by Jenny Conner
(Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
The last few years have been a bit crazy. About two years ago I began experiencing excruciating joint pain -- among other symptoms. I was eventually diagnosed and treated for lyme disease.
What I learned is that lyme disease is not like strep throat. One does not take the required dose of medicine and then jump right back into life as before. Even after the bacteria and parasites (from the co-infection are gone), there is a lot of healing to be done. Those suckers leave behind a considerable mess in your body -- and it takes a long time for your body to clean it all up.
Suffice it to say that the last two years have been perhaps the most stressful of my life. And what got me through it was simply being present. I stopped looking into the past and regretting/blaming/grieving and I stopped trying to see into the future. I found that to survive the turmoil I was going through, I needed to live in the moment.
As my body healed I didn't return to the past or future. It became clear that the now is all there has ever been and it's where I should have been all along. I exchanged my mind (and all of its chaos and chatter) for the ideas that arose from the peaceful awareness of the present -- the real me.
Now I'm back to running -- my most treasured activity from my pre-lyme days. But I am running in a brand new way. I am completely aware of my body and every movement it makes. As I run, I participate in the world around me; I feel the wind, I hear the birds, I see the swaying of the trees. Running is no longer about going faster and farther. It is just another opportunity to live in the now.
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