Updated: Feb 24
I have a fierce pride in what I believe in, in my work ethic, in being true to myself and in owning responsibility for my behavior. I don’t fool around when I put my mind to something I intend to carry out. I consider myself a woman warrior, I mean what I say and I say what I mean.
My goal is to live this intention all the time but fear gets in the way. I second guess myself when I’m in fear. I lose my footing and lose my way for a while. I worry and fret about things out of my control. I have to examine closely what is in my control and what is not, because when I am fierce, I believe I can move a mountain.
I’ve educated myself on fear because I have a lot of practice dealing with it. I get impatient when fear arises. I can’t believe fear rears its head again. I consider myself an expert at dealing with fear, and yet it finds its way in again. I’m human. I have a bad habit of chewing the inside of my cheeks and my mouth is sore most of the time. Living in this pandemic keeps my level of fear at a slow simmer. I can’t shake it from my system.
I resist and deny my fear. I walk around it like one does with an elephant in the room. The more I deny it the bigger it becomes. The more I resist the more it persists. It’s a familiar scenario as it cycles through my life. Fear is here to stay. My resources help me manage my fear. Feeling fear is not a weakness. It’s a reality. Crying doesn’t mean I’m not strong. It’s a release. Living honestly with myself is the best gift I can give me.
When I hold on to pain and abuse from my past, I relive it again and again. When I harbor hate for someone’s past behavior, I relive it again and again. An endless loop of self-abuse. Releasing the violations of the past do not excuse them. Releasing the memories frees the constriction I have placed on myself, on my tender heart, and allows me to live my life fully, honestly and freely.
My daughter is my teacher. I hated the fact she was born with two liver diseases and for years I carried the burden that it was my fault. She hated her disease and hated her body. I fought against my guilt. She fought against her diagnosis.
We were both angry and often screamed at each other. We loved each other. We hated the circumstances. I’m remembering an incident in a car ride to another hospital visit when she was around 26 years old. She was pissed and didn’t want to undergo another procedure. She had a meltdown on the highway while I was driving. Screaming and wailing at the top of her lungs. The more she cried the more pain she was in.
I was driven to the point of desperation and I said to her, “This disease is not going away. I want it to go away and God knows I’ve tried.” I know she doesn’t want to hear this. I imagine her eyes rolling as usual. I’ve said it many times in her anguish and in my anguish. “Life may be easier if you accept this disease in your life.”
She screamed, “Mom, I can’t accept it because it’s going to kill me!” At this point, we are yelling back and forth at each other, almost screaming while I’m driving along.
Tears are flowing down my cheeks too as I’m crying and talking. I said, “it just feels like it’s going to kill you, but if you accept it into your life, it’s going to give you something to work with instead of fight against.”
Then I told her my story with fibromyalgia. Every day, I waged a war with fibro. I can’t have you in my life because I can’t work. I can’t have you in my life because I can’t play racquetball any more. I can’t have you in my life cause I can’t have a life. There is nothing left of me. I am a useless person. I have no meaning. I’m just a lump on the couch, day by day, waiting for the minutes to pass by. I can’t. I won’t.
I reached a point of no return when I walked into my doctor’s office. I had had it. I was in so much pain I couldn’t stand it any more. I felt like a volcano ready to blow. I checked in with the receptionist and was pacing. The nurse came out to get me and asked how I was. I exploded and I burst into tears screaming I couldn’t take the pain any more. I couldn’t stand it. I was desperate. I reached a point of no return. Nothing helped me relieve the pain. It felt like someone was standing there with a knife just jabbing me over and over again and I cried uncle. It was at this point I stopped fighting. STOP FIGHTING. This disease is not going away. This condition is not going away. The reality of this disease is not going away UNLESS and UNTIL I stop the fight and allow it into my life.
Taking a breath here, of course, nothing is easy. We all wage war with that which we don’t want. Usually it goes away when we grimace and scream and fight and kick our way through something, but when life changing events happen, they don’t go away. They persist and we resist. The key we hold is our acceptance to this change. If we accept the disease, the disturbance, the big elephant in the room, a miraculous thing happens. The way we perceive our challenge changes and we start accommodating ourselves around the event. We open our brains to new ideas to compromise around that which is not moving and suddenly we are moving again.
My daughter and I were speeding along the highway fighting up hill. She said to me, “I don’t know why, but I feel calmer.” She started easing into her calmness and relaxed more and more.