Accepting the Unacceptable – Equanimity Pt 2

Accepting the Unacceptable – Equanimity Pt 2

Accepting the Unacceptable.

When I wrote my blog last week, I was reflecting on the power of equanimity.  The story that I shared shifted the way I perceived life, but it did not happen overnight.  I was pretty anchored in victim consciousness, struggling with health issues, career issues . . . . well in essence, my whole life was unraveling.  I had quit my job and was moving from Colorado to Massachusetts to study Macrobiotics.  It was the beginning of my quest for improved health and inner peace. As I listened to the story of the Farmer and the Old Horse as I drove cross country, I was amazed.   I had never even considered that the things happening in my life that I thought were bad, might not be in the long run.  It took me years and many ups and downs in my life to fully embrace the idea of equanimity. As I was posting last weeks post, I wondered if people with fibromyalgia could embrace such a concept.  The phrase Accepting the Unacceptable came to mind.  Living with fibromyalgia, is a day to day experience of accepting the unacceptable.  Mostly because there are many days that there is nothing you can do except to surrender to the pain, fatigue and depression that you feel.  And some days, not even that.

How can we Accept the Unacceptable?

And why would we even want to?  Isn’t accepting it just keeping us stuck in it.  Don’t we need to fight it and do everything in our power to find a solution?  To heal, or to reduce the pain, fatigue, depression, IBS, etc, etc, etc. In my years of struggling with fibromyalgia, I learned a lot.  I spent years resisting and denying what was happening in my body.  I would push beyond what was comfortable, thinking I could move beyond the pain.  In the long run, that only made me feel worse and led me to wishing I could just die, because life was just too painful.  A phrase from the song Wildflower by Skylark would often come to me: sleep is the only freedom that she knows.  This was my life.  Going to bed at night, even with restless sleep was the only freedom from the pain and depression I lived with every day.    Waking up in the morning and having to get out of bed was meeting the pain and fatigue all over again. Accepting that I couldn’t power my way through this, was a life changer for me.  I had to be honest and realistic with myself.  I had to be honest about what I could and couldn’t do.  I had to listen to my body and stop pushing myself.  Once I did that, I began the healing process.  I began to slow down.  I was able to say no to what I couldn’t accomplish. Both to myself and my family.

This was a major turning point in my life.

Out of this acceptance and listening to my body, I began to be able to manage my symptoms so that they were tolerable, and I could maintain a more consistent level of functionality.  By listening to my body, I found foods that were more supportive and exercise routines that worked for me.  I discovered how much sleep I needed and what would disturb or enhance my sleep.  I found the kind of regular schedule that would support me in keeping the symptoms at a tolerable level.  I discovered what kinds of activities I could engage in and others that I needed to avoid.  I could tell when my emotions and anxiety were spiraling out of control and learned ways to pull back to take care of myself.

By Accepting the Unacceptable, I found myself and was able to shift into healing. 

As the years progressed, I began to understand the gifts that were inherent in my years of suffering.  I really got the truth of the story of the Farmer and the Horse. I began to understand the positive impact having fibromyalgia had on me.  I began to receive the lessons of awareness, compassion, and truth that I received by living with fibromyalgia.  I began to let go of old conditioning and discover my authentic self.  Having fibromyalgia changed the trajectory of my life . . . many times.  It forced me to heal on many different levels.  It transformed me from a weak, unfulfilled, mean, needy, shallow person, to a strong, fulfilled, empowered, kind, self-sufficient woman.  For that I am grateful.

Weekly contemplation: 

This week take some time to ask yourself where you can allow more acceptance to happen.
  • Can you say no to a family member as you accept the fact that if you join a family event that you will be in pain for a week?
  • Can you say no to yourself as you accept that if you clean the house today you won’t be able to get up and fix breakfast in the morning . . . and need to ask for help?
  • What other examples can you come up with???
These moment by moment choices to accept what is and make choices based on what is, will pave the way to rebuilding your health.    Check out my blog that I will post in two weeks entitled:  The 5 phases of Fibromyalgia which takes the process even further. Next week I will post the third installment of the Power of Equanimity and offer some tools to begin to develop and nurture the state of equanimity in your consciousness. In the meantime, please share your insights and experiences as you experiment with Accepting the Unacceptable.
Taking Responsibility

Taking Responsibility

Positive and Negative . . .

Every moment in our lives presents us an opportunity to evolve our consciousness.  Stuff happens that we don’t like.  Our plans get blocked, our hopes don’t turn out the way we wanted, people get hurt or someone is mean to us.  All sorts of things that we don’t like are happening to us or around us all the time. Our conditioning is to push away the “negative” thing and try to hold on to the “positive” things.  But that doesn’t really work as life always presents us with both positive and negative.  That is part of living in a relative world on planet earth.

 “If you argue with life, you lose.” 

This is one of my favorite sayings.  If you really watch life, you will find that it is true.  Life happens.  What is, is what is.   A family member is mean or greedy.  Your child gets a bad grade in a class.  Someone dies.  You do something that you later regret. This is life.  Stuff happens.  No matter how little we dislike something, that isn’t going to change what has already happened.

Buttons

We all have buttons or triggers.  If you watch your experience, certain things set you off.  If you watch this, you will see patterns in your reactions and thinking.  Some examples are:
  1. Angry people sent you running away in fear.
  2. Something that you perceive as unfair or an injustice trigger anger in you.
  3. You attract people who don’t seem to hear or appreciate you. You feel unappreciated, unloved or worthless.

Opportunities

Every time one of your buttons gets pushed, you have an opportunity.  You can rant and rave and tell the world how awful life is.  You can go within and look at your button.   Being conscious around our buttons being pushed is an opportunity to expand our consciousness.  Often, our buttons are an opportunity to release a negative emotion or belief.

Feeling our emotions is freeing

I discovered years ago that often when I wanted another person or circumstances to be different that I wanted to change the outside, because I didn’t want to feel the emotion that had been triggered within.  Once I took the time to go within and feel the emotion, I would feel free, empowered and not upset by the same circumstances. Going within, identifying the emotion and the belief that holds that emotion in place is the first step in freeing yourself from negative life patterns and situations.   It also helps if you can identify the underlying source of that emotions or belief.  Maybe angry people trigger fear in you because you grew up in an alcoholic household and anger was a precursor to being beaten.

A shift in consciousness

Once the emotion is felt and the underlying belief and source is identified, you will not react to a similar situation in the same way.  You will have the opportunity to meet life with more awareness.  With more awareness, you have more options available to you.  You have the power of choice.   Rather than reacting blindly to the world outside, you are more empowered to respond differently and create a new inner reality.  This is evolution in action.

Awareness Practice for this month

This month, watch how you react to different situations in your life.  Notice what your Buttons are.  Become aware of patterns and similar situations that trigger you.  Notice what emotion you are feeling underneath your thoughts.  Feel your feelings.  Watch your thought patterns.  Notice what begins to unfold as you begin to expand your awareness of your inner world in this way.