What might be the gift in a chronically challenging situation I am facing?
I have actually been experiencing a loss of physical abilities over the last year and only this week found out that I have a growth in my spinal column which is responsible for all the curious symptoms in my legs and pelvis. While I didn't know what was going on, I found myself in a process of letting go of what I was identified with - the active, energetic, outdoorsy and fit person, the doer - and making friends with this new state of physical being and what it allowed me to do and experience in a kind, compassionate and open way. Space opened up for more simple being, for stillness, for being at peace sitting a lot, for shorter and more contemplative walks, for a quieter life. I had to make peace with not knowing what was going on, where it was leading me, and the question what my part was to experience this... was I doing something wrong? How did I call this into my life? So waiting for test results and experiencing this uncertainty, I was inviting the surfacing fears to have tea with me, to join me in inquiry. I found much freedom and peace as I inquired into these stressful thoughts. As a practitioner for The Work of Byron Katie and mindfulness meditation, inquiry is my best friend when thoughts create stress with what I am experiencing.
"I'm doing something wrong" - is it true? Can I be sure? How do I react when I believe this thought? Contracted, guilty, ashamed, responsible, confused, sad and down on myself... Who would I be without this thought? Free to be exactly as I am and where I'm at. To trust that life will show me the way one moment at a time. To see it's not personal. And to really look at all the good things that come with slowing down and not taking things for granted. In the turnarounds I can find many examples for "I'm doing something right." "I'm not doing anything wrong." Seeing doctors and other health practitioners, getting tested, massaged, receiving acupuncture, taking supplements, eating healthy, continuing to question the stressful thoughts, and liberating myself from the old image, identity.
And as I sit now with the prospect of having surgery soon and the possibility of regaining lost abilities - or loosing even more (should something go different from planned) - I notice that I am at peace. That I am excited and curious - either way. That I am surrendered. And so grateful to the medical expertise, kindness, technology, my family and friends offering their love and help, and the endless support available when I ask or look for it - it's quite beautiful and I am filled with gratitude. It's not personal... nobody is doing anything wrong, and each moment is an opportunity to practice this innermost attitude of openness, receptivity, curiosity and awe. I trust Life. I trust this unfolding. As this journey continues, I will share more...