“There is no path to love. Love is the path.” –Casey Miller Atre (derived from Mahatma Gandhi)

220px-Minotauros_Myron_NAMA_1664_n1The stories I’ve been hearing lately from others living with the constellation called progressive multiple sclerosis and the people who love them, are nearly unimaginable. I almost feel negligent for complaining in comparison. Really. One friend, after having received steroids in an attempt to remediate the effects of an exacerbation, was left with necrotic hip and shoulder joints. This means he is living with the equivalent of four constant joint fractures every moment of his life. Another friend, after fracturing her femur, had to have her tendons surgically severed in order to allow for daily functioning and care. Her beloved husband, her primary caregiver, is caring so deeply for his wife, the mother of his children. From the outside looking in, it is a sacred practice of love and devotion; and from the inside out seemingly pushing him beyond his boundaries.

Really, this illness knows no bounds. To me, it is almost incomprehensible. The prospect of watching one’s body decline, one function after another, has been beyond what my mind can hold.

And it is beyond my mind where I have come to accept these circumstances and be able to live with them. What keeps occurring to me, from beyond my mind, is that we are being prepared. I don’t know how I know this, but I know this. No question. I also know that I don’t know what we are being prepared for, but we are without a doubt.

In Greek mythology, the Minotaur is the monster, half bull and half human, who dwelt at the center of the labyrinth. The Minotaur, in my Story, can be represented by MS. The labyrinth can be understood as the Spiritual Path. This is where the title of my blog comes from. Actually, some people refer to MS as their MonSter. The Minotaur represents a distortion of authenticity of Spirit perpetrated by the ego. This projection needs to be fed through continual distortions of Truth or addictive behaviors. The Minotaur becomes transformed, or liberated, through honest reflection, or finally facing one’s core limitations.

Many people feel victimized by whatever curriculum is before them, whether it be illness, caring for someone with an illness, or other challenges, whether they are physical, emotional, financial, etc. that take them to the edge of their limitations. Feeling victimized by the illness perpetuates feelings of powerlessness.

Often I feel like the heroine of my Sacred Journey through the labyrinth, by encountering my personal Minotaur. It can be said that this monster in the center of my mandala represents a battle with my own willfulness, or my bullheadedness. This encounter is as different for everyone as the symptoms of the illness is different. Each person’s struggle is their battle with some aspect of their ego, a significant block to living authentically in deep connection with Spirit, in Love. My willfulness has been a huge hindrance keeping me from surrendering deeply to the What Is. And it is in living with what is, where true joy lives.

Who wouldn’t want to live in joy? What is one willing to give up in order to live in this state of love, this state of oneness? I believe the Minotaur is the Guide who will return us to this state, if our soul is willing. Of course, our ego is not willing, the ego is complicit in the limitation whose sole purpose is keeping oneself in the illusion of safety.

I also believe, for myself, I had been given many opportunities to surrender, but was unable to comply, for whatever reason, during an earlier time of development. Agreeing to this PhD level curriculum is directly related to my maturation which has brought willingness and courage.

I have empathy for those who don’t yet know that we are being prepared. I didn’t know in the past and it was excruciating. Knowing is merely a process of being able to briefly turn aside from the suffering and allow oneself to See. That’s what it took for me. I must’ve prepared the foundation for this Knowing to take root.

One’s Sacred journey through the labyrinth, I believe, is as arduous and excruciating as one needs it to be in order to finally surrender. Many people do not undertake this Journey until they face their death. In my opinion, whatever it takes to finally have the resources to face this Sacred encounter. Each journey is perfect for the makeup of the individual. Judging or comparing one’s design is merely resistance and creates more suffering.

Many people appear incredulous that I could actually have gratitude for having the most progressive form of such a dreaded disease as multiple sclerosis. Once I have lived in Love, I would do whatever it takes to be in that state. I suspect that with the guidance of the Minotaur, my bullheadedness has morphed into healthy determination, for which I have much gratitude.

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