in classes and later on added Yoga to the list. I enjoyed it. Despite all odds, doubts and initial awkwardness I felt, I genuinely started enjoying the practice.

Oops. With all that excitement of the new, had I forgotten about my inhibiting backbone?

I had created this inhibiting belief of an innate inability. I still cannot even explain to myself why. I had accepted my problematic back as given. I had disbelieved someone who tried to motivate me and prove me wrong. After all, the why does not even matter so much to me.

What matters though is that I managed to turn an ugly disbelief that prevented me from allowing myself to try things and to grow into a beautiful mistake. Yes, I was mistaken and I embrace it. Because it means that so many less things than we believe are actual facts, innate or unchangeable. It means that I have a lot more power and ability than I dared to believe. And I am not confined by what few people told me back then in my young years. Even though she was the minority I should have chosen to believe the physiotherapist trying to uncover my mistake. I should have chosen to believe what is good for me.

It took a while but I got there by myself. I no longer believe that I am unable to change certain things. Yes, many facts are beyond our reach. And efforts would be wasted to change the unchangeable. However, many more things are possible to change. Dare yourself to think it is possible. It takes more effort than believing something is unchangeable because it does demand action. Affirming possibility will demand action. And action is work.

I reach out to my feet every single day. As a matter of fact I can touch my feet with my palm now. It is my little daily dose of feeling empowered.

Svea Freiberg


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