Every single day I am amazed that I am ill and that my life is limited. You might expect I am used to it by now. I have been ill for 25 percent of my life and I am not yet forty years old. Well, I have that same expectation.
Last week I read this blog by Alice on the site of Flow Magazine about her second mindfulness session. She realizes that fully understanding mindfulness and meditation takes both time and practice. She needs to be more experienced. It made me see that this is also applicable to me being ill. I can honestly state I am coping far better than ten years ago. Part of this is thanks to mindfulness. Just the sight of a robin can make me smile. Nonetheless, this does not mean my life is a piece of cake.
Because knowing that more experience suggests things will get easier, I get my hopes up and expect my suffering will decrease over time and with more practice. No matter what happens my chronic condition will never trouble me again, mentally speaking. There is a big chance that one day indeed I will not be surprised that I am so limited. Alice, you and me both, we will get there in the end! If only…
If only life was like that, always on the up and up. If not presumptuous, then silly it was of me to think that being ill (or other ways of suffering) would be easier for mindful people.
I was expecting that there would appear a different me. A new me, someone that no longer longs for a baseball bat when feeling despair or frustration, but someone that will sit down quietly and just say ‘ohm.’
I have heard it before so many times, and only now it dawns on me. One of the essentials of mindfulness is to let go of what I think should be happening. Mindfulness is a tool to look at what I am thinking and feeling. In this case, becoming aware of my expectation, rather than hanging on to it.
Without sticking to expectations, my difficulties with being ill, and life in general, I can positively begin to perceive that those are part of my life. And so is the robin, I hear him singing right now.
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Earlier this year, a new and private community started on Google+: Being matters.
A mindfulness group for the chronically ill. Forget symptoms, instead embrace your soul and inner calm. Just breathe and be… You are not alone.
Life can be hard or may look turned upside down when being ill for years. Let us help each other out by sharing thoughts and trying to find peace. We are not human doings, we are human beings.
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This post is also available in: Dutch