My Adventures in Healing


My Adventures in Healing

Power Through Surrender

The other day, I was telling my therapist that I had learned I was more resilient than I thought I was. She said, “Not just resilient but powerful.” And that stopped me dead. All the images of what I viewed as powerful went through my head: Mel Gibson as Braveheart, The Rock smashing his way to victory in whatever movie he was in, armies rolling over their enemies, rich people shaping the rules to suit them because they can. You get the point. And no, I did not fit any of my ideas of “powerful”. I felt weak from not being able to exercise for the past five years. I felt powerless because my life had been derailed by medical trauma and illness. So, saying I felt powerful just felt silly.

But then, when I bulked, she started listing some of the things I had accomplished and I had an “aha” moment. I realized that my idea of being powerful had come from the masculine world, ideas shaped by the way we’ve been taught history (a retelling of battles and wars with emphasis on the victor) media and our entertainment industry. But being powerful isn’t always about physical strength, fighting, conquering, or pushing through the pain, is it?

No. Because what I had tapped into for healing was a different type of power: the power of feminine energy. (Every person, whether male or female has both feminine and masculine energy, and we all need both.)

Some traits of feminine energy are: softening, nurturing, allowing, empathy, and “being” instead of “doing”. Can you see how these feminine aspects are important tools for healing a nervous system disorder?

I’d learned healing isn’t about asserting your will over your body, fighting it or trying to force it into submission. It’s about surrendering without giving up, turning empathy inward, staying open, being present, receiving and letting go.

After the outside world of western medicine failed me, what finally helped me begin to heal was spending time in meditation, opening my heart and receiving guidance from my intuition. This is inner wisdom we all have access to, but we have to sit still long enough to receive it.

I learned how to stop my thoughts when they tried to drag me back to the ICU, to the pain, to the losses, anchoring them to the present moment, not by force, but with lovingkindness toward myself.

During a time when my days were full of never-ending physical pain, crushing fatigue, loss, anxiety and grief, I learned how to choose love over fear. I salvaged peace from the wreckage. Peace that came from sitting down on the battlefield and tilting my face to the sun with a smile.

Maybe powerful is the wrong word, because the association with physically overpowering or conquering something is strong. Maybe a better word is empowered. I feel empowered.

What about you? Can you say you feel empowered by what you’ve been through?

4 Replies to “Power Through Surrender”

  • Hi Shannon!
    I haven’t been to this site for a bit and I apologize for that. As we’ve discussed before, I survived a horrific accident where I was forced off a bridge and broke my back which is now in even worse condition. In addition, I have multiple health issues including fibromyalgia and a movement disorder which is a recent diagnosis. And to top that, I have literally beaten death three times! So, I totally understand where you’re coming from and I love the word empowered. I have had people tell me that they admire me for beating the odds. I tend to brush off any compliments I receive but reading your post I can seen that maybe I should change how I think of myself. 🙂 I do keep a positive attitude and think of the things I CAN do rather than what I CANNOT do.
    I was also unable to exercise for many years. My main exercise now is to walk back and forth in a swimming pool in chest deep water. Of course, I can only do that when it’s warm/hot outside so I also ride a stationary bicycle and do stretching exercises.

  • Oops! I hit enter by mistake. I wanted to wish you a wonderful day. Hope you are blessed with love, happiness, and friendship.

    • Yes! You should definitely give yourself more credit. You’re not just a survivor, but a warrior. 🙂 The fact that you are still positive and grateful after everything you’ve been through is an inspiration to those around you. You empower others. Those are the exercises I can do, also. So glad it’s warm and pool season is back. I did work up to 15 minutes on the stationary bike, but it took me 6 months. Thanks for checking in, Darla. xoxo

  • Hi Shannon! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back here. I keep forgetting to check the site. So no good excuse, just a faulty memory at times. Unfortunately, the pool’s still a bit too cold for me. When the water’s too cold it actually increases my pain. Thank you so much for your sweet words; they mean a lot. I can do 30 minutes on the bike but it took me some time to get there and when I finish I can tell I’ve hit my limit.
    You’re welcome for checking in. I love your posts. Take care and have a wonderful day. xoxox

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