As I re-wrote the last nine and a half years of my life’s story, I was able to see patterns of behavior and various themes emerge more clearly. Now that I have a break from working on the book, I want to share some of my observations and reflections with you.
Even though the manuscript has been out of my immediate view since last Thursday, I am still having some amazing revelations as I think about my story and all that it entails. This morning, I realized just how clearly my own perception of my life as a struggle played a role in my difficulty surrendering to and letting go of things along the way.
I perceived my life as a struggle from the time I was able to understand what the word meant. I characterized myself as a fighter and I was first fighting through the struggles of living with the unpredictability and chaos that often accompanies having a parent who is an alcoholic.
I fought my way through that and then fought my way into recovery from an eating disorder, then depression, then… I fought fear, I fought symptoms, I fought change, I fought for clients…
I realized this morning that as soon as I surrendered to and let go of my resistance of what was, my life started to get better. I had tried various versions of this surrendering at earlier points in my life, but didn’t quite get the idea that it applies to everything.
It was clear in my manuscript that I surrendered to what I needed to as I was in the process of losing my ability to function independently, losing my ability to walk, losing my ability to keep the roof over my head and stay with my dogs. I only surrendered when I had to surrender though—it was forced on me.
When I stopped fighting the symptoms of my illness when they were so limiting back around the time I spent at the nursing and rehabilitation facility, I started trying to figure out how to work within the limitations. I understood that was my only option left. Taking the cooperative approach got me out of the nursing home and back with my dogs in 2005. I was able to live independently as a result. When I fought my symptoms, the symptoms and limitations won and were often worse as a result.
Boxing gloves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It takes a lot of energy to fight things, no matter what they are. It takes significantly less energy, and directs the energy in a different and more positive direction, to work cooperatively with that thing instead. I understood that about my symptoms, and as I have shared with you in the blog, now I have realized it is best to do that with fear and with pain as well in recent years. Surrendering to and/or letting go of the resistance doesn’t mean giving up, but I think I might have had the idea that it was the same thing.
I was a fighter and fighters fight things, they don’t let go of things or surrender to the “is-ness” of things and figure out how to work with that “is-ness.”
Perhaps you all already understand these ideas, and perhaps I already understood them, too. It really wasn’t until this morning that I felt that understanding to the core of my being. I have talked a lot about surrendering and consciously surrendering in my blog posts. It kept coming up as something I needed to take a look at, so I kept looking.
Now I know when I feel like getting out my boxing gloves to fight something, that instead I need to take a breath, a step back, and look at the resistance first. I could be resisting something so much that I miss the opening to solve a problem more creatively.
If I had fought the pain, as I have shared, I wouldn’t have a book written. If I had continued to fight the fear, I would have been frozen throughout the pump drama. It is exhausting to fight and according to my book, it didn’t serve me well at any point really. It held me back from moving forward and I have it in writing.
Are you a master resister like me? What are you fighting? Are you tired yet?