The That Was Soooo Hard Story

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Yesterday, on the longest night of the year where I live…I suddenly knew I was just a little bit better physically, in this journey with the body.

My upper thigh looked less swollen at the site of the injury, the searing pain in my pelvic bone, the pins and needles throbbing in my foot and the chalky sticky aching feeling in my ankle, the throbbing in my calf…….were all quieter than previous days.

I was suddenly so happy. Relieved.

It’s as if there is this part of the mind that is filled with doubt, dread, fear and visions of darkness. I had those parts visiting at various times, hanging in the air of my room as I stared sometimes at the ceiling.

That part is frightened. I said to myself “I’m going to be here again, in the future….who knows when, but I will be here, unable to move from the bed, on my journey to death”.

I wondered what age I would be when it happened again. I wondered what life will be like from now until then…will I be more careful? Will I be afraid to climb mountains, do gymnastics, jump?

I look back at my extreme nausea, only about six days ago, and I could have the thought about it “that was SOOOOO HORRIBLE!”

The vomiting on top of the need to lie immobile, what an ordeal!!

But even as I thought it, another part of myself is asking “is that true?”

Is it true that it was sooooooo horrible in that exact moment? Did I really barely make it through this whole experience? Was it truly a horrendous, rough ride?

These can be stressful thoughts.

Even if in the moment I think them, I may also feel relieved, and glad to be on this side of the experience.

Yet my thoughts about that other side of the experience, that terrible side before the healing could begin, can actually start to multiply if I give them weight, if I believe them.

  • that was horrendous, I never want to go through that again
  • I couldn’t add one more thing, if any other symptoms appear, I can’t take it anymore
  • if I got breast cancer right now, I would hate the world and reality
  • this experience proves that the world is a dangerous place

I will never forget when one time, I was describing a very difficult break up with a very close friend to a wise mentor I trust, who knows me well, and I said “that was so hard, I can’t believe it happened”and shook my head in sadness.

And this wise old mentor replied “It actually wasn’t that hard for you, from the way I see it. It was emotional, and full of feelings, and those feelings rose and fell in waves…..but not much else changed in your life. You’ve done really well with this, you’ve come through it learning more deeply about human nature, and yourself.”

What????

Oh! WOW!

Could it be that it is NOT absolutely true that something I’ve been through in the past was horrendous, dreadful, hard to believe, shocking, incredible or that I barely made it?

Yes, what I have been going through is not unusual. It is not hard to believe. It is normal. It is a part of being alive. And its over. It’s only a memory, already. It’s a partially seen story.

It’s not that shocking to endure an injury. Or betrayal. Or sadness, fear, angst, terror, or deep grief.

Who am I when I believe the thought that experiencing what I call difficulties is tragic, frustrating or hard?

I’m scared of the future, I replay the past. I become less aware of the present. I feel upset about “life”. I get confused about not understanding it. I make plans to figure out how to solve the “problem” I’ve had or never have it happen again.

I begin to feel like the darkness will last forever and that I can’t stand it anymore.

But who would I be without the thought that hard times “prove” that life is sad, tough, or surprising? That darkness stays dark?

I’d notice that things fade away and then return, and all is a huge mystery. There is light, then dark, then light again. And I do not know what anything actually truly means.

My leg breaks, then it mends. And I didn’t have to do anything. I was just following along for the ride. Something flowed, in the story, and it kept flowing.

“The ego lives by comparisons.” ~ The Course in Miracles

Without the thought that challenges are….well….challenges….jeez, my story ends. I feel gratitude, peace, emptiness.

There’s really nothing to do.

“Any feeling is just a feeling arising in you, in awareness. For example ‘I’m not spiritually connected’ or ‘I’m unawakened’…all that is a story. See it for the story it is, and then turn around and recognize that which is seeing the story. Then it’s all over.” ~ Stephen Bodian

I turn my frightened thinking around and find…perhaps my thoughts have hurt me more than my body has hurt me. Whatever this “me” is that I’m referring to. Which seems to be other, or greater than, my thoughts or my body. Ha!

  • that was amazing, I am willing to go through that again
  • I could add any thing, if any other symptoms appear, I can take it (and I can release it)
  • if I got breast cancer right now, I would love the world and reality (astonishing, but true–I see so much I love in the world)
  • this experience proves that the world is a safe place (astonishing again! and out of the pain came ease and sweetness)
Do I want to tell the story of the pain and how hard, with dread, complaint, unhappiness?
Or do I want to tell the story of joy, healing, peace and discovery that I am not only this body, or this mind…
….and that maybe, this is easy?
The second story seems truer.
“Most people think that they are what their thoughts tell them they are. One day I noticed that I wasn’t breathing–I was being breathed. Then I also noticed, to my amazement, that I wasn’t thinking–that I was actually being thought and that thinking isn’t personal.” ~ Byron Katie

With love,

Grace

P.S. If you want to get the free guidebook to peaceful eating, click HERE.

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