Friday, October 9, 2009

Acceptance (see "elusive")

An interesting chat with my doctor this week. I related the story of the drum-set adventure I described in my last entry, he did quite a few neurological tests, he said he'd consult with a physical therapist he knew to see if whatever this is neurologically can be worked out/around via physical therapy.

But then we talked about "acceptance:" its virtue, and especially its virtue as an integrative force. And its polar opposite--denial--which can intrude itself very subtly into your consciousness and hang on with the most tenuous, adamantine threads, and even knowing that it's there and holding you back, and you are very quick to claim that you need it no longer, you just. Don't. Want. To really and truly let it go.

My introduction to acceptance and MS came with the cane. I told my qi gong practitioner that I was having problems walking, but I didn't want to get a cane because I "didn't want to give up, and somehow, having a cane meant giving up."

He said, "It's not about not giving up. It's about not falling over."

To return to last week's conversation with my doctor... he said that with MS, this call to acceptance comes daily. This particular call is hard for me because it involves music, the physical making of which I've done as long as I can remember. So I'm telling him that "I don't know whether 'it' is over," and he tells me to define "it," and I have to cop to admitting that it's "being a performer."

And then he says, "You're 'attached' to that." (That's not attachment in the sense of "affection," it's in the Buddhist sense.) And he's right. I am attached to it.

And then something else hits me, precisely these three words: Attachment is imprisonment.

It takes my brain a couple of seconds to recover from the "kaboom" that thought generates. And then I wonder, "Do I want to be imprisoned by the idea of being something?"

Whether I play music has nothing to do with "I am a performer."

So, acceptance, and integrative thoughts... I'm not sure I'm quite at the level of directly grappling with acceptance and the integration that it brings, but I think I'm a little less caught up in some of my dis-integrative thinking.

At least, today. This one... needs to cook a while.

But, forcing me to confront, and free myself from, my own self-imprisonment is a gift of MS.

Go figure.

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