I know a great deal about survival. In fact, I believe we all do.
Whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or even financial, each of us has gone through an experience that’s forced us beyond our comfort zones and into a mode of survival for some length of time.
When I look back on my life, I can recall moving through a combination of many experiences, simultaneously, that appeared to force me out of living my life until each day became one merely to survive.
The search for an answer to my failing health left me struggling to survive on all levels. When I got the coveted diagnosis of late-stage Lyme Disease, I thought relief would ensue.
But, something else happened instead.
I went to war.
I was determined to win this battle at all costs.
I was about eight months into daily IV antibiotic therapy when I realized just how expensive this all had become.
Though the medical bills continued to pile high, it was my rapidly depleting spirit that was becoming the first casualty of this war.
When we become warriors against a disease or any challenge, as I did, it requires a considerable amount of energy. All soldiers need fuel for the battle, and this was no different. The downside here is what our life becomes if we aren’t careful to stay connected with ourselves underneath the cause we fight.
We can’t dedicate ourselves to surviving without sending the message to ourselves, and everyone else, that we have fallen victim to something.
And, when we claim victimhood to anything, we lose our power.
I realize this may be a difficult perspective to consider, especially for those trying to reclaim their health. But, my intention isn’t to downplay the pain that comes with traumatic experiences. My hope is to shed light on a new path of empowerment through them.
This requires dropping the weapons and shifting our focus on what truly gives us power: our spirit.
It wasn’t until I began my studies on the nature of consciousness and spirit that I learned how to use my focus and intention for healing through loving instead of fighting my body.
For me, this meant tweaking my treatment plans to modalities that felt healing in my heart instead of methods chosen out of the desperate state of my mind. When my heart began to lead, the parts of myself that were depleted gradually returned to me.
The journey back to wholeness of mind, body and spirit is a process, and it simply cannot be done without our power and will to live.
Now, in a far better state of health, I’m happy to report that I didn’t survive anything, I’ve only just learned how to live.
Surviving is not truly living, it’s living on the defense. And while this may keep us alive temporarily, it’s not what brings our health back to us. It shackles us directly to the perceived threat and shadows us from our true selves.
Learning how to break the chains might be the most important step any of us can take through the many obstacles we each face in this lifetime. This begins the moment we reconsider the words we use when defining ourselves. Do we really want to be survivors or do we want to live beyond the context that it implies?
Author: Jamie Rautenberg
Editor: Caroline Beaton
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