Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a fan of Star Trek, particularly the original series from the 60s. There was one episode where Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock were being held inside a force field. As they tried to fight and get out—the force field only got stronger. And so the way out of the field was to stop fighting, stop their trying, and to cease thinking on it.
One big thing with my stroke (4 years ago now) has always been learning how to control my thoughts. With neuropathy (pins and needles) all up and down my left side the more I focus on it the worse it is. My feelings of strokeyness—e.g., brain fog, feeling off balance and outside of myself—are the same way. If I give in to any of it then it gets worse.
So I’ve had to go thru the process of learning to turn off the force field that surrounds my thoughts. To look away from it. To not focus on it. To not let it become everything in that moment when I’m feeling it.
There was one point where we were in Bass Pro Outdoor Store which is a very big store—and big places tend to make me strokey and off balance, and so I started feeling dizzy and I pretty much gave into it. If it had gone far enough I’m sure that I would have fainted or fallen down.
Thankfully people got me set down and everybody was sort of fussing over me and I didn’t fall. (One guy, ever the salesman, was trying to sell us stuff in the midst of it all.🙄)
Dim-witted salesmen aside, it was after that event that I started realizing I could control that feeling. My husband equated it to throwing up.🤢 If you think about throwing up when that feeling hits you then 9 times out of 10, you’re probably going to throw up. But if you think away from throwing up, and you don’t give in to it, then a lot of times you won’t. That’s a gross illustration, but it’s a correct one, I think.
Because I felt dizzy suddenly, and because I stayed in that thought then I would have fallen if my husband and others hadn’t held me up. But, if I had more or less, told that thought no, I’m not giving in to this, I am not letting that feeling rule, I am not letting the strokeyness/dizziness win and take over—then the whole situation might have been different.
I proved this just the other day. I woke up with the strokey feeling and there was a big day planned. And I told myself no. I’m not going to allow my feelings to rule. I’m not going to believe them. I am not going to think about them. And it went away. And I was fine all day.
There was something in that determining in my heart that turned the whole thing. If I had given into it, then I would’ve been strokey the whole time. I’ve had the same sort of experiences with the chronic pain I suffer from my lame stroke foot. The more I focus on it, the worse it gets.
Like the force field. The more they focused on trying to get out, the stronger the field got. The more you focus on the pain and trying to get out of it, the more intensely you feel it. When they ceased their struggling, and emotions, and efforts and focused elsewhere… the force field opened up and they were free.
When we cease thinking thinking thinking about how bad we feel, we may well find it’s much the same for us as it was for Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.🖖
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