Trust: My Mantra for Living With MS

June 24, 2013

trustIn a few days, I’m piling all my stuff, my daughter, and my cat into my car and driving across the country to my new home in northern California. As the launch of this new adventure inches closer, I find myself reflecting with immense gratitude on how excellent and stable my health has been this year.

But there’s also a horror-movie soundtrack running in the background too. As if I’m the girl who just heard a strange noise and is walking into the dark hallway to see what it is, unaware that she’s about to meet her untimely demise.

This is a conditioned response to moving engrained in me from the trauma of my last move. Last time, when I moved from New York three years ago, I was doing so with what was then a perpetually breaking heart. My relationship was crumbling and I had simultaneously reached the cold, dirty floor of my downfall as a thriving wedding photographer in New York City. So I decided to take my dad up on his offer to bail me out by offering me the opportunity to move into the home he had just purchased in Austin.

Despite the negative flavor surrounding my move, I was excited and hopeful and up for the next adventure of my life. I’ve always loved change and I’ve always loved adventure. But what I didn’t anticipate was that I would get there and immediately experience the worst MS relapse I’d ever had. In fact, my health had been so stable for the two years before the move that it hadn’t even occurred to me as a possibility.

And yet, there I was, in a new and unfamiliar town, with no friends and no family anywhere nearby, and I was mostly bedridden, alone, and responsible for taking care of my daughter too.

Thus began the worst two years of my life: A year of intense sickness, loneliness, and desperation, followed by my mom’s unexpected death, an engagement and then, soon after, a broken engagement, and then a month-long bout of double vision (the cherry on top). It was the darkest dark night of my soul I’d ever lived through.

MS: Personal Party Pooper?

But live through it I did. And things slowly got better. My health, my life, my spirit healed. And here I am again, on the precipice of another major change. Everything has aligned so perfectly to support my transition to California that I know I am fully in the divine flow.

And yet, the fear nags at me. What if? What if I arrive and it’s Austin all over again? What if MS is going to be my lifelong personal party pooper?

Memory is a tricky, shady character. When my health is stable, I can’t even recall the full-color intimacy of being sick. I forget, the way we forget a week after we get over the flu how bad it was and how we thought we’d never recover.

So though most of the time, the picture in my mind is of me happily settling into my new, magical, wonderfully imperfect but deeply fulfilling and fun life where all my dreams will come true, there’s a darker picture I need to acknowledge as well.

It’s the fear that every time I get back up and begin to raise my hands up in the air in glorious expression of the majesty of life, MS will come back around and knock me back down.

The mantra is Trust

raising-handsSo what do I do? Well, when the fear comes up, I just keep saying the one-word mantra that encapsulates all my faith and belief that the universe has got my back. That I’m being cared for and loved unconditionally by something greater than myself.

My mantra is: Trust.

Trust. Trust in spirit. Trust that whatever is for my highest good will be. Trust that everything will unfold exactly as it should, and that whatever manifests will be perfect.

When I reflect on those dark, interminably long months when I first moved to Austin I wish I could have taught myself to trust that things would shift. That beautiful relationships with amazing people would be coming into my life soon, just around the corner (because they did), but that I would have to have patience and I would have to trust in the divine timing, not my own.

I’m hoping that this time around, the timing is right for me to soar. But all I can control is that which I can control and for the rest…Trust.

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One Response to Trust: My Mantra for Living With MS

  1. Chris Johnson on July 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Karen, I suppose I missed this blog from you or my email dropped from your mailing list. No worries. I know how to find you on line to read. I was inspired by your writing of Trust. I think being kind and loving your neighbor and GOD does it for me. Somehow, I bounce through life and great things happen to be and I don’t try. I just believe that we have to care and help our fellow human being. Sometimes that means even to those who do evil to you. I have had my bad moments; married and divorced 3 times before finding the woman intended for me. I have a long story too, so please don’t think met the antagonist in all those divorces – not that I would think you would. But I am a man and speak and live from a man’s point of view. But that point of view doesn’t have to have gender attached to it. I truly love my neighbor even when they are a pain in the rear. Sometimes, I feel like a ping pong ball bouncing through life and seem to always end up on the winning side. So it is with MS! I have been off the Meds consistently for about 3 years. I still mess up with my diet and truly could lose a little more weight, but here I am symptom free and owe some or a lot to you for that. Ann gets a lot of credit here too which I’m sure you would agree. Love your blogs; hope you become a fun loving California Girl and find your happiness on the coast. I was out there a few years ago, every night on a different beach starting in Northern Oregon and made my way down to San Fransisco with my wife (still happily married). She is a Professional Artist and has sold many paintings she created from photos taken of the coast – those rock formations and rocky coast line are absolutely beautiful. Sorry to jump around. You are an inspiration to us all – please keep writing and keep us up to date. – Chris

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    • Karen Gordon is an author, blogger, and health coach at The Self-Healing Coach.
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