I had given up. I had lost hope– and I didn’t even realize it!
For all my adult years, I have had health syndromes, and “syndromes” by definition are mysterious and defy consistent workable treatments. I’ve been told, so many times, that I’m doing everything right, trying all options available to me. I’ve also been told that maybe it’s just stress.
Conventional and alternative practitioners both have suggested stress as culprit, recommending therapy and support groups; I have learned this is their way of saying, “I have nothing more for you.” It’s been big work not taking this personally, and undoing the “there must be something wrong with me” conditioning.
So, for years I stayed away from all of it… because for decades a number of amazing promises to restore health were made -accompanied by judgement and shame (maybe it’s just stress) when it didn’t happen- it felt gentler to heal on my own. But when peri-menopause hit me HARD, instigating a host of symptoms, I began again in earnest: Naturopathy, herbs, acupuncture and then hormone replacement therapy.
Unfortunately, nothing helped. When my last Naturopath told me to work on my stress levels…Well, this isn’t my first rodeo. I thought: What they are really saying is, We are DONE HERE. And so we were.
I share this experience because it mirrored so many before it. It might seem a small thing, being told I should lower my stress (again), but after so many experiences –enough that I stopped seeking out support– it felt traumatic. This also illuminates why I had lost hope… without actually realizing I had lost hope.
Then, my husband, a world-class medical researcher, facilitated a phone conversation with a top-notch world-class Menopause expert. My first thought was: Another person whose judgment I would have to deal with. It filled me with dread. But then I felt into the energy of her name; I JUST KNEW that she would be kind and truthful with me. Indirectly, in the way these things often happen, she didn’t offer me any new answers just then, but the conversation led me to realize I had given up, and that it was time for me to fight again.
All of this brought up questions, for me.
For a long while I had been working on Acceptance. Being in grace with what I could not change.
When do you accept…And when do you fight?
When do you accept what you cannot control and seek GRACE… When do you say “NO. I WILL NOT.”?
When do you decide there’s something more for you? Something better?
I think this is primarily an INTUITIVE KNOWING. And, an AWAKENING as well.
Intuitively and with new determination, I went back to conventional western medicine- an institution that had long ago given up on me, and I, on it. I insisted on being seen by a gynecologist who had actually experienced menopause (they kept placing me with thirty-year-old doctors! Sorry but: As if!) As a result of this, I synchronously had a conversation with a Nurse Practitioner who said: “Helping women to no longer suffer through menopause symptoms is my passion (oh my! hot tears streamed down, when she said this!). We have solutions for women who cannot tolerate hormones. I know we have something for you.”
This led to a treatment I’d never heard of; and this treatment has offered me sustained and blessed relief.
Acceptance is invaluable for situations you cannot change.
But sometimes someone (or many someone’s) caused you to believe a lie.
The “there’s nothing else for you; you’re doing everything right and it’s all there is” lie.
One day, you are ready to WAKE UP.
I know many of us struggle with difficult, confusing conditions that defy ready answers. I’ve rediscovered that hope is: Believing there’s something out there for me, and that against all odds, I will find it.
I am applying the same level of determination and intuition to my fibromyalgia flare-ups. I didn’t have an MD who believed in me, so I chose a new one. I did it in the way I choose a card from my oracle deck- I’m not kidding! I looked at my choices online, their profile pics like little cards. Which face did I gravitate towards? Who felt resonant? HER. Boom. When I told her my story, she replied: You need someone in your corner.
Again, hot healing tears.
I still had to stand my ground with her. I had to be in my POWER and KNOWING and demonstrate this, energetically. When I heard those same old and tiring suggestions, “have you tried therapy?” and “how about ibuprofen?” and “what about prescription strength ibuprofen?” I insisted on going beyond them.
I anchored into my knowing. I insisted on an experimental therapy, one I’d discovered through months of researching PubMed, and offered her my scientific articles, research and data. She took me seriously.
Hope is a precious thing. I honestly had not realized I had given up.
I had gone into despair. A cycle of accommodating my misery.
