It’s the not knowing that gets to you…

That’s what has been eating away at my brother and the rest of the family. He has just undergone treatment for Lymphoma last year, which the doctors thought was the cause of the 2 tumours in his lungs. Turns out it wasn’t, the treatment for the lymphoma has put it into remission, but recent tests concluded not only did it not reduce or stop the 2 tumours he already had, but there is now a 3rd one. They don’t know if he has 2 primary cancers or whether the primary has metastasized and there is a secondary cancer. And that is the uncertainty, that is what has been keeping him up at night and playing with his mind. And who could blame him? We all seem to hate uncertainty and feeling out of control, don’t we?

As a meditation and yoga teacher, I often coach people on accepting the present, in whatever form it presents itself. But how do you do that is you don’t know what it is that you are accepting, when things are so uncertain?

One option would be to accept that there is no certainty in life, that nothing is guaranteed, that we control nothing in our lives except maybe how we react to the things that happen to us and the emotions they inevitably provoke. That may seem like giving up to some or being indifferent to life, but actually it can be the opposite, it can be really liberating and allow us to really live our lives and experiences to the fullest.

When we think we are in control of the situations and environment of our lives or the people in our lives or the emotions and feelings we have, then when they inevitably aren’t as we want them to be, we tend to mentally reject or resist them. That is what creates our stress and often prolongs our pain and difficulties with the situation. If we can meet our life situations as they are and really see the true reality of the situation without dragging our anxieties and fears about things that haven’t happened yet into the situation, it frees us up to move forward, rather than feeling paralyzed or stuck in a mental loop.

That doesn’t mean that we won’t feel frustrated, or angry, or sad about the state of things or that we become numb or disassociated. A large part of acceptance is also accepting our emotions about these difficult circumstances in our lives, not blocking or suppressing them, but being ok with the fact we are having them. We are human after all, we are emotional beings, and having emotions certainly does not diminish us.

My Brother and his wife with me and my husband

Acceptance is also not the same as resignation. We don’t accept that this situation will stay the same forever or that things can’t change; in fact nothing ever stays the same, life is forever in motion. Accepting a life situation doesn’t mean that it will never get better (or worse!), it just means that we accept the reality of the present moment, whatever is actually happening. Maybe it will get better, maybe it won’t. But often what we find ourselves dealing with is not what is happening, but instead what our mind is creating as a worse case scenario or the worst situation our imagination can create often with the help of Google!

Now having said that, it’s so much easier said than done! Practicing acceptance in the face of difficulty and uncertainty is hard, but it is an effective way to move forward and not get trapped on a mental merry-go-round.

So when my brother came to visit recently he was certainly feeling a deep sense of despair, fear and dread. He also had physical symptoms that were a constant source of worry; aching in his legs and pain in his lungs.

My husband and I are both Reiki Masters, so we offered to give him a Reiki treatment while he was here. I won’t go into the details of the experience, but it was well received! I also gave him a cup with a Reiki symbol that I had made for him to enjoy his tea, with a suggestion he picture that as he drinks from it he is also receiving positive and healing energy from the universe.

Reiki Mandala Cup

When he returned home, he messaged me saying he was feeling physically better, that some of the aches and pains he had been feeling were gone, and that he had a wave of a feeling of well-being come over him. He also said that night he slept really well, 13 hours in total, where he would usually spend much of the night awake as he has suffered with insomnia for years.

What had changed? Well, the answer to that will remain a mystery, but I am certainly pleased that his suffering seems to have eased!

So whether my brother’s feeling of well-being and the easing of the aches and pains was as a result of the Reiki, the good night’s undisturbed sleep, being with family, something else entirely or a combination of everything, I am grateful for it and long may it continue. And, whatever happens in the future, he’ll have his sister on his side and supporting him however she can! I love you bro!

If you are going through difficulty right now and found this helpful, please let me know in the comments. And if you’d like your own Reiki cup, please visit my shop!

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