1. Patients launch a $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Naturopathy: Happy Anniversary to Me and Dr. Upcott
It has been seven years since Jody Smith began seeing her Naturopath Doctor. Time then for a brief reflection on the extent to which a variety of interventions may have helped move Jody forwards in her own battle with ME/CFS...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

"Thinking I was wasting my life, is what was wasting my life...I was devaluing it"

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by CAcfs, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

    Messages:
    178
    Likes:
    91
    Here is a realization I came to in chat.....I will paste it here. I wanted to share it with you all!

    "and buddhist heroes will go meditate in a cave for 7 years, and they are so thirsty and starved that they can barely think.......but they consider it "productive"
    So that made me re-think what I consider productive. Like maybe all my suffering is productive in a way. If someone can do what the buddhist monks do and reach enlightenment....I figure I am pretty close to that! Because all I basically do is sit in a cave. So maybe I am thinking about it in the wrong way
    2:58 AM
    we do not go into the caves, but we are heroes "in house" ...in bed..
    [​IMG]
    2:59 AM
    yeah. Like in America, they would call you crazy if you meditated for 7 years with little food. But if there is one culture that says that is good and they celebrate it, then fine.
    I will take it.
    I used to feel like I was wasting my life, but now I don't feel like that.
    Thinking I was wasting my life, is what was wasting my life....I was devaluing it"
    I just want to let all you guys know that the one thing this illness cannot take from us, is the one thing we were put on this Earth to do....to love! Loving is a choice, as well as an emotion/feeling. And we are all here for a reason! Please don't think your life is not worthwhile. It is a miracle that we are all here. I have learned to not feel guilty for doing virtually nothing all day. I continue to love my husband and my family. I am sure that means something to them. I smile a lot of the time, because I feel like I have finally let go of the resentment for all the things I can't do. I am just happy to be here and to love others. That is all God asks of us anyways. I am not screwing up.
  2. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

    Messages:
    178
    Likes:
    91
    When I said "I used to feel like i was wasting my life"....I meant, WHILE sick (not before being sick, just clarifying). Like I used to feel that I was made for so much more, and the time I was spending sick was wasted, and I should hurry up and get well so I could _____ (finish college, get a job, make a difference in the world). I am not saying I couldn't accomplish more if I was well, but I am just saying that I look at things differently now, after reading a Buddhist story (it was a famous book, can't recall which one exactly) and taking a class on Buddhism. I learned about how these people were being respected for doing basically what I am doing, and how they were celebrated for that, and I learned that I am looking at things the wrong way. I have combined this with my Catholicism/Christianity and it has made me realize a lot about my situation.

    It is not that I'm not trying to get better....I am....I am doing a lot to try to get better, actually. But this has really helped my mental health, and just given me a deeper understanding about why we are all here. I have also let go of a lot of guilt about not doing enough. I was a "successful" person before getting sick, and it used to be hard to see my peers moving on with their lives, doing things I "should have been doing." It is hard to think about even now. But deep down I am a happy person. I have learned that there is so much more to life. It is one thing to say it, but another thing to REALIZE it.

    I am a lot more grateful now. I have learned gratitude the hard way, but I don't know if there is any other way to learn it. You have to have very little, before you are grateful for the good things that pop up. I am not sure I ever would have learned to be this grateful, if not for some of my struggles, both health and financial. I no longer want to get better just to do things for me....I am now grateful enough for what I have, that I want to do things to thank God, thank society....for what I have been given. Even if it means just smiling at people or glorifying God by getting out of bed. I know that sounds very corny, the part about giving back to society....I almost hate re-reading it, because it sounds so cliche, but it is how I feel.
    SunnyInside, Lou, taniaaust1 and 6 others like this.
  3. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    4,823
    Likes:
    3,730
    Queens, NY
    It's called acceptance. One needs to first accept and then they can be grateful for what they have. This type of thinking is much more productive than to keep battling the reality of life.

    I want to say though that it is much easier to come to this acceptance if one has the love of family or friends around them.

    Many people suffer from physical illness yet they are mostly alone or not appreciated and loved. This is very hard to overcome ...alone.

    It does help if one has a higher power that they can feel safe knowing that everything is just the way it's supposed to be...yet even that is hard to accept when one is suffering alone.

    My wish for society in large is that when and especially when one has to go through physical or mental challenges, they should not have to do it alone....
    Fran, SunnyInside, Ocean and 3 others like this.
  4. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,315
    Likes:
    1,449
    East Coast, USA
    CAcfs, thanks for sharing this. I'm a meld of God-centered and Buddhist, and I literally can't imagine how I would get through this life without my belief system. The Buddhists have a remarkable understanding of psychology.....many tools there for training the mind to serve quietly in the background.

