Each time I had dealt with a recurrence of Lyme symptoms, my focus was on my protocols and getting well. I would follow the protocols and restore my wellness, only to relapse a few months after going back to life as usual. But as I went into my last relapse, I considered that there was a lesson(s) I was missing which had me experiencing this repititious pattern. So it was with this new perspective that I entered the last year of being sick. It was the year I was the sickest and forgave the most, and it was the year I had the experience of healing both physically and spiritually. Each person’s process is unique to them, as are their lessons. What follows is how it unfolded for me. It is my hope that something in my experience will resonate for you and support you in your journey.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It is completely natural to resist that which we do not want to experience. There were times I felt so sick that I was sure death was immanent. How could I not have focused on wanting to stay alive? I spent enormous amounts of energy on researching protocols, sharing information with other Lyme patients, trying to not be sick and mostly, trying not to die. But there came a moment that, in a fit of absolute exhaustion, I surrendered (not to be confused with giving up). The moment of surrender brought me into the present moment. I was no longer focused on the past or the future (neither of which exist), I was simply present, and being present allowed peace to be my experience, and it was an extraordinary relief. Click here for the blog posting that describes my moment of surrender.
There is nothing wrong about dreaming about what we wish for, however, when we are not at peace with where we are in the moment, our thoughts about the gap between where we are and where we wish to be create a great deal of suffering. Being at peace in the present moment allows a different future to be a want rather than a need. And it brings about peace. Click here for the blog posting relating to my experience of this.
No matter what challenges life presents, it is always possible to find a place of self-responsibility for the experience. Being self-responsible is not about being a failure or being blamed for something, it is simply a place to stand that has us be empowered in the face of circumstances, regardless of what they are, and…it is a choice. During my illness there was a moment when I suddenly realized that the one and only person responsible for the state of my body was myself, and after the initial ego hit, I felt liberated. Click here for the blog posting describing the moment of taking my life back as my own.
Being ill for an extended period of time alters life dramatically. We can’t participate in sport the way we used to, we struggle to work, be parents or friends or partners, and we find ourselves identifying with our illness. My personal course of action was to attempt being who I used to be ‘warrior-style’. It didn’t work. And so I grieved. When we meet our grief, and allow the ‘death’ of who we thought ourselves to be, we meet that which can never be lost, our true Self. Click here for my blog posting called “Warriors Cry Too.”
The context from which we live our lives provides an experience that is directly related to it. We can powerfully shift the experience of our illness and what we discover as a result of it, by shifting our context around it. There was an eye-opening experience for me when I realized this, and it occurred when I was buried in a process of swallowing 80 pills a day in a context of ‘I hate swallowing pills’. Click here for my story on shifting context.
Being chronically ill feels like serious business to deal with, and it can be. We fanatically research how to get well, we follow laborious and complicated protocols to heal our bodies, and our thoughts can often be dark. It’s a heavy load to bare. Well, what if you just gave yourself a break, even if just for a moment? What if you allowed yourself to just laugh at something that was ridiculous or eat that cookie you have been resisting? When we lighten up a bit we can start moving forward again. Click here to read about the moment I chose to eat the cookie.
When we are well and enjoying ourselves and people in our lives, we revel in our love for life and in love in general. Being chronically ill seems to take all that away, and the prolonged experience of struggle and frequent isolation brings the common experience of depression. At my lowest point my depression was laced with thoughts of suicide, and my deepest wish was to experience love…love for anything to make life worth living, and when I was honest with myself I realized that I wanted love to be given to me. It ended up being the opportunity to discover the true and ever-present source of love, and it accelerated my healing process. Click here for how I found depression was my access to love.
There is not a moment in the day when we can’t learn something. In practicing mindfulness, life becomes the great classroom. And even when we are stuck at home, too sick to venture out, look around. I found a plethora of lessons hidden in all the protocols I followed. Click here to read about some of the hidden lessons I discovered.
We are truly miraculous. Our bodies are designed to heal themselves, albeit with some strong support at times, but the design is amazing! In the face of any circumstances, we can experience love and compassion. The essence of who we are is perfect, whole and complete. We ARE love. Being who we truly are is simply an expression of that which is already there. Realizing this expression into our experience requires no knowledge or thought, it is simply a result of unlearning all we believe to be true and detaching from the continual narrative of the mind. Shifting allegiance from our mind to our heart brings with it a miraculous and beautiful experience. Click here to read my experience of letting everything go.