Cystic Fibrosis News Today Forums Forums Support Groups Adults​ ​With​ ​CF “I’m not unreliable, my health is.”

  • “I’m not unreliable, my health is.”

    Posted by jenny-livingston on September 30, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Many times throughout my life, my health has gotten in the way of me fulfilling commitments or obligations. CF can stick a wrench in even the best laid plans… and it drives me crazy! A core tenet of my personality is the desire to be reliable and consistent. Learning to accept that my health is prone to change and affect my plans at any moment is a constant struggle. Just today, I had to cancel an appointment because I’m having symptoms that need to be addressed before we can safely resume in-person appointments, and I’m not happy about any of it!

    Does the unpredictability of CF ever get to you? Has there been a time when your plans had to change last-minute because of CF? How do you handle the uncertainty of your health? 

    paul-met-debbie replied 3 years, 6 months ago 1 Member · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • paul-met-debbie

    October 2, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Many times it annoyed me – until I got the lesson that life was telling me over and over again.

    What you are really asking is: How do you handle the uncertainty of life?
    And the answer would be: Just be here now. Comply. Adapt. Change. Don’t resist. It has nothing to do with your health.

    Suppose life was perfectly predictable, certain, reliable and consistent and everything would just go and flow exactly your way always. This would be fun for a while, but soon it would get incredibly boring and you would long for a surprise*.

    Fortunately, life will present you with many surprises. It is inherently creative, uncertain and inconsistent. That is the way it evolves and stays ever fresh and adapts to every new moment and possibility. The whole experiment of the universe/life would have gone extinct soon after the big bang if everything was rigid and prescribed. It only survived for so long because of it’s total flexibility, spontaneity and freedom.
    Look at yourself and ask: is there anything about you now exactly the same as it was 30 years ago? Perhaps only labels like your name, gender, nationality or some other totally superficial concepts. There is almost no single cell in your body now like it was then. Why then should you want to fixate your ways in a certain manner? Face it, you are wrong: you àre totally and completely and utterly unreliable, inconsistent and changing every second, nature made you this way on purpose. And your health is just doing its predictable thing: changing every day.

    Imagine I would not have changed since I were, let’s say, three years old. Friends and family would come to visit regularly and soon my parents would have said: “Paul is in his room. We don’t bother calling him down anymore, he is exactly how you remember him, he hasn’t changed a bit since last time”.

    Wanting it to be any other way is just a foolish technique of the mind to assert itself, but this is totally delusional and it leads to suffering and frustration because you don’t control anything really.

    So, change your view. Don’t expect or even want yourself (or your “health” for that matter) to be predictable or reliable or consistent. That would be totally at odds with how nature is. And neither see yourself as unpredictable or unreliable when you change your views or adapt to circumstances.

    If you must have some image of “yourself”, than let it be open and fluid. Don’t have any “core tenet” – write yourself in water, don’t chisel yourself in stone. Debbie and I are currently reading the poems of the Japanese monk and Zen master Ryokan. One of these poems read:

    “If someone asks
    about the mind of this monk,
    say it is no more than
    a passage of wind
    in the vast sky.”

    Just see yourself as always exercising the natural flexibility that makes things work, adapting to What Is Here Now with the joyous curiosity of a child. You might start the day with some notions of how it may turn out, some agenda, some expectations, that is just how the mind works, but don’t take it seriously. The mind might want that, but it is not what you should want or who you really are. You are nature, totally free. Stay flexible in that: when things change and work out differently: enjoy the surprise! Remember, you would be bored stiff if everyday went according to your wishes and expectations. And your friends and loved ones would be bored stiff with you always reacting and living totally predictable. This is Creation and you are it! Now, honor this by living it that way.

    Having a creative health situation is a perfect way to teach you this point of view. Don’t keep resisting the lesson: it will stay bothering you (have you noticed?) until you learn it and make it into your experience.

    * Ah yes, forgot to tell this: you can’t choose only the “good” surprises. Surprise is natural and free also, it will do what it likes. It is your job not to call it anything but “surprising”. Remember Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”.

Log in to reply.