Naturally I was taken by surprise, but I also felt strangely comforted. I have noticed that when my everyday, ego mind is distracted, my inner self delivers an unmistakably clear message to stop and pay attention. Art, yoga, swimming and taking exercise in nature can assist us to relax and drop into a deep sense of peace.
For example, although I do not particularly enjoy experiencing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, it has given me an opportunity to slow down and pay attention to my inner world. My body is more keenly attuned to how I feel in all situations.
My habit has been to suppress my true voice and push my feelings deep down. If I do that now, I often have the unpleasant sensation of stepping on an electrical cord. Discomfort is a sign that I need to slow down and take care of myself. My ruthless, controlling self is at it again!
In my social work practice, I coped with stress by telling myself a lot of untruths. My favourite was that I was doing ‘good’ in the world by helping to fix all its troubles. My ego-self was convinced that I knew how to bring an end to human suffering. No wonder I overwhelmed, tired and stressed!
It has taken a lot of patience, courage and self-forgiveness, but I am constantly amazed at how listening to my inner voice saves me from a lot of unnecessary struggle. Every day is not easy, and I still have lots of opportunities to forgive myself, but miracles happen all around me when I stop trying to play god and do it by myself.
Now I am more able to wait until a situation unfolds and have confidence that I will be guided. I am learning to take a back seat to my misguided need to fix something that is not broken. This is a common way I project an idea into the world so I can temporarily feel useful and needed. Naturally this obscures the fact that I am already enough, and so is the person I think I am saving.
When I relax, the world seems friendlier and I find my ego’s antics hilarious. I don’t need a buzzer from my nervous system to alert me to my frantic fears and maladaptive ways of coping with them.
Love arrives in all its splendour to remind me of what I already know.