    My life goal has been enlightenment for as long as I remember..........even before I knew it was called that. As you point out, this illness is, perhaps, a gift towards that, as it requires so much stillness. It even makes insomnia tolerable..........it's just another opportunity to meditate.
  5. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

    Messages:
    743
    Likes:
    387
    Oregon
    Thanks for this thread. I've spent a lot of time with Pema Chodron audio teachings (got them through the library - there are many) and Tara Brach (thanks, Dreambirdie) http://tarabrach.com/audioarchives2012.html recently. ME/CFS and spiritual study go together well. Not all of us can write a best-selling book like Laura Hillenbrand or play soccer at the Olympic level like Michelle Akers, but we can all send love and light to the world and learn to love our "being" when we can't "do".
    SickOfSickness, beaker and madietodd like this.
  6. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes:
    2,695
    N. California
    That's a great statement to start a thread with. I am much better at accepting my situation than I used to be, tho I still can get plenty of mileage on feeling pissed off or despairing about not being able to DO what I want. But I have accepted that too, (as resisting is almost a guarantee to make it worse), and have learned to channel my angst, fury and depression into various creative expressions.

    I have never been good at the art of detachment, not sure that I even want to be, and I think that's why the Buddhist way has not worked that well for me. I appreciate many of the teachings and have found them to be magnificent in their understanding of how the mind works. Our spiritual traditions in the west are not nearly as sophisticated. But when all is said and done, I am much more of a Jungian than a Buddhist.

    M-L Von Franz spelled out the difference for me in one of her books (Psychotherapy, p160) when she said that in her conversations with DT Suzuki she was "assured (that in Zen Buddhism) fantasy images and dreams that arise (in meditation) are not regarded as essential, but just the opposite as relatively inessential elements that still cover up the 'true nature.' The master attempts to shake the student loose from them as from his other false ego attachments. By contrast in Jung's active imagination, without judgment, we stoop to pick up every fragment of symbol that our psyche offers us and work with it, since to us it might seem to be an adumbration or a part of the Self--maybe an unrecognized part. In any case there is no prescribed behavior. This greatest freedom is indeed the most difficult, but in my opinion the most valuable, aspect of the Jungian way inward."

    I couldn't have said it better myself. Really, I couldn't. :) That's what quotes are for.
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  7. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes:
    2,695
    N. California
    But speaking of Buddhism, I have always been quite fond of Yama and the myth around him.

    "In legend, Yama was a holy man who believed he would realize enlightenment if he meditated in a cave for 50 years. In the 11th month of the 49th year, robbers entered the cave with a stolen bull and cut off the bull's head. When they realized the holy man had seen them, the robbers cut off his head also.
    But the holy man put on the bull's head and assumed the terrible form of Yama. He killed the robbers, drank their blood, and threatened all of Tibet. He could not be stopped until Manjushri, Bodhisattva of Wisdom, manifested as the even more terrible dharmapala Yamantaka and defeated Yama. Yama then became a protector of Buddhism."http://buddhism.about.com/od/tibetandeities/ig/Wheel-of-Life-Gallery/Yama-Realm.htm

    Here's an image of him holding the wheel of life. As I understand it, his fierceness is intended to scare us out of our ignorance and bring us into the recognition of our mortality.

    [​IMG]
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  8. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    313
    Southern USA
    DB. that is pretty spooky for sure, ha.


    Yes, God is the center of all I do and the healing I have had. Even all of the years I was ill, He was always there with me. What a wonderful thing.
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    4,823
    Likes:
    3,730
    Queens, NY
    DB,

    That's some story. what I would like to know is why are those five skulls smirking?????
  10. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes:
    2,695
    N. California
    ROFLOL...yeah, they really are smirking. Well, there's Buddhism for you! They have a good sense of humor about the fact that life is a terminal condition, and that no one gets out of here alive. It's always sobering to remember this, but liberating too, to realize that your time on earth is limited. That's the whole point of Yama, the monster holding the wheel. He is supposed to "shock" you awake, and I am sure he does a good job at it!

    The Tibetan Wheel of Life is a fascinating diagram of the Buddhist view of existence. I had that poster hanging in my kitchen for many years, so I got to know it quite well.

    At the center of the wheel is the pig (ignorance), the snake (anger) and the cock (desire). These are considered "poisons" to a conscious existence. They DRIVE the wheel and create karma.

