Here I am again, with yet another picture of me standing in “The Wave.” It’s been a week since the hike and never in a million years could I have imagined the impact this hike and this experience would have on me. Anxiety, fear and initial worry has transformed into astonishment, appreciation and gratitude. As the days pass, I realize that this was so much more than just a hike, than just an adventure, seeing a new place, pushing myself to once known now vanished heights, more than a road trip and getting out for some exercise. Little did I know how important this hike would become for me, and that it would be turning point and therefore the memory of a lifetime. In the end it would mark that very special moment that made all the difference. If you haven’t read about how much I cursed the hike initially while I was in the middle of it, you can do so here. Sometimes we just don’t understand what’s ultimately good for us in that particular moment. It takes hindsight and a different perspective. One that is much easier to come by when we are comfortable and don’t have to huff and puff, scaling mountains and physically exert ourselves. Who has ever enjoyed that? Believe it or not, some do, I just don’t happen to be one of them, although I often wished I was and that this feel good feeling didn’t require all that much effort. Deep down I know it wouldn’t stand for the same if it did, yet I have to remind myself of it in the midst of struggling to achieve that high.
One week later and with each passing day more clarity sets in and the gratefulness is growing to new proportions within, making my chest swell up like a proud parent. For the first time I am not ashamed or feel that there is something wrong with giving myself some kudos. For the first time I am not searching for ways, subconsciously or conscious, on what could have been better and how I could criticize myself. Now matter how much I dissect the adventure, there is nothing but appreciation. I am seeing this experience from all angles, in every way. I recognize all that it was and still is, and it is blown wide open, including my heart, with no secrets to hide, leaving me in amazement and awe. I have reached a different level of gratefulness and therefore this has turned into a profound “matter” for me. I am content, at ease with what I have achieved, and nothing needs to improve, nor does anything requires changing.
A week later I can see how much this hike has meant to me and how many others have lived vicariously through my experience. I have received cheers and congratulation messages. Compliment over compliment and many have stated that they have found inspiration and hope in my journey for dealing with their own chronic dis-ease. A week later the picture is still developing as new realizations find me and feed me with hope, pride, a gratefulness like no other, and a self love and respect that has come to the surface and never quite existed on this profound level. A week later I see this experience that others have named as brave and courageous, through a different set of lenses. Quotes such as “No guts, no glory” are embodied and lived, experienced word for word and the meaning is understood with a great new appreciation.
I have also come to realize that my journey with the RA always required that “profound matter” to carry me through the darkness. And it was a matter that was never given to me, but rather it was self created, self invented and self driven. It was self initiated, from a mind set that was not about to give up and has always believed, while keeping hope alive. When I talk of this particular darkness, I am talking about my bouts with the RA, overcoming it and sending it into remission. Within this week I’ve received comment in regards to my post about hiking the wave on social media. Others who fight the same battle as I do, and who have never been able to send the RA into remission. I count myself extremely lucky and blessed that I have been able to do so several times. “Why me” has taken on a different meaning as well and I am learning about the underlying reasons as to why. I believe that I am meant to share this journey. Perhaps to spread hope and shine a light for others stumbling through their own struggles. And if that is my purpose and my meaning, then I most humbled accept the challenge. Looking back on this now, I realize that it took something profound each time when I battled this pain. Something that would fill and sidetrack me with such intensity and interest that it allowed to replace some of that darkness with rays of hope and light.
After the initial onset of the RA and after being diagnosed with what felt like a death sentence, someone special introduced me to hiking. It felt crazy to think of hiking and physical exercise while I struggled to dress and complete basic daily functions. Why do something that inflicted even more pain, was my initial thoughts. But I did it and I learned that there was much more to life and working your butt off, having no time at all for yourself and no balance from day to day. I fell in love with Mother Nature and combined my time out with my passion for photography. I gifted myself that time out, made it a priority and it was me who put me into the foreground. It was me who decided that it was important enough and it was me who made it happen. I was presented with a gift, an opportunity, but I had to seize that opportunity and put it into action myself. Nobody could have done it for me. I got stronger, slowly, and eventually I overcame, with the RA going into remission. During a flare up, years later, and the RA coming back, that “profound matter” became my artwork and I started to paint. Again, the same happened and the RA subsided. Later it was writing and this blog was created. Yet later, I became an energy healer and certified as a Reiki Master. Expanding beyond Reiki and taking a holistic approach, co-creating my life, my nutrition and being actively involved was a great approach for me, but the past 3 years and many lifestyle changes have been extreme and brought yet another flare. The worst one and most powerful / painful one yet. I tried to rely on everything that I had learned in my battle with the RA, but it wasn’t enough and nothing really seemed to help and do the trick. I needed something new, an experience, an adventure, a hobby, another “profound matter.” It was time to level up once more and gather new insight.
