The next number of posts, all titled Conversations on… come from email communications between a dear friend and me. With her permission, I am publishing excerpts from them because I feel they pertain to everything we’ve been discussing on the blog. Kate has been in the process of trying to figure out how to be a writer and still maintain her teaching job. She has very recently decided she must leave her job and fully embrace a “writing life.” At her request I’ve changed her name and am using initials for people she brings up. Those of you who have not read any of the earlier Conversation pieces, may want to go back to have a better understanding of Kate’s progress. You’ll find her story under the topic category, “Kate’s Story.” It’d be great if you all would join our conversation…
I was just putting this into WordPress for a Wisdom Wednesday and thought you might like it:
“Most upset is derived from our unwillingness to accept or release something. Like holding water, the tighter we grasp the less we have.
Often the intense energy we expend clinging to something is the single greatest obstacle to our good. We greatly improve our lives and results by letting it go.
Letting go does not mean giving up. It means that we take our frenetic, chaotic energy out of the picture and release our attachment to the outcome.
If you believe in a force greater than you (God, Spirit, Universal Energy, etc.), letting go is an act of surrender to the power responsible for beating hearts and suspending the planets in the sky, surely it can handle your concerns.”
Your description of your experiences with “chronic” illnesses is a big wake up call about attitude. (I also had Epstein Barr long ago but did not develop persistent symptoms). I don’t pretend to understand how this happens, how a positive attitude can change outcomes like that. I don’t pretend to see how, and I admit I feel dumb and blind for not “seeing” that. Maybe this is the source of my troubles (in addition to my “letting go” problem).
I understand what you say about accepting your life as it is/was, and I see that this can open up a pathway to healing. But I don’t see how letting go of concerns makes the illness go away. (Is it by not engaging with it and thus denying it control?) I am struggling with this process. Perhaps rejecting the idea that there is a problem and not knowing what the consequences are can make the problem go away because it no longer has room to take hold. I don’t know. In this case it seems like the power of suggestion is the most dangerous element, which I DO believe is true, but this means that knowing is hurtful, and this element goes against everything I have always believed. Yet another way I have to leave behind my old ways of thinking.
Your passage about letting go ties in very well here. It is a beautiful piece of advice, yet my brain doesn’t fully comprehend it. I realize this is an example of resistance of the highest order, but I am having trouble understanding the what and the how. How much of who I am do I “let go” of? Doesn’t that take time? I think I can make sense of taking energy out of the picture and releasing attachment to the outcome, but I’m not sure how to do that. I feel completely obtuse, but I just don’t understand how. Does that make sense? This is making me smile, which is a good sign I think 🙂
From Kate (next day):
I just want you to know that I am a bit more at peace today, feeling calmer, a little more settled in my skin, and seeing once again the beauty around me. I appreciate your reminders about letting go and trying to cut myself some slack. You must be getting very tired of hearing yourself say those things to me over and over again and then watching me self destruct. Please know that I am not trying to ignore the calls to rest. I just don’t know how, I guess. I literally feel lost when I try to do nothing. That sounds like a poor excuse, but it is the truth as I know it. Yesterday I spent some time meditating, which was helpful. I am going to do that again today.
I just came back from an acupuncture appointment with a new person who is local, just down the street from where we live. I like him a lot. Interestingly, he said that I have a “great capacity for letting go,” which he could tell by working on some pressure points and seeing that my body responded exceptionally well. I said that’s funny because that is precisely what I am struggling with more than anything else!
So the key is how to let go emotionally, which is what I was writing to you about yesterday and what is troubling me so much: the how. I understand why I need to do that and THAT I need to do it. The how is proving very difficult, as you can see. The acupuncturist suggested that I consider doing some kind of guided work in this regard. I will pursue this further with him when I see him again next week.
It all makes sense, and the messages from all of my supporters are consistent. I’m just not getting the practice elements in place yet (and I’m trying not to beat myself up over that but rather to note it and keep trying).
I am just finishing up some blog work and must then shower and leave for the gallery but I wanted you to know how great it is to receive this note. I’m planning on writing to you from there. But, please know, with all your heart, that I don’t get tired at all conversing with you about your process. Yesterday’s email reminded me of when I was frustrated and lost as to HOW to let go and what that even meant! So I wanted to have the right kind of space to respond. I will never ever grow tired of anything we talk about or how you move through your healing. I promise.
To be continued…
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Love to you all,