It is quite some time since I last blogged. After difficulties maintain my energy levels, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME. While the label helped me to understand why I felt the way I did. Softening the frustration. I had rather hoped I would have been able to take some supplements or medication and feel back to myself. That said this diagnosis was not all doom and gloom. It encouraged a process of awareness and acceptance. Promoting self-care and patience. It was a crash course in learning which states and experiences recover energy and those that leave your battery flat. You practice gratitude for the simple things, notice things you took for granted. You assess what things actually matter – prioritize and compromise.
I began my blog as I was beginning to glimpse a new way of being. A more meaningful way to perceive my life experiences. I love my growing relationship with nature. I look at trees, birds and animals with new intrigue. I admire them. I share the sense of freedom when walking over moorland. Being alive to the sensations I feel. Consumed with a sense of wonder over its miraculous, magical nature. As I observe the changes brought in by the seasons, transformation also happens inside me, commonly without my awareness. A deep connection, that means I feel part of the life force that vibrates through all matter and in the spaces between. I do not yet have the knowledge to understand all that I have experienced. I have grown faith in my heart that there is a purposeful source, a God or Universal energy that is ever present, in everything – should we be in the state to perceive it.
Whilst the high tors on the moor challenge me to be open, make space and try a new perspective. The rivers and waterways teach me to trust that there is a natural movement and flow to life. There may be torrents or calm pools, they are simply part of the course. I have not the conscious ability to change the direction of flow, but fatigue taught me in no uncertain terms that resistance, reluctance and forcing, are just exhausting and pointless. I have written in previous blogs about acceptance and surrender. Life seemed to bring about the perfect circumstances to put this into practice.
Work remained the problematic issue. The job was emotionally demanding and by mid-week I was running on adrenaline to get to the weekend. Once there, I would crash, semi recover and begin again on Monday. There was not much energy left to do things I enjoyed. Sometimes my thoughts would try and take me back on the depressing path. I was grateful of my garden. The birds, squirrels and hedgehogs, assisting me to maintaining a sense of wonder. I noticed with new pleasure the rain hitting the windows. The wind howling through man made gullies between buildings. The resilience and strength of the trees, despite the storms.
My relationships with others took on a new level of honesty and authenticity. I have always had something about me that feels flawed and so should be hidden. I am aware how this is a barrier to building relationships. I fear people will work this out and then reject me. The energy to try and appear as something I wasn’t or worry about judgement didn’t exist anymore. It was enough to try through good intention. I knew I was doing my best. Still the cracks were showing, so I owned my vulnerability.
Gradually, I began to notice that other people started to drop their guard around me, sharing their vulnerabilities and struggles. I realised how alike we all are – beneath our shields and personas. We are humans just trying to get by, connect and feel at peace. We all have fears and feel pain. We judge it as a weakness, so we, mask it, repress it, ignore it, until we are overwhelmed by it. It is hard to put into words the power an act of kindness can have on another. Our connection means we feel it deeply in our hearts. I was beginning to understand that love best described by the Greek word ‘agape’ seem to dissolve a sense of fear. When we recognise our connectedness to each other, we realise we belong.
Then came a time of change…
I was given the opportunity to apply for a job. Despite all the negativity I felt towards my then job. Change is scary! Practically, I would no longer have long school Summer holidays vs a four-day week and perhaps the opportunity to better pace my life. But fear and self-doubt were rowing my boat. I turned the opportunity down.
A few nights later, whilst I slept, I had a complete change of heart. I woke up feeling that I could choose to stay stuck, hold on to the negativity. Or I could be brave, embrace my inner warrior and trust that this was the path forward. Repeated phrases in my thoughts followed: Is a change not as good as a rest? Change the direction of flow!
I made a call. I went through the application process. I had many doubts and fears along the way, but I kept the feeling that this was the right path. The genuine love and good wishes of others rooted in my heart and gave me strength. You can’t feel negative when your heart is open and grateful. I continued putting one foot in front the other, down this unknown path. I chose to trust.
Over a month in my new post and each day I count my blessings. My compassion has a place with its ethos of serving others. I go to work as my true self and have been welcomed and supported. Going to work has never felt so normal! No longer do I wake to a feeling of dread. My body is beginning to gain strength. I have less fatigue so feel more enthusiastic about living, rather than limited.
I believe that the same God-like magic that I see everywhere in nature also flows through me, through you and in all places. I am more aware of its presence. I am more in wonder. I am part of this creative process of life. I am learning to replace my fears with trust. You cannot spend time observing nature and then deny that it has a timely purpose. This should not be abstract to the human experience of living. I better understand what it means to love and feel loved. To be alive.
So, as the footsteps on the track behind me fade, I look into the distance with no clear image of the destination ahead. I do know where I am and which way to walk. I intent to continue at a steady pace, taking my time to observe my surroundings, allowing myself space to experience. I connect more to my inner warrior and we face fears and challenges together.
As I stand on the moor gazing out over miles in all directions. I ponder new beginnings and limitless possibilities. I smile to the Universe and accept its invitation for adventure. I feel it smile back with a sense of knowing. We take in the moment. Before I bow my head with respect and signal for it to lead the way.