Stressing, striving, and straining never got me anywhere but sick. I was totally committed to my goals and achieving them at all costs. And I did. I was very successful as an electrical engineer, loved my work. I had the car, the house, the mate, the life. However, I had no balance, no boundaries, which basically translates into no wisdom. Inevitably, coupled with sickness, I lost it all. After many years of thrashing and grieving, beauty appeared. I found that tiny bit inside that was true. I listened to that and it grew.
The same philosophy of striving can be applied to healing. Getting fixed, getting normal, getting free of whatever ails you. At all costs. There are a lot of people who are not shy to tell you what to do. I listened and clung to every word until I hit the wall with no money and no cure and was once again only left with that tiny little bit. This time I accepted my illnesses, even embracing them. I now saw them as teachers who were merely showing me how to care for myself and to rely on the wisdom within. Living from the inside out rather than forcing my lovely spirit into an external mold of ego. Trusting in that process is not easy but it is transformative.
We even strive with playtime. We operate under FOMO (fear of missing out) rather than JOMO (joy of missing out). I live in a beautiful place with abundant things to do, see, and eat. It has been a very long road to let go of having to do everything. And seeing everybody. And eating everything. My illnesses help guide me to choose, where my no’s are, where my yes’s are, and the stuff in between. If it’s not at least 51% it is definitely not happening. I’ve learned to choose that which is rooted in my higher values and freely and thankfully let go of the rest.
We are Americans. We are about work, play, success, the American Dream. Yet when we fall short of that expectation we get really silent. We feel like failures. We want to hide. The bigger truth is that we are human, and we are beings. What is inside of us is more precious than anything outside of us, no matter what money can buy. When I realized that I became free.
Letting go of preconceived ideas of work, play, healing, and just about anything allows room for them to evolve and blossom from an original and creative space.