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Helplessness is a Gift

written by Barry and Joyce Vissell February 19, 2020
Helplessness is a Gift

In this reflective narrative piece, RD&T’s contributing writer, Barry Vissell, shares insight on why helplessness is the ultimate gift.

I love being outside and physical activity to balance the counseling, workshops, and writing, which I also love. I enjoy walking the dogs with Joyce, mowing the lawn, fixing things, gardening, doing anything to be outside.

Some folks like to sit around when they are on vacation. Not me. Multiday river trips are my favorite vacations, as well as backpacking in the wilderness. Of course, I value stillness. Each morning, Joyce and I sit for 10-20 minutes, trying to meditate, sometimes successfully. We know it’s important work, even when our minds seem too active.

Last week, I did too much physical work. I ignored my almost 72-year-old body. Now I’m paying the price. For this past week, the pain in my lower back is so severe that I need help getting dressed. To complicate matters, we had our final six-month mentorship retreat in our home and center these last five days. Co-leading the retreat half the time lying on the floor made for some extra challenges.

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