I ain't got a single thing to do.
It happened before I knew what was going on.
I fell out and knew that I was gone.
Stages keep on changing,
stages rearranging love ...
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Tell me it's for real and let me know
why does lovin' have to come and go.
Stages keep on changing,
stages rearranging love.
~ ZZ Top ~ Stages ~
I find myself in an interesting space when asked “what stage are you?”. Do I answer the stage of my diagnosis, the stage of my emotions or the stage of my healing. I guess it is safe to assume that most are referring the “illness”. Yet for me, my answer is around emotions and healing because that is where I think my focus should be.
As I move along my healing journey, I am learning how quickly my emotions can destabilize which trigger feelings of insecurity and a greater loss of control. I am learning how chaos, confusion and even symptoms of depression arise ... and I am learning on their presence mean healing is taking place. Ironic isn’t it? Yet like much of life, it is a universal process that allows one to learn that this very chaos is very necessary.
For me, illness is where I must let go of my identity as a “sick” person and embrace my life as a healthy person ...
Thanks to my primary health practitioner and meditation teacher, I have learned that stages of healing can be felt on many levels of your being ... physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. And since we are all unique, and cope differently, the sequence of stages (below) vary ... but we do move in and out of each at our own pace ... taking days, months or even years. Positive or negative, the need for healing allows the old identity to make way for the new.
Shock ~ sudden crisis, trauma, uncontrollable loss, emotional numbness, disbelief and or the inability to mentally comprehend the situation
Denial ~ life seems unreal, sense of “this cannot be happening”, time to fully comprehend what is occurring, safety mechanism designed to stop you from losing control
Pain ~ anger, frustration, resentment and even envy, asking “why me”, feelings of desperation, unfairness and unjust,
Bargaining ~ due to feelings of guilt, you give up something, make a sacrifice or dedicate your life to servicing hoping that things will right themselves, a subconscious way of balancing out the scales
Depression ~ feelings of can’t do this anymore, can’t go on or what is the point?, spirit is low, losing hope, despair, feeling defeated, lack of motivation and enthusiasm
Surrender ~ resignation to the situation which allows acceptance, practicing letting go of things in your life that are not as important, provides relief because you release the resistance and stress associated with it
Recovery and Reconstruction ~ after you surrender and accept your situation, you are ready to take responsibility of your life and how you feel once again, you have the ability to express yourself fully, you begin to learn who you are and you like what you see
Rebirth and Renewal ~ ready to change your life so you can start again, encouraged by your progress and may feel the need to go on a retreat to get to know yourself even better
Moving on ~ coming out of a time of loss and change from what you had to leave behind, you attract new and excitement into your life ... your new life.
You don't have to have an illness to identify with the above. Life is full of stages which allows us all to go through small or large healing processes. And every stages has its place on the road to recovering your true self, soul and spirit. I have found that you can find your way back home, but now, I am different because my difficult experiences and the subsequent strengths and resources developed have transformed me.
So where do I go from here ... to the present. I have to challenge myself to not look too far backward or too far forward. I have learned that losses are not a good reason for living anymore. And I know that my diagnosis does not diminish my humanity.
May we all strive to live in the moment with consciousness, patience, compassion and appreciation for each other, in spite of all the pain of our losses ...