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The Big Ah-Ha Moment
August 28, 2013
Excerpt from chapter 1 of Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness
Have you ever asked yourself, why me? Of all the people, and all the lifestyles, and all the everything, why me? You rack your brain for an answer: you think back to what you ate, what you stressed about, and all the snooze-alarm mornings when you only dreamt about the gym. You wonder if God is challenging you, and you question how strong you must be to face something so blatantly crappy.
Most of the popular answers to “why me?” are ridiculous attempts to pull back the curtain and reveal the wizard, with little aim to provide comfort or understanding. “Why me?” is a complex question—it shows our innate desire to figure life out. Behind that two-word question is a yearning to control. If I could just figure out “why me?” then maybe I could fix what is broken and make things go back to how they were before.
“Why me?” has a thousand different answers. Philosophers, pastors, priests, revolutionaries, friends, even the random Facebook acquaintance all seem to have an opinion about why things come into our lives when they do and how. The theories run the gamut:
Years after I began my quest, I was driving from Sacramento toward the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Interstate 80. The city’s crowded cement and flashy billboards had just left my rearview mirror. I took a deep breath and let my chest sink into the seat as my hands dropped from ten and two to four and six. My mind wandered to the great thinkers that lined my bookshelf. So many of them talk about the idea that we are spiritual beings. To heal and be prosperous, we have to connect with the spiritual side of ourselves, the side that is perfect and complete. The spiritual journey is described much like my drive. The ego is the city, with its fight to be something. The neon advertisements and cement attempt to build up the prosperous but end up crowding out true beauty. Outside the city, the expanse is vast and peaceful. It is naturally beautiful. The trees don’t need to try to be anything because they already are everything. I wondered why I wasn’t like the trees yet. I had been studying for so long to get out of the city and into the trees, and I was frustrated with myself. The question arose, “why am I still dealing with the same crap I’ve been dealing with for years?” Then, without books or seminars or websites or coaches or any guru, an answer came. The idea was so simple and so obvious you’ll probably laugh that I didn’t realize this sooner. I realized that I am human, and all of the cells in my body let out a collective sigh of relief.
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