Jan 092013

Continuation of putting some thougths together

This whole “MS makes me stronger” shit… I guess I need to define for myself what stronger really means. Physically, I definitely am no stronger at all… in fact, I’m much weaker. Prior to the relapse that lead to diagnosis, I was training with Coach to compete in power lifting meets. Now, I can’t hold the bar up. I have a hard time opening jars and other things. Emotionally… am I emotionally stronger? Not really. I think I’m actually much weaker emotionally… and I know that is a symptom of MS but aside from that I feel much more wishy-washy than I ever have. As an adult, I have been a very strong & independent woman. It was something bred out of necessity. I was a single mom with very little income so I learned to do things for myself, on my own, and out of necessity. Beyond that, I think that simply going through life helps make each of us more certain of the person we are, and therefore, emotionally stronger. When I became ill, I was really coming into my own… I was really becoming solid in the woman that I am. Then… whoosh! There it went. I hope each day that I will get back to that woman again. In reality, that can never be. I will never be the woman that I was. I have to find the new person I am becoming. So the more correct thing to say would be that I hope each day that I will learn to love the woman that I am now becoming.

One of the biggest things that drives me right now is fear…. and it has been driving me for the past couple of years. Let me stop right there… fear doesn’t always drive me. Fear dictates what I’m going to do in each moment. It sometimes stops me in my tracks and doesn’t allow me to leave the house. Other times fear pushes me out the door in a valiant effort to realize life once again. Don’t get me wrong… I haven’t stopped living. I don’t want to stop living. I think what I’m trying to say is that life is so different now. The gypsy soul in my cries out daily… not the cries of the wandering gypsy but those of the spontaneous, almost carefree gypsy. Does that make sense? I feel like I’m just rambling along here trying to form what the actual thought/feeling is.

Anyway, back to fear. It can be a huge motivator or a brick wall. I hate it when it becomes the wall. There are times when I don’t have the emotional fortitude to scale that wall and push past the fear. More times than I would like to count. I know that every person living in any country, any socioeconomic class, in any situation has fear. It’s a human thing. We all have fear. It’s an instinct that serves to keep us safe, but also to push us to learn more about ourselves and the world around us. But the fear that I have now is a different fear. Or maybe it’s the same fear only exaggerated on many levels. That’s what it is. Fear of living, fear of dying, fear of hurting, fear of being alone, fear of being broke, fear of working, fear of sadness, fear of joy…. aren’t those all things that we all fear no matter if we are healthy or sick? I think so… that’s the humanness. These days those fears are so jacked up on meth or something! They are out of control much of the time. They are tweaked beyond what is reasonable and manageable on many days. I have to learn to put a lid on it. I have to learn that it will be okay… no matter what happens… everything is always okay in the end. No matter what the outcome is… I say that because we all know that no matter what happens – injury, death, disability, etc – it’s always okay in the end because it has to be… because after what happens, there is no choice but to be okay with it.

Many years ago, the Monk taught me about the middle way. I have to get back to that path. The middle path. It is the most comfortable, loving, and joyful place to be. Truly.

That is my goal… get me back to the middle way.

In this sutta the Buddha describes the middle way as a path of moderation, between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification. This, according to him, was the path of wisdom.

[…] It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

Being an adult is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.

  4 Responses to “Picking up where I left off”

  1. I think hunting for the middle way is a life-long journey. Something to aspire to, but not something to beat ourselves up for on the days we dont quite get there.

    • I think you are absolutely right… and it’s that life long journey that helps keep me centered and balanced, giving me something to work towards while remaining calm and content. That journey helps remind me about suffering & attachment, compassion towards others as a way of relieving my own turmoil. That’s the journey I would like to get back to. I’m working on it… not beating myself up, but making the effort to living that journey towards the middle way…

  2. First of all, this is some serious sh#t you’re dealing with here so cut yourself some slack. Second of all, the Buddhists are on to something with the Noble Eightfold Path but I don’t think even the highest lama has it all figured out all the time. And, third, unrelated to this, I have you to thank for making me reread Viktor Frankl’s book, and while sometimes his accounts make me gasp, I am profoundly grateful to be reading it again. If you do search for it, see if you can get the one with the preface by Gordon W. Allport.

    • You are right on all counts. And I’m working on cutting myself some slack. It’s something that I’ve never allowed of myself… well at least not since I learned to become responsible for myself LOL I don’t ever expect I will have it figured out, at least not in this lifetime, but the practice sure helps me out. Remembering to stay centered… remembering the cause of suffering is attachment… those things help me… sometimes I’m able to put it into practice but normally I have to remind myself and try again…

      After I was diagnosed, I sort of lost sight of the practice, the philosophies… I want (and need) to find my way back.

      I started looking for the book today… I’m glad you told me about the preface. I will be sure it’s there… and thank you for your thoughts. I value them more than you know.

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