And I thought I was working on Acceptance! I thought that was my Path. Perhaps it was, for a time.
But eventually, the learning needed to shift. I needed to shift from accepting what is and instead fight for more, better. It was time to believe more was available to me, and to reclaim my lost hope.
When I recounted the above to my husband he said, “Your experience reminds me of when I thought the only place for me was (at his former employer) and I couldn’t see beyond it. I told myself it was all I could have, and it was the best place for me. But really, I was stuck in Trauma. You pulled me out of that.”
Yes, that’s right, Trauma.
I’ve said this before, at length in my book Follow the Moonlit Path: We gravitate towards familiarity. People often stay in places that are unhealthy because it’s eerily familiar to them – resonant with their deep wounds.
My husband used to say: “I can’t imagine living anywhere besides the California Bay Area. I mean, where else would I go?” HA! It took me a year and a half to convince him that he would feel and do better elsewhere. It was a high energy battle at times, but it was energy and time well spent.
Now he would be the first to say it: He’s the happiest he’s ever been in a place (and I am, too!).
HOPE is a precious thing.
It’s easy to lose…Easy to get bogged down by habits of conditioning -habits of thought, old trauma, and consensus reality (oooh, this is where everyone ALSO agrees: yes, this is the best you can do).
Sometimes you’ve got to fight for what you most want — fight with everything you have.
You know there’s only one thing worth fighting for, right?
The TRUTH will always set you free, into sometimes blessedly unfamiliar possibilities.
The TRUTH is what we are all seeking, and looking for… Our Soul reaches for it, forever and always, even as our Ego’s conditioning struggles with removing all obstacles to the TRUTH. Even as our Ego conditioning tells us, yes, you are in the TRUTH, when that’s just another slippery-sideways lie you’re telling yourself.
(Again, since the mind can be so slippery, anchoring into my embodied INTUITIVE AWARENESS has been key. The Soul knows; the body doesn’t lie. When the mind gets spinning, it helps me to be very clear on this.)
Right now, the TRUTH is: There is cause for hope. Perhaps this is a gift of Pluto having just entered innovative Aquarius on this very day I write. For all the strange and eerie wonders astrologers are postulating about this new shift (the world-shaping force of A.I., to name a big one)…some breakthroughs, awakenings and experimental innovations can be positive for all. This is what my newfound hope tells me.
The takeaway here is this: If you are chronically unhappy, you CAN be happier.
If you are in despair, I encourage you to start fighting for what matters to you.
Trauma can blind you to what’s possible. I was re-traumatized, over and over, every time I was told “this is as good as it gets for you.” This was also a conditioned message from my childhood so I resonated with it.
For as much good talk as there is about healing trauma, though, I have also noticed a trend in becoming trauma-identified. Ultimately, trauma creates a lens -a broken one- a faulty perception through which we view life. But insisting on wearing that lens reinforces the energy of trauma. Trauma can be a really sticky ENERGY FIELD. This means that when you are in it, you will have difficulty seeing/feeling beyond it (honestly, it’s almost impossible). Think of a fish swimming in the sea; you can’t see what you are holding/feeling too closely.
Life is so much more than trauma. You can step out of that trauma vibration by not revisiting it, ruminating on it, regenerating it over again with your own energy… And, instead, honestly start asking yourself what TRULY feels good to you. A big part of regulating your nervous system is moving away from the triggers; moving away from the energy that created it, and into a new good-feeling energy. It helps to have clear-seeing support. I was that for my husband, and I had a teacher who helped me to trust what I KNEW to be True.
I know my journey is a personal one. Astrologically, I am experiencing my Chiron return. Pluto in Aquarius is now sextile my Pluto, and trine my Mars, to which I currently credit a powerful upsurge of honesty, courage, strength -and- renewed hope for innovative answers to long-standing questions.
Wherever you are in your journey, I offer up my life, as an example, as a LIGHT for your own.
May HOPE find you, where you most need it. You can be happy. You can feel good, safe, loved.