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Resistance Leads to Persistence

Caught up in the hype of an extraordinary conjunctive event with Jupiter and Saturn, I didn’t realize the back door was opened and fear crawled in. I found myself envisioning what life will be like a year from now. I couldn’t. So much is changing right under my feet. My mind went from my living situation to my spousal relationship to my grandchildren to the world. The fear harbored itself and I ignored it. It got stronger and stronger. Despair strode in and had a seat firmly in my heart. By midafternoon, my head ached from battling the despair and struggle to focus. I finally gave in and had a good cry.

I reached that boiling-over point and couldn’t hold it in any longer. The denying; the ignoring and the acting as if was not working. Relief came with the tears. Relief came when I let down. Relief came when I stopped resisting. Relief came when in the now.

I feel and sense pain held hidden in humans every day. The stress, anger and sadness all represent the hidden pain. We need to cry. We need to let down. We need to stop fighting with what is. A very hard lesson to learn, but I learned it from my tough teacher, my daughter.

Looking back, I see how driven I was doing everything I could to appease the ongoing needs and challenges to support my daughter. I stopped at nothing to get done what needed to be done, attain any and all help and turn over every possible rock I came upon all in the name of finding a cure.

The wall I hit was my unwillingness to accept the truth. I denied her sickness, kept picturing what I wanted to occur which was the miracle healing, and then, maybe then I could relax. Nothing more.

From an outsider, I was a fierce fighting mother who stopped at nothing. I looked fully present and on board with my actions. The truth was I wasn’t. I was split in two, worn to threads by my fierceness to stop at nothing and bound up tight with my back turned away from what was. I spent so much energy resisting. I was half present.

It’s a confusing bundle of emotions. Why would I accept my daughter’s illness? Fight the enemy. Resist until victory. At all costs. My denial fooled me into thinking I was in control. The more I attempted to be in control, the more out of control I felt.

It reminds me of the message in the movie, The Karate Kid, the story of a young man bullied and harassed. The movie’s overall message was that violence, fighting and resistance don’t’ solve problems, that peace and self-reflection do. As soon as I stopped fighting with her disease, as soon as I stopped resisting, something drastically changed. I remained the fierce-fighting mother who would stop at nothing to help her in every way I could. But now I was fully present, not distracted by my tumultuous emotions. My head was clearer. My energy improved. I became stronger because I was fully on board in my mind, my heart and spirit. I could breathe easier. She noticed the change. It brought relief all around.

I stood fully by her side as the distractions from my relentless fight lessened. I grew deeper into my commitment to be there for her, and also be there for me. My courage was hiding in my acceptance.

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason, you sing. For no reason, you accept the way of being lost, cutting loose from all else and electing a world where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder that a steady center is holding all else. If you listen, that sound will tell where it is, and you can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters always bar the path – but that’s when you get going best, glad to be lost, learning how real it is here on the earth, again and again.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I kept thinking about the mixture of things that we experience. You were talking about yesterday that you go in and out of one feeling or another. And this morning I was thinking about the light of the Sun is always there but we don’t see it when the Earth rotates and we have night. I think things are always there but we are not always willing or able to take them in. So thank you.

  • A truly wonderful thing about today is that today and every day until June 21 is going to be longer than the one before. And just when things look the most grim, in fact, there’s light ahead of us. Focus on that.

  • Self-acceptance is so hard for so many of us, I struggle with that. And just being. I think it’s so important. Being present in the moment. I am goal-oriented and I lose sight of my body, and I’m not kind to myself. I am learning to stay in the moment and celebrate and look for the miracles that are all around whether it’s in the conjunction of the planets which I didn’t see. There were other miracles yesterday. If I continue to look for them, I will see them. I posted something I heard recently, a reading, an excerpt from a Margaret Atwood poem about the solstice.

“This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking.” Margaret Atwood, Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995
  • Thank you for that reading. It relates to all the tears you shed that I can’t always figure out what they are about. I feel like I am caught in the fear of Covid and my own self lockdown. I am trying to figure out what I want my life to look like after I’m vaccinated and we have more opportunities. Trying to stay in the present moment. It feels like a heck of a ride right now caught between these two worlds. I’m not sure we can find peace in trying to figure out the future.

  • During the meditation, I was reflecting on resistance. And I realized that if I am resisting anything, then grace cannot enter within that space. If we were to resist breathing, then life could not be there.

  • A verse has been handed down through my family. I framed it. The words were found etched on the wall of a tunnel in a German city after World War II. The words were put to music for choirs as an absolutely beautiful song, it’s breathtaking. Here are the words:

"I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining. I believe in Love, even when not feeling it. I believe in god, even when god is silent."
  • I loved your reading today. I missed a few meditation mornings and I’ve been reading the blog. It’s different to just read it. When I entered recovery, I realized that some of the most difficult periods were where I experienced more growth. I was able to experience more joy because I was open, through more grief, to feel more joy. They say in early recovery to write down where you think you’ll be in a year, and they seal it and give it to you in a year. It’s not what you thought. I use it in the inverse way. I have no idea what blessings await me in five years, I can’t predict it. Thank you.

  • Thank you, that was a great meditation reading. I don’t think I’m in the moment and present most of the time. But this thing about acceptance, I am in acceptance almost all the time. That’s what I am up against. Whenever I feel resistance, I stop and let go and go into acceptance. Sometimes it’s harder than others. I think it’s my driving motivation every day, can I be in acceptance no matter what’s happening or where I am. Because I do that, I feel comfortable in this lockdown. It’s the way things are and who knows what it will be like tomorrow. When someone gets mad at me, I’m living in acceptance here. By being in acceptance, it passes and it doesn’t blow up into anything. I found out a friend died a few days ago and it was hard to be in acceptance. I reached out and talked to other friends and found out she was accepting her illness and surrounded by friends. It helped me. Sometimes acceptance means reaching out and taking steps. The best thing I can do for myself is to be in acceptance as often as I can.

  • Thank you for being here today. Thank you for trusting yourself, spending time with yourself. It’s interesting to think we are all under the same star system, the same sky, the same sun. We are all on the same earth. It’s comforting to know there is wisdom around us. I hope you all have a good day.

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