Suffice to say the person who has been wholeheartedly supporting my efforts to maintain this blog, write my books and generally survive and thrive through my own midlife crisis, is in the middle of one of his own. He is now quite ill and it appears he may lose his job because of it.
If you have been reading for a while, you know that we struggle greatly with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) at our house. We probably know as much as anyone in the country about it, but still cannot contain its dire consequences. Much like other chronic illnesses, only those who have experienced them, fully understand the fear and frustrations involved. Most of the medical personnel Mike has dealt with in the past 20+ years don’t even believe CFS is a disease, in spite of the fact that the CDC finally officially recognised it in 2006.
This has created an opportunity for me to practice what I preach. Although it is always tempting to push difficult emotions away by distracting ourselves with food, busyness or other dramas, being present with what is is sometimes required. Dealing with a chronic illness, which has no “cure” and comes in unpredictable waves of fear and uncertainty is an interesting reminder of how impermanent everything in life is.
Since I first went in search of useful counseling in my early thirties, I have been doing battle with my own “illusion of control” over everything that happens in my life. Yes, there are parts that I do have some temporary control over, and am therefore responsible for, but in the long run I know now I control very little. Acceptance of this lack of control is a lifelong practice which culminates in death. Learning to accept change with compassion or loving kindness is one of life’s greatest challenges, especially when it is a change we do not choose.