I was searching and looking everywhere, not really finding anything. Until I became complacent with my days and the same routine. My new circumstances were wearing off and I was searching for my purpose, about what’s next, about the next chapter. I had taken the first steps to create the new, but then I was hanging there, in mere limbo, existing, with the days passing by, just making it, for another day of the same. That could not be my purpose and what was in store for me. I never believed this status being “it.” I was dwindling into the rabbit hole, a routine, a sense of just waiting for things to change, to get better, to adjust to my new, of coming to terms with all the changes, of people leaving in the midst of it, of ending relationships and a big part of my life, and trying to understand it all. I became very vulnerable, very soft, very raw, fragile, emotional almost unstable at times. I needed to break and shatter to prepare myself for what was next, only I couldn’t see it while it was happening. Again it took hindsight and not resisting. To let it unfold, to go with the flow, to trust, even when the path seemed unclear. And then I started doing the work. The hard stuff, the inner work, facing the shadows, the darkness, the less desirable aspects of being human, of being me. I became actively involved in my future, the things that needed to acknowledged and worked on. The things that needed to change, the things that needed to be healed foremost to lay a new foundation. By then my awareness, as well as my consciousness had taken on deeper meanings as I leveled up once more and started to see, feel and experience things at a new depth.
When it comes to the RA, I still believed that anything was possible. That it came on it’s own and that it could leave on it’s own again. Many would consider such an approach as foolish or naive, but then again this was my way and by no means would I recommend it to everyone. For me it fits and for me, it has worked and that’s all that matters. What I needed was to not create an environment where the RA wanted to hang around. You see it thrives on stress, fear and worry. It loves misery and it steals your hope and otherwise positive outlook. It’s a battle to see the bright side when you are riddled by pain and there were times I didn’t know how to make it out of the hole I found myself in. Luckily for me, the slightest break, even if just for a few hours, brings the biggest motivation and a will to go on that is unmatched and surprises me to no end. Despite of all the uncertainties, and this pain potentially being my new future, I surrendered the need to force and control the outcome once more. But I refused to believe that this fate was meant to be mine and if it was, then it was out of my control anyways. All I could do was trust.
A plan was put into action and I forced myself to walk more, gritting under pain every step of the way. I needed to build resilience for Germany as I surely need to go. I understood that everything had transpired the way it needed to, that nothing and no experience could have been spared, missed or fast forwarded, it was needed and everything had it’s place,b coming an essential lesson in my learning process. Now was the time and I started walking. More and more, building myself up and falling back again. A fight that was motivating at times, yet a vicious cycle of defeat during other times. You know the story and I don’t need to elaborate. I have recorded my struggles, challenges and victories well over the months of this year and beyond. And then “The Wave” came into my life and you had a chance to read about this as well.
Now a week later, I see that experience as one of these “profound matters” and exactly what I needed and what I had searched for. Could I have done it earlier, while I was searching to find that one special thing that would carry me through the darkness!!! We know the answer to that all happens on their own schedule, in divine timing. You have to be ready and be prepared on all aspects of it. The foundation has to be laid, the mindset has to be right, and the opportunities have to be recognized and seized. Further it requires physical and mental strength, a willingness to go on and that special extra to carry us through. To me this was more than just a hike. I have gone on more difficult challenges and longer ones in the past that instilled equally a sense of pride and accomplishment. But this one marks a turning point for me. The end of the extreme suffering and the limitations that this period has brought for me. This hike has reminded me that miracles happen every day, that anything is possible and that rewards will follow when we don’t give up. When we surrender and express gratitude for what is. I went into this hike with zero expectations and whatever was meant for me, I would gratefully accept. No regrets, no guilt, no shame, all replaced by motivation, a will to try, to be actively involved, to giving it my best. That was enough, regardless of the outcome. And now, once more this hike has shown me what wonderful things can happen and what gifts we receive when we drop those poisoning expectations that so often bring negative outcomes to so many situations. This hike has fueled me and motivated me. To sit in this magical place has been a spiritual experience that has restored and tipped the balance of light and darkness. For now it has laid a new foundation, one that I build upon daily. It has provided that turning point even if the actual point was created slightly before to make it physically possible. It was the moment of realization, the moment that enabled what’s to come. A moment I will never forget and that will always remain as one of theses “profound matter.”