    The second layer shows the effects of the karma. It's split into dark and light, and shows how the good karma creates positive effects and leads to a higher level of awareness, while the bad karma takes you tumbling down into the gutter of lower levels of consciousness.

    The third level depicts the 6 levels of samsara, which is broken again into 3 higher realms (the demi-gods, the gods and the human realm) and 3 lower realms (the animals, the hungry ghosts and the hell realm). There is a so-called negative emotion associated with each realm, but because I never liked that label on emotions, I never learned which went with which. I do know that the human realm (roughly at the 2 o'clock level) was considered the best place to be, because humans had a choice about how they could behave and what kind of karma they would create from that. It was even better than the god realm, because the gods were chronically happy and unable to make choices due to their haughty happiness and superiority.

    The outer most rim of the wheel depicts the 12 links of cause and effect. It spells out in greater detail how the karma created at the center of the wheel affects one in this life, and how past karma from other lives affects this life as well.

    Out of all the Tibetan iconography this is my favorite. It's so rich in its depiction of the human struggle to live a conscious life, and all the obstacles along the way. I love the metaphors it contains.
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  11. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    4,823
    Likes:
    3,730
    Queens, NY
    It's fascinating and so rich in symbolism. I like the fact that humans are considered at an advantage because they have an element of choice. The choices they make in effect has an impact on their karma.
    We are told in Judaism that humans are really on a higher level than angels for the same reason. Humans have a choice to do good or bad whereas angels are all good but don't have a choice that's just the way they were created. Humans who chose good are therefore on a higher level than angels.

    What are hungry ghosts?
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  12. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes:
    2,695
    N. California
    Hi Nielk--

    That's an interesting correlation in Judaism of the angel realm to the Buddhist god realm. Sometimes I wonder though if at least one purpose of these mythologies might have been to pacify people into a more submissive state, so that their spiritual leaders could have a little more control of them....? I can almost hear them preaching, "yes, your life is miserable, but be happy you're not an angel or a god--all that goodness and happiness could impair your free will and bring you down to a lower level of consciousness." ;)

    The hungry ghost realm depicts the suffering caused by being caught in the realm of desire (the cock), which leads to endless dissatisfaction. The hungry ghosts are constantly hungry and thirsty. They wander the earth with their huge bellies, but are cursed to never be satiated. (That sounds like me, when my blood sugar is taking dive.)
    SickOfSickness and Nielk like this.
  13. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

    Messages:
    257
    Likes:
    173
    New Mexico
    Thinking I was wasting my life, is what was wasting my life.....................WOW CAcfs! I just got chills............you know what a profound statement that is for me...........talk about having an epiphany. Kind of goes along with Eckart Tolles teaching about allowing yourself to just be without all the stinking thinking behind it. It sounds like you have allowed and honored yourself to be the love that you are and knowing that it is enough. I really believe in this............can I always feel it..........NO! But the fact that I am aware of it is a start.

    Thank you for sharing that profound message.

    Tammy
    taniaaust1 and SickOfSickness like this.
  14. CAcfs

    CAcfs Senior Member

    Messages:
    178
    Likes:
    91
    Tammy, thanks. I really just had that realization slowly, then one night, I was able to put it into words, and I knew I had to share it here!
    SunnyInside likes this.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,746
    Likes:
    3,323
    Sth Australia
    I brought myself a book the other daycalled "Crystal Prosperity" by Judy Hall. Its about creating abundance in all areas of ones life.. hence something we all need as its soo hard to feel/be abundant when one has this darn illness!!! esp when so much has been taken away, Ive had soo many looses. Hence my need of a book on Prosperity.

    Im finding the exercises in this book on prosperity to be great.. and its really got me thinking a lot about what things I truely do value thou the exercises in it and of just how prosperus I can truely be. Its made me really aware that things arent so bad as I'd thought.
    madietodd likes this.
  16. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,315
    Likes:
    1,449
    East Coast, USA
    I think this is a great use of new age ideas. If we let go of the implied (OK, stated) promise of wealth, health, etc, and just do the work to shift our thinking, this stuff can really help.
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  17. gretac

    gretac

    Messages:
    27
    Likes:
    20
    Maine
    Recently, I was questioning aloud in conversation with my father my self-queries along these lines: what use can my life now be? how shall I then live? do I/you think the rest of my life is a waste? Did I do enough when I could? Did I fulfill my potential when I was able to? what worth does my life now have? Etc. Not rhetorical questions, not depression, but truly honest inquiry: what purpose now can/shall my life have?
    My father, bless his heart, who is a pediatrician for severely and profoundly retarded non-ambulatory children, responded: "Time spent alive is not wasted."
    Wow!

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page