I am a Magnificent Miracle. Aren’t we all? The Miracle of Life shows itself as all the microscopic bits and pieces within our body coordinate to create and sustain life. Holy Shit! It’s amazing! We are amazing! And that Miracle explodes out as I consider the Universe; this vast expanse of interdependence and beauty. Layer upon layer; Miracle stacked on Miracle, Magic upon Magic causes me to ooze with Wonder and Awe especially as I consider my personal journey.
4 years ago I was facing an early onset dementia (mis)diagnosis. My world had crashed down on me as I lost functionality of my body and mind. Those microscopic bits and the energy connecting them together were both scrambled and fried. I could not speak and hypersensitivity to light, sound and motion overwhelmed my systems. Guttural exhaustion tormented my body and brain down. I could not communicate, comprehend, process or retain most information. Emotionally I was devastated by the thought of dying; taking the Long Way Home in one of the most horrible ways.
I want to say that over the last 4 years I fought with every bit of my essence to LIVE, but that’s not concise enough. Yes, I was scrappy, determined and persistent, but the word “fought” is potentially misleading. It implies pushing harder, doing more and so often suggests struggling to return to what was. But one of the biggest lessons of my illness was learning to surrender and let go.
The Miracle of Surrender
In order to transform my experience of my illness, I had to let go of what was. Doing what I had always done was not working. In fact, it was making my symptoms worse. I had to stop.
There was so much I no longer could do such as read, talk with others, or go out in public. These simple things had serious consequences physically, mentally and emotionally. In resisting my current reality by holding on to the past, I kept crashing into devastating barriers that highlighted the loss of who I thought I was and would be. My grief and anger made my symptoms more difficult to bear; the pain greater.
So I had to let go of “the fight” as typically understood. I needed to plant my feet firmly in the presence; the only time where any of us have any control. I needed to get quiet, lean into my faith and release the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that were deepening my suffering.
Through surrender I found healing of my body, mind and spirit. I magnified my connection to Spirit, reconnected to the underbelly of Faith, and rediscovered long forgotten pieces of my truest essence. As I released so much fear, grief, and anger, space opened up for healing my body and brain.
Along the way, I realized that I did not want to “return” to how I used to show up in the world. My illness had cracked me open in such incredible and beautiful ways; ways I wanted to nourish and nurture. I wanted my functionality back, but I didn’t want to go backwards. Never did I want to to forget what I learned through my illness. I longed for the physical and cognitive capacity to live life on my terms, in alignment with the desires of my heart and soul.
And I thought I never would forget. I thought I would never go back. But as I reflect on 2022, I realize I had been forgetting. I had been slipping back into old ways of being from “before.”
As I reintegrated with the world and pursued my dreams to help other women break free of the fear, isolation and overwhelm of their illness, I got uncomfortable. In unchartered territory, a new form of fear and overwhelm crept in as I lost sight of trust in myself, my mentors, the process and the loving forces that guide us all.
Before I got sick, I thought I had to do all the things. All the things at once. What drove me is for another time. When I was sick, bare necessity required that I let go and focus on only the essentials. This past year, eager to test the limits of what I can once again do, eager to prove to myself and others that I am once again normal, I have succumbed to the old misunderstanding that I need to do all the things. It’s easy to do with hustle mentality and all the ways our culture heightens our fear of missing out.
The Miracle of Remembering
Even as I write these words I laugh and balk. I don’t want to be normal if being normal means letting fear and misunderstanding drive my thoughts, feelings and behaviors. If normal means falling out of touch with my faith, trust and connection to my true essence, then count me out. I am a frickin’ Miracle. We all are. Normal these days seem to involve forgetting the Miracles that we are. I have been given unbelievable gifts; life, love, compassion, understanding, connection, insight and vision.
As I move forward into the New Year, I look to embody this lesson. I look to embrace layer upon layer of Miracles and Magic that shape who I am and how I show up for myself and others. I return again to surrender, faith, trust and connection so that I may fulfill the desires of my heart and soul.
What about you? Do you see that magnificent Miracle you are? How will you use that awareness to step into the desires of your heart and soul in 2023?