Warrior, eh? (End-of-Year Retrospective)

Interesting term, “warrior“. It came up on one of my CRPS sites today, applied by an ally to those of us with the disease.

I was such a righteous fighter all my life, and now the message I keep getting from within is to “lay down my arms” — a metaphor so painfully apt it beggars language (after all, my CRPS started in my arms.)

The more peaceful I am, the more progress I make — or at least, the more I hold my ground. But it’s very much a matter of never giving up, never laying down, never yielding one thing to this disease that it doesn’t have to win from me.

I don’t fight, I figure it out; problems are meant to be solved, and this is an evolving set of pressingly interesting problems.

I don’t think in warrior/fighter terms any more, but I believe those who work with me use them. While sheer determination has stood me in very good stead, I don’t think of my present approach in terms of battle. The ground has shifted too much — so much so that, as an amateur historian and traveler familiar with the terrain of many battles, I can’t think of there being anything left to win. The ground has been swept clean.

Yet I intend not to be destroyed by this disease. I intend to come out of it alive, and die by some more exciting means instead.

When you’re skirting paradox, you’re close to the naked truth.

I guess I’ll keep learning to “lay down my arms” and persist as peacefully and intelligently as possible, and let others call me a fighter if that’s how they think of it.

Me, I opt for peaceful intelligence instead.

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5 Replies to “Warrior, eh? (End-of-Year Retrospective)”

  1. totally agree,with your philosophy,thanks so much for your info and care during the year. We can only hope that next year is better with more understanding for us all. much love Caren

    1. Hope springs eternal, even without soil 🙂 I’m glad to be useful, especially to compatriot. And next time, I’ll reply in a more timely fashion, since I hope my mind won’t take 5 months to recover from winter 🙂

  2. Did I elsewhere mention the term “kindred spirit”?
    This lovely little piece precicely speaks to a “battle” I’ve had to come to very much the same alternative perspective… I sometimes see myself as being forced into somekind of invisible monastery… it’s like becoming a whole lot more zen than I ever imagined as a goal is the required path, and patience, acceptance, endurance and hope (laced though mine always is with a little bleaky blacky humour) are the tools I’ve been handed and required to hone. Of course, this monastery could use a Yoda to pass on some pertinent points, but then, I guess there’s a little Yoda in many of the people and animals in my life… your writing is more than a little Yoda-esque at times!
    Now what was that Kliban cartoon? The little guy who has climbed the mountain to ask pearls of the ancient sage, who says “Grow in accordance with your inner wisdom, asshole!” May be a slight misquote, but you get the drift… not always easy to stay on the path but nice to know that some other monks are out there too… (Lili)

  3. Have you ever read “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”? There is much about your path and way of being that is truly the way of the peaceful warrior. Fantastic book. Great therapist recommended it to me soon after my CRPS diagnosis 5 years ago. I just re-read it on a much needed getaway to a cabin in the woods. Just as wonderful now. More so now that I have some years of experience learning the lessons of this monster.

    1. It came out when I was in my late teens/early 20’s, I think. I didn’t read it but was soaked in the meme at a critical age; it went well with my natural inclinations, as far as I could tell, and it was reassuring to be coming of age at a time when the vocabulary had been created to accommodate what I hoped to become. Maybe it’s time to hit the library and look at it for myself 🙂

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