Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Are Your Fighting or Flowing?

Tree in Storm

I felt hit by a bolt of lightning when chronic illness came into my life. I fought the change with all my might.  I wanted this new distress to have a name so I could fix it and make it go away.  I spend untold hours and dollars exploring solutions from doctors to healers, vitamins to herbs. All these remedies, the ones that work for everyone else, only made me worse.

I didn’t look within to consider how I could elegantly adapt to the new circumstances.  I didn’t consider lifestyle factors that might be contributing to the situation, or deeply seated, stale patterns that might be influencing my way of being.  I was stuck in place, running like mad, and suffering more and more.

This was primarily due to fear.  I clung to the belief, “There’s nothing wrong with me beyond the physical issues.”  So naturally, all I had to do was figure it out.  I couldn’t look within because distorted brain messages originating in my childhood made it shameful to do so.  I refused to see the interconnection of body, mind, and spirit.

The Opportunity to Shift Your Perspective

When circumstances change in your life, your are presented with an opportunity to shift your perspective, and possibly transform your life.  Changes, small or big, soft or dramatic, are heaven sent gifts if you are able to see them that way.  Most importantly, they can enhance you spiritual perspective inspiring you to use your time wisely, learn to quiet your mind, open your heart, and reflect on the true purpose of life.

I’m embarrassed to tell you how long I kept fighting!  It was a very long time. But everything shifted when I stopped fighting, and started accepting and flowing.  I could have saved a huge amount of time and energy if I had stepped into the center of change instead of struggling against it.  But, I know better than to indulge in regret.

Question for Reflection:

Is there something you’re fighting against in your life?  Can you imagine seeing it in a different way?  What might it be saying to you?

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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14 Comments

  1. Flowing takes so much effort. What an irony that almost always we choose to self-sabotage our own happiness. We manage to create all sorts of imagined obstacles. I’ve experienced the joy of things suddenly working out when I stopped worrying about them. Thanks for such an inspiring post. That’s a fabulous question to answer periodically Sandra.

    Hugs and love, Vidya

    • Hi Vidya,

      Did you mean fighting takes so much effort or flowing? I would think you meant the former! I think there are so many subtle ways that we fight against the tide in our lives. So I agree, it’s a valuable question to answer periodically. I love the way things magically work out for you at times when you stop worrying about them.

  2. Oh, I struggle with this problem constantly. I’m so stubborn. It’s the downside of being tenacious. I can be very dedicated and loyal, but sometimes I just don’t know when to let go. It took me years to let go of my first marriage, when it was a lost cause almost from the start. It took me decades to move away from the Midwest, though I knew I felt trapped and unappreciated by the time I was 15.

    There isn’t as much of a difference between physical and psychological disease as we were taught to believe. Each reinforces and interacts with the other constantly. I still have much to learn about the practice of grace and balance.

    I do think things are improving, and I have hope, and I’m generally happier than this diagnosis might make it sound like. Reading about your struggles makes it easier to forgive my own. Thanks.

    • Hi Mike,

      I think there’s a lot to be learned as we hold on so tenaciously as well! You are clearly aware and learning. And it’s wonderful you feel things are improving and you are generally happy. I’m glad reading about my struggles makes it easier to forgive your own. I’m a strong believe in letting go of regrets and realizing it all brought us to where we are now. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. jean sampson

    I think the Universe is trying to tell me something, Sandra! This whole day has been about change and how we react/respond to it. I just got in from an RC meeting that had the theme of “change”—-and then I read you post and thought, “Ok, I guess this message is for me, the one who hates change! There are many changes afoot at the art center where I have where I teach and have my studio! I am hoping they will be easy enough for me to adjust to, but a part of me says, no, it is going to be hard. And the truth is that I am very adaptable——I just don’t want to HAVE to be!
    So, there you have it. I have lived in my house all of my life and am working in the building which was my old elementary school. I think that says how I feel about change! 🙂 But, regardless, I am flexible and can adjust to whatever I have to. I guess that is a distant cousin of Flow, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Hi Jean,

      It seems we are not alone with our tiny resistance! At least there are three of us! Yes I think “adjusting” is getting closer to flow. I truly wish whatever changes come about are enjoyable and perfect for you!

