Something is wrong. Something is definitely wrong. I am on the sofa again, like I have been for the best part of these past eleven years. This is not good.
It was weird having an unknown viral infection, not recovering, and ending up with M.E. I was not overweight, I didn’t drink heavily, nor did I smoke. Sounds unfair, right?
In the Compassionate Acceptance Meditation that is part of the ‘Mindfulness for Health’ book/course by Vidyamala Burch, she tells how pain is like a bale of hay. Gently you can lean into it. After listening to this guided meditation for the umpteenth time, I realized that this bale of hay was not only representing my pain, I also had one for my fatigue and plenty more that symbolized my worries. And instead of sitting next to it, so I could carefully try to lean into it, I had them on my back. All of them, weighing me down.
This was a revelation and made me understand that there is no point in worrying – not about the past nor the future, there just isn’t. If I concentrate on the present moment, and accept the current situation (pain, fatigue, anxiety) as it is for now, the bales of hay might not be on my back any longer. Sure, there are moments when I feel like my living room is scattered with those things, but on other moments it seems as they are neatly stacked at the corner of the room.
A similar eye opener happened when I recently reread ‘How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness’ by Toni Bernhard (I have written reviews about both books, just follow the links below). She shared the idea she had that life was unfair and that she was trying everything to make it fair, to make it right. Just like I was doing. But when letting go of the idea of things being fair or not, she understood that being chronically ill was just something that happened without a reason.
From this point of view it is possible to say that there is no right or wrong and the ultimate conclusion from that is that there is nothing wrong with me basically. I am not defined by my illness, and those bales of hay are only partially me. I am so much more, and so are you.
We all have hopes and dreams, fears and regrets – whether we are ill or not. That is just the way it is in this world for everyone. All we can do is let go of thinking about right or wrong, and try to lift the bales of hay from our back. There truly is no point in worrying. I hope you may find inner calm. I hope I find some inner calm.
My review about ‘Mindfulness for Health’ by Vidyamala Burch: I have lost it, a bit
And my review about ‘How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness’ by Toni Bernhard:A bag of equanimity, please.
This post is also available in: Dutch