I’ve long been searching for answers to the great mysteries of the human condition. In my early twenties, I discovered written wisdom from others who had traveled on the path of enlightenment before me. It was then I that I first experienced inner yearnings to outwardly express my real Self.
For many years, I felt driven to live life to its fullest, enjoying my work as well as raising my children. I had friends and a fairly good health that allowed me to pursue my favorite sports and other enjoyable activities. Then, I suddenly became very ill. Living a “normal” life became impossible because doing anything normal made me even sicker.
For almost 18 years, ME has challenged me to find ways to, not only cope, but also actually live with a new frame of mind. All the ways I previously knew to express my real identity had vanished. I wondered where the real me had gone… Had it drowned in all that sorrow of loneliness and pain that became my daily fare? How was it even possible to be myself and express my identity if not through my roles or occupations? I was disoriented, drifting.
I still felt my soul prompting me to look inside for the answers to questions I had not previously known, existed. I was hurting, sad, angry. The only thing I could do was to learn to breathe and relax in this context. I used the tools I had gathered over time and did the best I could. Still, I felt miserable. Much forgiveness had to be given freely, to others and to myself in the middle of the darkest time of my life. That’s when I had an epiphany of sorts.
Through years of breathing periods of quiet time (call it meditation), I realized that:
- I am not a warrior
- My body has not betrayed me
- My body has not let me down
When I conjured up the metaphor of a Dragon in my first book, it represented the overwhelming amount of space that illness occupied in my world. Naturally, it was obvious to me that fighting a Dragon was out of the question. If a warrior can’t muster up the strength to brush her teeth, how can she/he be up for such an epic battle? So, logically, I put aside all thoughts of fighting illness and began to approach my situation with a fresh perspective.
As much as illness is inside it, I chose not to make that a reason to make my body a battleground in my mind. I now thank my body for all the hard work it is doing just to keep me alive. In those terrible times of air hunger brought on by crashes, I learned to appreciate my lungs for allowing me to take in what I so badly need. Visualizing mitochondria knocking down a few barriers, I give my cells encouragement to welcome vital nutrients, glucose and oxygen so that they can do their work more efficiently. When my muscles ache, I send them love and soothe them as best I can. And when my body is out of “spoons” after doing what is seemingly very little activity, I acknowledge its efforts and give thanks.
Do I always succeed in “cheering” on my body? I don’t. Some days take a toll on my morale and I give in to discouragement. In those moments when I want to hide from the Dragon, he inevitably finds me. As much as I’d sometimes like to punch him in the snout, I choose to silently look at my challenges as just that, challenges.
Taking stock of my survival skills and tools as well as the blessings that give me the courage to go on another day, brings me the peace I crave. One of those most welcomed blessings is my commitment to trust my body and the Force that created it; this Force that is life giving and healing! All I have to do to let healing flow through all of my being is to get (my ego) out of my own way.
I surrender to the thought that “I” am not this body. My true self is consciousness traveling in a world that is part of a universe of incomprehensible vastness that the human mind cannot fathom. I am. My body is my ride. Granted it’s a high maintenance one but it’s the only one I’ve got. For now.
See you on the path of healing and beyond,
You can visit me at mariannegranger.com for audio blogs and more.
Image: Integral Life/Unbound Body
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