  4. Daniela

    Oh, Sandra, did you have to ask this question? I was hoping I can behave like Rumpelstiltskin and stamp on my foot and say “but I don’t want it, I don’t want it” 😉 But, you’re right, it just takes lots of energy and it doesn’t get me anywhere, besides get “lost” in my stubbornness. I’m may not be (yet) able to see it as a gift, but your post is definitly helping me to get there.

    • Daniela,

      Oh, so sorry! You can do the Rumpelstiltskin dance if you would like! But, I know you really have something else in mind. We’ll get there in time. I wish you the best with your process.

  5. This is so apt. I am beginning to see the light of living with open hands and not judging what comes my way. Thanks for the reinforcement that this is truth and it works for other people who are farther into the journey than I am!

  6. Sandra, thank you for such a great reflection question. I have been fighting against my eating habits and God has really been working on that in me recently. I want to get back to that flowing lifestyle of healthy eating…a minute, hour, day at a time. Thanks for your prompts and honest sharing!

    • You’re so welcome Paula Jo. Food can be big for me too. I fully understand and I’m with you. I know you will find a good way.

  7. I, too, have been plagued with chronic illness (fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue for the past 20 years or so). Last year was a ‘tough’ year, for me, and my fibro flared. The pain and fatigue, at times, are so debilitating — and, at times, I continue to feel guilty and depressed about not being able to do the things I used to be able to do.
    I am trying to help with cooking dinner and picking up my grand-daughter (age 11) from school every day and walk my dog every day and try to do ordinary everyday chores (laundry, grocery shopping, etc….). I try to cook enough food for my grand-daughter to take home to her older brothers (ages 13 and 15) and her Dad.
    I feel it is expected of me because I’ve cared for my grandchildren for so long. Even when I was working full time I had them on the weekends.
    I’m 65 now and, since my fibro is flaring, I continue to try to keep doing what I did years and years ago — when I was stronger and younger. I don’t want this ‘illness’ (it frustrates me), but I need to remind myself to ‘accept’ it and just do what I am able to do. My grandchildren are getting older now, but since the passing of their Mom (my daughter, Dawn) last year — I’ve moved back to Jersey to be near them to help them.
    I did wayyyyyyyy too much last week, Sandra. I overdid it and now I am so exhausted I can hardly move. I feel like I just want to stay in bed and sleep for about a month.
    Even tho I haven’t commented lately, I read all your posts. I’ve been very busy (trying to help out the grandchildren) and then I just crash in the evening. Doing too much – trying to be someone (perhaps the younger, stronger, healthier Superwoman I used to be) I’m not – is causing me more harm than good.
    Thanks for reminding me to stop fighting this ‘illness’ and just ‘accept’ that I have limitations. The grandkids don’t seem to understand (neither does my son in law), and the guilt I feel (perhaps if I would like to rest for a day or two) overwhelms me.
    I realized that, for me, in order to turn a bend in my ‘journey of grief’, I had to finally accept my daughter’s passing ‘physically’ from this world. She is and always will be with me – in spirit, within my heart and in my memories. Metta meditation has also helped me tremendously.
    I think, a part of me feels as if my daughter would be so grateful for all that I am trying to do for her children – and that is why this ‘illness’ frustrates me so very much.
    Thanks for posting about ‘fighting’ and ‘flowing’. I know, now, that I am ‘fighting’ (last year was horrific for me and my family – causing me even more mental and physical pain). I’d like to just ‘let go’ of wanting to be what I’m not — and begin to ‘flow’ with ‘what is’.
    With gratitude and love,
    Sandy

  8. This is a wonderful post Sandra. Years ago I had chronic IBS that left me feeling constantly exhausted, bloated and fuzzy-headed. I scoured the Web for answers and made many of the usual lifestyle changes. They brought some relief but nothing permanent. It was only when I went within, learned to meditate, relax and let go of some deep-seated limiting beliefs about myself that my IBS magically disappeared.

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