Those of you who have read my blog posts for some time might remember that one of Amma’s teachings is to “Be like a bird sitting on a dry twig, ready to fly at a moment’s notice.” She also encourages us to focus on the present moment, rather than dwell on the past or the future. I have had many opportunities to apply those lessons in my life. Each experience has helped in preparing me for what I am dealing with now, Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
During my years as a psychotherapy client and as a psychotherapist, as well as during my spiritual journey, I have had plenty of opportunities to learn that Resistance=Pain. Leap of Faith went so far as to say that Resistance=Death. Amma teaches us to accept whatever comes. Byron Katie wrote a book entitled Loving What Is. These teachings and plenty of experiences in learning the value of acceptance and the futility of resistance have also helped me to accept that PD is part of my life now and will probably be for the rest of my life.
My younger brother died at 39. Shortly before his death he wrote an essay, The Truth I Live By. The sections of that essay that impacted me the most were:
Is cancer unfair? Is it fair that we should expect billions of cells in our body to reproduce over and over again, over an entire lifetime, and always get it right?
I can’t walk outside without seeing the beauty of our created world, from the rainbow in a line of earthworm slime, to another visible ring on Jupiter.
Even though I have enough things to interest me another 10 lifetimes, I must take solace in knowing that, at least compared to others, I’ve had much more than my share even in half a life time.
I am now 72 years old. No matter what happens in the future, I believe I was given and have lived a full lifetime.
Right now, every day is filled with puzzles to be solved, whether it is getting dressed, figuring out meals or at times even walking. I’m grateful to Ramana for housesitting when I stayed in Woodinville and for staying on to help me when I returned home. I am grateful for the love and support I get from other friends and my neighbors. I am grateful for my doctors. I am grateful for my physical therapist and for all the zoom exercise classes he and his staff provide. I am grateful for the medicine I am taking to relieve the symptoms of PD. I am grateful for the love and support I receive from my adult children, Satvamrita and Chaitanya, and my ex-husband, Al. I am grateful for Amma’s never-ending love and guidance. I am grateful that I have so many things to be grateful for that I can’t list them all here.
I used to teach a workshop called Lessons on Lessons. When I started this blog, I decided to call it, Living, Learning and Letting Go: Lessons on Lessons. I am realizing that as I learn from Parkinson’s Disease I will have the opportunity to share those life lessons here. Consider this the first in a series! I don’t know how often I will write but I will write. As I wrote those last lines I remembered that the pastor’s wife of a church I used to attend always prefaced her weekly announcements with “If the Lord shall say the same we will……..”
With that in mind and knowing that I don’t even know “what is around the next corner” I will amend one of my last statements to say that it is my intention to write about the lessons I learn from this experience.