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.