Besides meeting so many wonderful people, one of the greatest things to have come from my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis is learning how to "let go". In the past, questions and fear went hand in hand with big changes in our life as I tried to gain control over what "might" happen. Change was more difficult then. With RA, you don't have answers to what will happen from day to day so you have to learn to let some things go - house cleaning when guests are visiting, daily workouts, busy days, definite plans for the following day, etc.
Deepak Chopra's Daily Devotion for Friday is The Law of Detachment. I have been reading his daily devotions for a few years now and this one has taken me the longest to grasp. For this daily devotion, Chopra recommends three things:
1. Commit to detachment by allowing myself and those around me the freedom to be as they are. By not forcing my solutions on problems, I don't create new problems.
2. Factor in uncertainty as an essential ingredient of my experience. The more uncertain things seem to be, the more secure I will feel, because uncertainty is my path to freedom.
3. Step into the field of all possibilities and anticipate the excitement that can occur when I am open to the numerous choices that can create fun, adventure, magic and mystery.
With the law of detachment, I find myself not worrying so much about what tomorrow will bring with my RA because I now know that it can also bring fun (laughing at myself trying to get out of the bathtub), adventure (I have learned so much about other people, myself and the possibilities for alternative medicine that I never knew existed), magic (the love I have received from friends and family is true magic and although I always knew I was loved, I didn't realize how much), and mystery (I always wonder what other illnesses I have prevented by making healthier choices in my life and that of my family). Instead of worrying about what tomorrow may bring, I can instead use my energy to focus on the positives that are happening around me right now with my rheumatoid arthritis.
Learning to "let go" and open my mind to unknown possibilities has also helped me in other parts of my life. My husband's company will be outsourcing a lot of the IT department in June. In the past, I would be 100% freaking out right now. Instead, I am really concentrating on "anticipating the numerous choices" that can occur - maybe he will be laid off and have a difficult time finding a job and like others, we lose all of our material things- that is the worse case scenario. But, maybe the outsourcing company will hire him and he will be able to move into other areas of IT that he has been interested in for some time. Maybe they won't even outsource his team. Maybe between now and then the perfect job he has been looking for will be found. Maybe there are other possibilities we haven't even imagined. I guess my point is, rather than focus on the worst that can happen, I feel calmer thinking the possibilities are great. It gives me a strength I never knew I possessed. Worrying day after day about what "might" happen doesn't accomplish anything but sore joints and a crabby attitude. Instead, I am taking time each day to "breath in, breath out" and marvel in the unknown.