Don’t get stuck in denial

This blog is a bit of a departure from my normal discussions, but there have been a lot of questions the last few weeks on the denial blog. This is all about how to find joy in your life. The best way I can address the questions is to talk a little about my journey.

I am sure you are aware of the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). My journey started in 2013, and I think I am finally getting to acceptance. The hardest step for me was denial because it takes a lot to finally recognize that you are even into denial and then months to get out. For a long time, I claimed to be in control, and I finally recognized that I was not. I was diagnosed with a muscle disease. I was told how the myopathy was going to progress and didn’t like it much. So I had three different labs look at the muscle biopsy. Still didn’t believe until I noticed changes happening. My stamina was getting shorter, my breathing getting harder, and my balance getting worse.

OK, so it is real, and now I am angry. My first big question was, who am I angry with? Did I blame God, myself, my parents or climate change? I had great pity parties. That was a wasted few months being angry, so I went into bargaining mode. Could I beat this? Failed at bargaining, so ended up in depression and counseling. Now, three years later I am getting close to acceptance.

Any of this sound familiar? Perhaps you have never had a major event in your life. Based on my journey so far, I am saying that you will go through all five stages. Nothing major happens until you get to the acceptance stage.

While all this is going on there is another aspect of your life that quickly becomes important. That is this question of why am I here and where am I going. You have to go through this analysis while you are doing everything else. I started out focused on religion and found it helpful but not the complete answer. I added counseling and learned just enough to understand that I did not have the answer yet. I finally found mindfulness meditation. I had someone tell me that it made his prayer life complete, so I was all in to try it. His view was that prayer was talking to God and meditation was listening. By-the-way you can use God, the universe, or any term you feel comfortable with. Once I figured this out I started getting some insight as to what the answer is.

All of this to tell you that you are on a journey – always have been. If you want to enjoy this journey, we call life, figure out where you are going and along the way how you can contribute. I have discovered that we are all on this journey and we are all linked in some magical way. We are not alone, and we are more dependent on each other than we realize. I can say that some of my experiences during my morning meditation have been scary or eerie depending on your point of view. I believe that we all are in this life for a reason and when you find your path, it will become clear.