Stop Fighting. Two simple words have never been so difficult to accomplish or understand. I had someone speak these words to me long ago, just over five years to be exact, “You have to stop fighting it.” Those words rolled around in my head, attacking me, making me feel miserable as I wondered what they meant. I wasn’t fighting anything; I was struggling to be me.
Years later, I would hear them again and I would fight harder trying to understand what was meant by these words. What was I fighting? What did that mean? How was I fighting? And, was I not supposed to fight? Didn’t “not fighting” mean giving up?
Less than a year ago, I read those words printed in a book, Before the World Intruded: Conquering the Past and Creating the Future. And then, an odd thing happened, I got angry. I screamed, I cried, I fought harder. I threw that book across the room, I accused its author of not knowing what she was talking about and I told myself that I was different; “they” had no clue. I wondered why people kept saying, “Stop fighting so hard.” I didn’t know what they meant, how can you explain a concept that is really an illusion? How can you force someone to see what they’re not yet ready to see? For some, the words will eventually have meaning; others will spend the rest of their lives trying to understand, trying to feel this concept, this weight lifting experience that is called, “Stop Fighting.”
I have no words to describe it other than, I get it now.
I have turned to mindfulness, practiced it in my daily life and yet, still I was fighting—it was merely a tool I was using to reclaim the past. I was fighting to be someone, I did not know who. I had no idea who I was, who I was meant to be but there I was, struggling, fighting, miserable, crying, mourning, picturing only who I used to be, what I used to be, how I used to define myself, how I used to function. All of my views were from the eyes of a person who no longer existed, a person I was not yet ready to let go of.
I was trying to be my past. Just as the Buddhists had told me, I cannot be who I was a moment ago because time changes us. I fooled myself into thinking I understood… but you can never fully understand until you feel.
I peeled back the layers of pride, signed a form and faced a fear, picked up a phone, asked a question to a machine. Shaking mercilessly, I poured a bath and as I swirled my hands through the lukewarm bubble filled water, I said these words, “Stop fighting.”
Just as something had clicked the day I was injured, so too did something click as I watched those bubbles swirl and dance in the sunlight streaming in through the window. It was not about what was just, or what was right by judgment, what had happened to me, or what was going to happen. It was not about what I was facing, how it was seen by me and others, it was not even about acceptance. Stop Fighting. It was about me. My judging, my feelings framed from an older viewpoint, a point of view that no longer existed—a person who no longer exists.
I was fighting to be a person I am no longer. This person has changed. This person functions in the way she functions and this is how she is. It does not matter if she “fits in” with the rest of the world, the fact remains that the rest of the world will exist regardless and will deal with her as it will. These are the only facts that exist from moment to moment.
I am not what I do for a living. I am not the person I was five years ago. I do not live according to those standards anymore. I no longer meet your outdated expectations of me. I am who I am now and it is up to the world to accept me as I am, not up to me to conform to what the world feels I should be.
I signed a form. I accepted a circumstance. I became who I am, not who I thought I wanted to be. I will deal with each day as I will. I will no longer fight to be who I used to be. The world and my environment will adjust to this.
I have stopped fighting. I have let go. I am allowing myself to be who I truly am, now.
I am Being.
image: Victoria Vargas Ponce de León (Creative Commons BY-SA)