I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease when I was 19 years old. For the past 30 (ok, 29!) years I have lived, and managed, my life around limited health. Seen so many doctors, healers, specialists. Received various health diagnoses, spent thousands of dollars on treatments, protocols, medicine, supplements, and devices. Nearly 30 years of trying to restore myself to some idealized perception of what I think my health should be. And yet, it is what it is. I did all of this while working full-time, raising a family, maintaining a marriage, maintaining a home, exercising. Etc.
My health resources were inadequate for the lifestyle expenditures. I became less and less sustainable, until I reached a breaking point. My health crashed. I quit my job. I gave up friendships. I stopped cleaning the house. I retreated into the smallest cocoon of life.
So many years were spent judging the inadequacy, calculating and assessing the health resources and the lifestyle expenditures. Pushing, fighting, pretending. And fighting to restore myself to a level of health level I believed I should have.
Trying to heal myself, so that I could continue to do more.
I think this is a fallacy: the idea of healing oneself so one can resume doing more in life. A health crisis, a health limitation, is now seen as a call to radically change my life. The way in which I lived my life before required resources of my basic temperament that, at the deepest level within my body, hurt. The soft animal of my body is not meant for an over-reliance on my brain, for rigid schedules that ignore reality, for pushing to an arbitrary goal or deadline. I was quite successful, mind you, but the cost came within the deepest recesses of my body. I leaned into my brain, harder and harder and harder. Calculating, analyzing, thinking. I am blessed with wiring to do this. On the surface, the exterior, my professional life was thriving. My life looked good. But my heart and soul were breaking, and nobody knew it but me.
It took a complete health crisis to step away from that path. The first entire year was spent off-gassing from the accumulated stress. The rigid holding that that lifestyle required had to be released from the cells of my body. The "shoulds", the judgments, the fear, the identity all had to be released, and reality simply had to be honored. Experiences had to be processed, not with my brain, but with my body. My brain could only make so much sense of the experiences, the experiences had to be felt and integrated within my body as well, released to flow.
The second year was spent listening and exploring. Honoring. Opening to new concepts about the meaning of life. Different ways of being. Seeing life through a different lens. Questioning the dominant values of the culture, versus the truth within my holy body. Spending time in nature, looking at her sustainability, equality, rules. Cross referencing the rules I watched within the culture, and the wholeness, holiness, felt with in my body when I am in nature.
This cross referencing has been healing. While I feel whole and complete and beautiful and strong in the woods, I realize how differently I think about myself within the framework of the culture. When I judge myself through the eyes of the culture, I feel in adequate and small.
One is a feeling, one is a thinking.
Over the years I have come to re-orient myself completely around this life within the woods. To listen to her wisdom, to see how everything belongs and is perfect. To see that when I artificially judge myself through the lens of the culture, I am engaged in a meaningless fight. I have missed the bigger, brighter, more complete picture of my true nature.
Now, today, I am a different person. Rebuilt at a cellular level. And I am here to say and report what life is like on the other side. What it feels like when the resources drive the agenda, and not the other way around. When there is greater integrity within my body, and I am no longer in a civil war with myself about how I participate in the world. Right-sizing and re-orienting myself within the greater world, rather than distorting and manipulating myself to fit an external framework.
Along the way I have experienced and discovered a connection to the Divine that is all-inspiring. Bliss. Holiness. Truth. Blessings and wholeness beyond my wildest expectations. An embodied truth of my own humanity that is so magnificent, peaceful, complete. Healing.
Perhaps I am not the only one that has felt this way, that has given too much to achieve a dream that makes no sense. That needs a more internally-oriented view.
There are those for whom the external culture is easy, effortless, does not come at the price of one’s cellular integrity. I am not one of them.
This is to share my path with others who feel called, curious, or inspired in this direction. To offer my experience, as a resource or guide post, as you find your own path.
Norma Van Horn