When I was about 39 years old, I suffered debilitating knee pain. It got so bad that I actually thought I might have to give up Aikido. My Aikido brother Sensei Bobby told me that I should see his friend Victor Shibata. Victor was the chiropractor and healer who Bobby trained with and got treatment from over the years.
I saw Victor a couple of days after September 11, 2001. 9/11. We talked. I told Victor about my knees and my fear that I might have to give up Aikido, which was the love of my life. Victor said that he could help, that I would continue to practice Aikido.
We began with his prescribed cleanse of toxins in my body. He did an alignment on my body structure. Victor became a best friend and profound spiritual mentor. He healed both my body and my soul.
Victor practiced energetics, what he learned from his Master. Energetics is healing through the manipulation of the energy in the body. That leverages the distinctions of chi or ki. That was also part of my Aikido and martial arts training. So, this made a lot of sense to me.
Victor educated me that much of the pain in my body was the result of structural misalignment, muscle imbalance and compensation, and just plain injury. He could fix the structural imperfections. That was just part of the bigger picture.
Because of my flat feet, I couldn’t walk with my body weight on the inside of my feet, which pronated my knees. My walking gait was destructive to my structure. Over the years, that sourced my knee pain. Victor fitted me with orthotics. He even instructed me on how to reinvent my walk.
People with flat feet like me tend to scrap the sides of their feet, which damages the knees. Victor got me to drive my knees forward when I walk. I practiced making contact with the ground, rotating my feet from heal-to-toe. So, I reinvented my walk. That required several months to become more natural. I just trained.
Energetics operated on the principle that my joint pain was associated with unresolved emotions like anger, fear, or sadness. Think of the pain as unconscious, self-imposed tension. Yeah, I could heal the structure aspects of the pain with physical alignment.
Still, much of the pain I had in my body was sourced from my traumatic memories of the past, fear, or feeling that I wasn’t moving forward. That I was stuck in life. Being the Satellite Systems Engineer, this made a lot of sense. I was healing my mind, my body, and my spirit. I was reconstructing and reinventing me.
Simple in concept. Yet like Aikido training, simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. Hell, no. Working with Victor kicked my ass. Working with Victor healed my soul. Really, working with Victor may have saved my life.
In our work together, I discovered that most of my knee pain was my fear and anger for my Dad. WTF? That was dead on. Victor was the first to make me accept my childhood abuse, albeit more emotional than physical. Although, there were significant physical aspects.
I constantly worked on letting go, on letting go of past anger and fear. Victor told me, “Chill out.” I failed more than I succeeded in letting go.
In one of our healing sessions, Victor told me straight up, “Jon, you need to lighten the fuck up!” Damn, I got it. So, to this day, I practice lightening the fuck up.
Growing up at home as a young boy, Dad scared the hell out of me. He was always so angry. I was never going to be good enough for him. I got in my head, “Jon, you’ll never be good enough.” So, I had to be better. I had to be perfect.
Yet, there’s no perfect in life. The pursuit of perfection only leads to pain and suffering. In its very design, life is imperfect. Just saying. Yeah, I needed to lighten the fuck up.
Years later working with my Therapist Lance, I got that Dad’s great anger was his fear of not knowing how to raise me. As I lightened the fuck up, I evolved compassion for Dad. No, I don’t forgive him for his cruel and unkind acts. Yes, I do forgive him for being human, for being afraid. I forgive myself for being imperfectly human, too. I learned to lighten the fuck up.
My spiritual mentor Victor passed away several years ago. He died from a heart attack. Turns out that Victor had heart disease. Ironically, he was a healer, who helped many others like me, but failed to heal himself. Victor had dedicated his life to healing and being of service. He made a profound difference in the world. He made a profound difference for me. Nothing but mad love and respect to Victor.
Victor and I had spent the Saturday together a couple of days before he passed away. He had called me up. He needed help buying a wireless router for his computer. We found one that worked at the store. Then we had some Japanese food for lunch. As always, we had fun.
When I dropped him off at his house, he said, “Thank you, Jon.” I said, “I’ll see you.” That was the last time I saw Victor. Rest in peace, Victor, “and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” I love you always my Brother. Thank you.
Life can come at us from so many directions, presenting so many different challenges. In the First Truth of Buddhism: There will always be suffering. We get that from living our lives, from our own trials and tribulations. What if much of our suffering, a lot of our pain sources from ourselves: What we didn’t resolve or let go of? Just asking.
Maybe, just maybe, we should all really lighten the fuck up. As we lighten the fuck up, we free ourselves to be. Learn to love and forgive thine own selves. Perhaps then, the world looks a little brighter. Just saying.
This post was republished on Medium.
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