Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yoga-Love-Multiple Stories

Let's celebrate our stories...

I've been thinking a lot recently about living with MS and what role it plays in my life, and you know what, I've realized that it really isn't that important. It's just one of the stories in my life. I live with MS, but everyone lives with something.

The important questions are this: what have I learned from living with MS? And what positive differences am I bringing to the world as a result of it?

What's Your Story?
We all have stories. Lots of them. Stories from our childhood, stories from being teenagers, stories from our jobs and relationships. There are times in our life that are hard. Period. We all have 'stuff'.

This may well be very obvious to you, and you might well have got this concept years ago. But it's like peeling an onion for me. I thought that I had a pretty good grip on what it's all about. But recently, I've peeled yet another layer off my onion and have gotten slightly closer to an understanding.

An Ivory Tower
I've realized that before I got divorced and lived alone, I was living in an ivory tower of privilege. Sure, it wasn't a bed of roses, or I wouldn't be divorced, but I was still in a bubble of not having to deal with practical life, which, being a floaty and challenged in the grounded department, was a hugely helpful bubble... (bills, money, taxes, car, computer, home stuff all taken care of). I had two problems: MS and being married to wrong person.

Now I'm out in the world alone, the MS is a minor issue. I've got much bigger fish to fry, like how to pay next month's rent; how to make sure my children are taken care of, when half the time they're not with me, and I have no say in their upbringing; and, now my 18 months of transitioning to single life is over, how to establish myself as a respectable, together, working single mother.

Everyone Has Their Stuff
As I said, everyone has something they're dealing with, and it's all relative. What's big to one person doesn't mean anything to another, but there are things that many of us will deal with at some point in our lives, like job loss, relationships ending and sickness, and, something's that we will all have to deal with, such as the death of a loved one and ultimately our own death.

So, how are we going to deal with these challenges? Are we going to let them break us? Get us down? Make us bitter and twisted? Or, once we've accepted the situation and that change is inevitable, can we learn our lessons, move on, help others and celebrate what we do have? Looking at the bigger picture, we're here for such a short time, is it possible to live gracefully and lovingly, so that when we're old looking back we can be proud of how we conducted our lives?

I am fortunate to be very healthy, the MS is in remission. For lots of people with MS however, that's not the case. They suffer every day. My heart goes out to them, and having learned many lessons from living with the disease, I do what I can to help that community.

Working with the NMSS and people with MS, is how I'm choosing to serve at the moment. This might well change in the future and I'll serve in a different way. It's not always necessary or possible to do outward service though. We can also help others through our thoughts and prayers, and by donating money. We can be of service by living our lives from a place of selflessness, honesty and love.

We Are All Connected
When we are living in truth and coming from a place of love, we create such happiness that it spreads out into their immediate community and on and on, into the world.

This connectedness is as true to me as the sky is the sky and the ocean is the ocean. When we think good thoughts, they have a positive effect. When we do good deeds, the same thing happens. When we learn a lesson and make positive changes in our lives, those thoughts and actions benefit others.

What About You?
What have you learned from your stories? How have you taken those lessons and made changes in your life to help yourself and others? A great exercise is to actually sit quietly with a notebook and pen and go through your life, chronologically, and see what you've learned and how you're putting it into practice.

It's all food for thought. We've all got tons and tons of lessons to learn. I'm far from perfect...but I am trying my best to get through life coming from a place of love, integrity and remembering to celebrate being alive, whatever the lesson.


Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XII
By Rainer Maria Rilke

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears.
The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much
as the curve of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.
Is it safer to be gray and numb?
What turns hard becomes rigid
and is easily shattered.

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive.
And Daphne, becoming a laurel,
dares you to become the wind.


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