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The Big Ah-Ha Moment
August 28, 2013

The Big Ah-Ha Moment

Excerpt from chapter 1 of Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness

Why me?

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:
  • “The Secret”—You attract your experiences based on your thoughts and feelings.
  • “The Karma”—You are being punished.
  • “The Guilt”—You are punishing yourself.
  • “The Tough Love”—You are strong enough to handle it.
  • “The Exorcist”—Disease is evil incarnate and has waged a war on your turf.
  • “The Darwin”—It is just evolution, a random draw of the short straw.
  • “The Hippie”—You are playing out an archetypal pattern to learn a lesson your soul needs.
  • “The Mrs. Fields”—You are too stressed and ate too many cookies.
  • “The Evangelical”—You do not have enough faith in God’s healing power.
Most often, we look outside ourselves for answers. I have spent many an afternoon sitting on the floor of the self-help section at the local Barnes & Noble, searching for the answer to that “why” question. A title will jump out, and I will think, “That’s it! This book will tell me why my life is messed up and how I can magically fix it.” When I read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy, I thought that repeating positive thoughts was going to be the cure. After Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, I thought, “Oh, that’s it. I wasn’t living in the now. Once I fully live in the now everything will be perfect.” I studied metaphysics, Christianity, and Buddhism. I searched my psyche for feelings and thoughts that needed to be healed. I prayed to increase my faith. I began to see my health as a manifestation of being separated from God, a belief in “dis-ease” that was harming my body. I became frustrated with myself and with my inability to channel healing love as I watched my lab results get worse. My initial question of “why” became a merry-go-round of questioning everything I thought I knew to be true. And so it went, book after book, until I had a bookcase filled top to bottom with answers, none of which seemed to miraculously fix what I envisioned as broken.

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.

Chronic Resilience Challenge

You have been so important to me along this journey! I'd love for you to be part of this next step. We're aiming to show Amazon how needed this book is for all of us coping with stress. Today and tomorrow we are going to become #1 on Amazon for single day sales and we need your help. Simply paste the post below into facebook, twitter or your favorite social media site today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday). (Feel free to make it your own.)

Feeling the stress of a chronic illness? #ChronicResilience is a best friend for anyone on this journey!

Or, forward this e-mail to anyone who needs a touch of resilience in their lives.

Do you know someone who is overwhelmed by a stressful diagnosis? Thank you for telling her about Chronic Resilience!

A few early comments from readers on twitter…

  • "Just started reading #chronicresilience and keep nodding my head because it's all hitting home. Thank you for writing this for us." -@crackedbetty
  • "Loving #ChronicResilience! Every chapter resonates so much!"-@RocioInOC
  • I'm only on page 34 of Chronic Resilience and it has rocked my world already. Thank you thank you thank you!" -@ORDbookgirl

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