Sunday, December 18, 2011

Resting in Ambiguity

Because I’ve found the struggle interesting, I suppose I’ve not envisioned the outcome I want. Now, I feel neutral in the struggle finally, that the gains and losses have evened out. Today I told a friend in my community that now it looks like brain surgery won’t happen until February…or so. She laughed and said, “Oh. Forget about it.” This stuck with me and it occurred to me that there was great wisdom in those words.

How much does any one of us really know about the future? The fact that you can make plans in your calendar stretching out infinitum doesn’t mean that any of it will ever happen. Ouch. I know. What happens if the future becomes encased in a fog?  It doesn’t mean that nothing is going to happen. It simply means there are no predictions, no scheduling, and no planning. Even the events you know are out there become vague, memory-rooted markers that have no pull anymore.

Maybe it is the fact that I can’t drive, that I can’t seem to make a plan for the future without it being wiped off the white-board calendar by another surprise in this situation. I am simply tired of the disappointment. I have to laugh that the thing I want to know is when I’ll have brain surgery. Who thinks something like that? Here’s my confession…I can’t imagine my future anymore and I can’t imagine how this situation gets resolved. I give up on specifics.

I’m going to forget about the specifics. I am now fully invested in vague.

Yes, there will be a solution to the benign meningioma. What is the solution? I don’t know anymore. I have vague ideas.  The ideas may or may not work in the way I think they will, and so I am free now to completely let go of struggling with the details to get to my destination out there.
For another metaphor, imagine you are going on a vacation and you have to learn how to not only operate a plane, but also all the luggage systems and run the stewarding. Wouldn’t you rather simply focus on arriving at your destination and what fun you’ll have when you get there?

Taking me out of the alarming field of making the medical plan work, or the alternative plan work is a little bit…relaxing. It is what it is. That’s what I say about everything else, and it turns out, “It is what it is,” perfectly applies to this. I do not need to understand the why, when, where or how, and I know the what –vaguely – the solution will happen. I accept that the strong stream of prayers and light coming my way has made an impression that there must be something in me worth saving. The intentions for full recovery are in motion.

What does that leave?

This makes me think of my daughter’s smile. When I was pregnant I read all the books, researched methods, chose the most independent route I could find. In other words, I distracted myself because I had no idea what it would be like to be a mother of a child. I had no idea what this child would be like (I didn’t find out gender via technology).  Yet, being pregnant, I trusted absolutely that I would love my baby. I did what I could to express that, of course, I petted the baby’s head, or maybe it was her bottom, through my belly’s wall, and I tried to keep food down. I played music, took long walks and she gestated in spite of some surprises along the way, some changed minds about methods, some moves (two), and a new job. Somehow it all came out okay when she emerged. No matter what detail I struggled with (nursing, diaper changing, burping, working), there were only a few things I cared about – that I love her the best way I could by learning about her, by being curious, and that I not betray her trust, and that when I smiled at her, she smiled back at me. When that smile finally appeared; oh boy, I spent a lot of hours smiling.

So, that’s what I’m aiming for metaphorically, I’m aiming for an inner smile that trusts that the world is my oyster. I want to be loyal to my life, to my purpose, to my mission. I want to be curious and learn more about my purpose here on earth. In short, I want to learn somehow in the next few months to absorb what has escaped me before…how to love myself, accept myself, shit, burps and all. I want to embrace a sense of wonder as I emerge from recovery and begin to smile in love with life. 


Gail Storey said...

Amanda, this is one of the absolutely best expressions I've ever read about being present, being with what is, and relaxing into love. Your sharing of your personal experience is so clear that I learned a lot more here than from many more theoretical books about letting go and trusting. Thank you, thank you.

Amanda Morris Johnson (aka Amanda Morris Conti) said...

Thank you, Gail! I'm glad you found this helpful. I find trusting is a "wavy" experience, sometimes it is obvious and easy, and sometimes it takes reminding and a lot of letting go of control.