Archive for the ‘My Life’ Tag

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Just so you don’t think that I live in a state of bliss and joy and happiness all the time, I’ll share with you that for the last week I’ve been coping with a chronic illness that has laid me low. It’s nothing that is better or worse than illnesses endured by many friends and family members but coping with chronic pain, flu-like symptoms and fatigue can get me down. Most of the time I do pretty well with it but there are times it sends me into despair and I forget all about the joy within. In the past I dosed myself with alcohol to help me numb the pain, both physical and emotional. I no longer drink now but I had to figure out some kind of substitute for the alcohol and for me that became my inner spiritual connection.

 

I had to learn to deal with my emotional pain as well which required plenty of therapy, confronting what I had done in the past and making amends as best as I could, and facing the fears I had hidden from my whole life. It has been a long, long journey but it has left me feeling freer than I’ve been since a very young child. The process was very painful, however, and the alcohol helped me cope with that pain as well. Giving it up was just as hard as facing my fears because then I had to dig down deep for strength to keep on going no matter how desperate I became.

 

So many of us today use something outside of ourselves to help us cope with physical, emotional and even spiritual pain. Some, as I have, use alcohol or drugs to numb ourselves. Others use food, gambling, sex, over-working, and over-spending, among others, to hide from our hurts. I know that I also have used alcohol to fill an emptiness within, a sense of no-connection from anything meaningful in my life that has hurt me more than then any physical pain ever has. That lack of one-ness left me drifting and stumbling until my body was slammed into helplessness with illness and I had nowhere else to turn. I was forced to redirect my attention to the God Within and that awareness has been my saving grace, even on days like today when I’m exhausted and the maximum doses of anti-inflammatories and neuropathic drugs I take aren’t enough to keep the pain at bay. It hasn’t been easy to refocus my attention and requires constant attention to maintain it but it soothes me when pain meds and rest just aren’t enough.

 

I’m aware of the connection between body, mind and spirit, a concept as old as the most ancient fragments found in Egypt and in the area that was then called Babylon. That our thoughts influence our emotions and our bodies is nothing new and doctors today are finally figuring out that they must treat the whole person if they wish to help their patients heal themselves. And I’ve learned that I must take responsibility for my own healing as well as leaning on the doctors for medications.

 

This means that when I feel an emotion that upsets me, I’ve learned not to stuff it down where I can’t feel it and to bring it out where I can examine the thoughts behind it. Doing so has helped me examine and toss out beliefs that have only led to feelings of shame, fear and unworthiness, all of which have showed up in my body in a variety of unpleasant ways. I’m much better at this and I’ve managed to let go of a variety of past illnesses but I still carry the ones that plague me today. I confess to finding this frustrating, even maddening at times because I’ve worked so hard at examining my beliefs. But perhaps part of the journey I travel is the illness itself and what it teaches me. If so, I wish I wasn’t such a slow learner!

 

So what have I learned? Because I’ve been disabled I’ve learned patience with others, tolerance for their beliefs, compassion for their own journeys and a connecting love for all for the pain we put ourselves through. I still struggle with this, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve come a long way from the impatient and judgmental person I was even ten years ago. I had to. It was either that or blow up and for awhile I did but that inner connection saved me when nothing else could. I sincerely hope that your own spiritual connection, however it manifests in your life, brings you to a divine resource of love and hope that gives you a peace far greater than anything of this world. Blessed be.

 

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Posted September 30, 2012 by mysticintraining in Uncategorized

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