“What does it mean to be recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?” was one of the first questions I asked myself when I started my healing journey back in 2005. At that time I came up with the following definition: “Recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome means being full of energy, having no symptoms, being able to do what I want, and feeling good about life and myself.” I cannot come up with a better definition even now. Being free from CFS means feeling good, having enough energy to do everything you want, and feeling good about life. What more could you want?
After determining the destination, I could set out on a long journey to an unknown territory (having suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 15 years, I had forgotten what it´s like to be well). Like every journey, it had its good parts and difficult parts, its dull parts and exciting parts. At times it looked like I would never make it to the destination – the journey was so challenging that Ilike giving up and settling with the situation. But there was a force that drove me and forced me to go on. I think it was the desire for happiness and fulfillment that didn´t let me abandon my pursuit for full health.
The journey was frustrating mainly because I was hoping to suddenly arrive at the destination and realize one morning “My God, I´m there! I´magain!” But to my greatest disappointment, the day never came. There were many times when I thought I was fully recovered because I hadn´t had symptoms for a few weeks, but then the symptoms would come back and I was back in the depressing state of hoping to get well. It was a real torture to declare myself healthy and enjoy being well for a while only to come up against another flare-up after a few days of blissful happiness. At those times I thought I would never overcome this demonic condition called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But I couldn´t give up… and so I kept hoping for the day to come…and had to be disappointed many times.
But along the journey I started to relax and gradually stopped beating myself up for not having made it. Energy healing methods like TAT ( ) and EFT ( ) helped a great deal. I started to see the healing journey as a gradual process of going deeper and deeper. New, previously unnoticed layers would emerge every now and then and I would deal with them as they arose. The process seemed to be endless, but over time I was able to let go of this enormous pressure to be healthy again and just take it one step at a time. Then the healing journey became quite relaxed and enjoyable. I was no longer single-mindedly focused on reaching my destination. Instead, I was more focused on the surprises and challenges on the path. It is just like this with real travel – the journey itself is important. As an experienced traveler I would say that being on the road is more important than reaching the destination. The same goes about life. We will not be happy if we dedicate a good part of our lives to achieve success, because we will have missed out life itself. Life is for living, for enjoying every moment! If we dedicate ourselves only to the goal, we run a real risk of being bitterly disappointed when we reach the destination (because we missed most of the fun!). Alan Watts speaks about this very well.
Just today I came across a quote that sums up the nature of healing very well:
“Healing, even at the individual level, is more often an unfolding process rather than a hallelujah moment of, “I am healed.” Healing is often discovery: fresh insights begin to emerge, new realizations surface, a new perspective reframes the picture we have created for ourselves, new feelings gestate on harmonizing breaths or become a new foundation that settles into the firm bedrock of a new life.”
-James O´Dea (from the article “There´s Nothing “Magical” About Societal Healing” in Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-odea/societal-healing-is-slow_b_788294.html)
Healing is indeed an unfolding process. As I was gradually able to let go of the fixed idea that I HAVE TO be well, I noticed that I was less and less concerned about the outcome. I just did what needed to be done – when I had symptoms and/or life problems that caused symptoms to come up, I took an hour to pay attention to what I was feeling and did a healing session of TAT. After that I felt fine again. Until the next time… and so it went on for quite a while. But as I was less and less concerned with the outcome, I felt more relaxed and gradually started to forget all about my struggle to get well. Paradoxically, letting go of striving proved to be a more successful strategy. There was no more forcedness and uptightness about the process of recovery, and so it became natural.
After some time of this new, carefree journey I noticed that I actually felt better. It seems that the reservoir of negative thoughts, emotions and painful life events eventually became depleted. I had dealt with an enormous amount of stuff and the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome had gone along with it. Having been symptom-free for months, I decided I was well again.
And relax again.
Stressing over getting well doesn´t do it.
-Bill Smith, a TAT Practitioner