It IS my dream. MY dream.
epiphany –© 2016 Dictionary.com, LLC.
A few months ago, in my broken state of being, I had succumbed to staying at home and feeling miserable too often. I needed help, so I started with my crucial cancer friend. She suggested that I talk to the doctor about anti depressant medication. Wow! I had no idea I was depressed. But, the shoe fit. No objections here! I went to my doctor and started medication. Three weeks later I was feeling a bit better and asked for a higher dosage. They obliged. I was doing so much better, but there was still a “thing” inside my chest that I couldn’t identify. It consumed my energy, distracted me, and bothered my metacognitive abilities. So…the next step for me was counseling. I have a dear friend who stuck me right into a cancellation spot she had. This is not my first rodeo with medication or counseling. I believe that when your arm is broken, get a cast; likewise when your thinking is broken, get a mind coach!
I had received much needed assistance from a LPC (licensed professional counselor) a few times in my life. The events for which I sought help were serious milestones: spiritual abuse, family violence, and family suicide. I had also used medication to help me continue to work after the death of my father. I am not ashamed to have sought out help, nor surprised to have received needed relief from it.
In one of our sessions my LPC suggested that I read a book called, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills. Is it a good book? Yes. Did it fix all my problems? No. I have read many books in my adult life. They have all had influence on my thinking and decision making skills.
From this book, I learned we can each have the ability and the freedom to create our own reality of life without fear of being “wrong”, “crazy”, “damaged”, or “screwed up”. The author teaches that there are some agreements we can make that will help us to create a heavenly place for ourselves. As I read this book, I found that I was in sync with the tenets of the book because of my long road of reading and learning.
I’ve been giving these agreements a chance for several weeks, and finding that my inner me is still in there, but the “thing” inside me is keeping me from joy. My auto immune diagnosed in the last year, and my treatable but incurable cancer, have led me to a series of side effects that I wasn’t prepared to handle. I tried so beautifully to be positive and happy, but I didn’t allow myself to feel my true feelings because I was hiding them from everyone. I thought they needed me to be upbeat. Grief and sadness are normal feelings during a time of distress. No one needed me be happy about my cancer. No one expected me to show up to work everyday. I made those assumptions. I thought about past events and made several incorrect inferences. Self reliance is part of my world dream, yet I wanted others to take care of me. However, I didn’t ask for help, and I wouldn’t have accepted it if it had been offered. I convincingly lied about my positive attitude, and no one knew I needed help.
So, what was my epiphany? What was mythe “thing” bothering me? And what specific element
It just happened while I was walking on the elliptical trainer at the gym. I had not been to the gym in more than six months. I had neglected everything I enjoy for many months. This week, my back hurt so badly that I was willing to do anything, and I know that movement actually helps my disease. So there I was peddling with closed eyes and listening to MY music and the song, “Born Again” by Third Day played on my phone.
The epiphany ..the acceptance that I am doing my best! I am limited right now by side effects, and medical symptoms. These circumstances are beyond my control. They are challenges that I face that are extremely difficult for me. I can still keep my agreements, though. I am doing my best under the circumstances, but I do not need to do better than my best, and I have definitely been trying to be the me before cancer and autoimmune. I may never be that woman again, but I can be the best I AM NOW. It is okay to have difficulty. It is ok to love myself even when my body is sick. I never need to lie to myself about my thoughts and feelings, and certainly will not let myself torture my dream world with old agreements. That old world where I SHOULD do this, or I SHOULD believe that is gone. I will not let myself sink back into that sea of dead, drowning negativity.
I love going to the gym and closing my eyes while my body moves and I listen to my music. Relaxation without condemnation. Today, I made myself go, and in doing something I love, I found deep understanding. Our brains are a biological computer more complex and intricate than any human can comprehend. All the books I have read, the metacognition that occurs constantly, and the conversations I have had with those who understand the human emotional connection give my neural net information to process. It searches for information and pieces together the bits that I cannot bring into the language of my understanding. Then when I am least expecting a solution, it comes in the simplest form.
Today the song played, and for me personally it meant that I understood my pain. I had searched for many years. The deity I saw wasn’t whom I expected. I was lost and broken. Many authors, songwriters, people, and friends came along and held me up. It does feel like I’m born again, like I’m living for the very first time in my life. I decided to make myself a promise, to reassure my heart that the love that I feel for myself is real. There is a feeling in my soul that the life I have now IS the beginning.
This was no simple moment, yet it was the most simple moment. It is significant; a life search that will continue. I will make mistakes, but I can move forward with the ability to live in my world and give myself permission to believe what I have discovered. I have the to right to be happy.