People with all types of arthritis, chronic pain, and/or chronic illness struggle with RA, as do many others. Many fail to see the value of RA. They cannot conceive that RA could be at all helpful to their lives or bring joy to their lives. Instead they become bitter at the limitations that have been thrust upon them. RA is not about giving up on life and giving in to disease, it's about letting go of your own expectations and accepting the new doors that are opening to you.
"The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to center the consciousness upon the limitations. This is a veritable prison. Release comes by making of the will a door through which the confirmations of the spirit come. They come to a man or woman who accepts his life with Radiant Acquiescence."
Focusing on Radiant Acquiescence for the past year has taught me a lot about myself, life, and spirituality. Willing my body to do things it cannot or to go beyond its limits, as well as having unrealistic expectations or goals, has been harmful not only to me but many times to those around me. Doing too much means doing little in the days that follow, which often walks hand in hand with letting people down, including ourselves. Imposing our own will to be, do, or accomplish, leads not only to physical, but also emotional pain when our limitations get in the way. Acquiescence of our will to the Divine Will (to God, Goddess, Allah, the creator, the universe, fate, life - whatever suits you best) can be a struggle at times. Radiant Acquiescence - not only giving over one's will to the Diving Will, but doing it joyfully and radiantly - is a little harder to accomplish.
RA doesn't allow for the why me's that often accompany chronic pain. It doesn't allow for blame or anger. RA opens us to the possibilities of the blessings of our circumstances and the possibility of good that can come from every moment of our day.
Seeing through the eyes of RA, we don't forget our goals and aspirations or passively let life pass us by. We let go of expectations as to when they'll come to fruition and open ourselves to new possibilities for our lives - leaving everything in the hands of the Divine. Actively doing what we can with the time, energy, and capability we have each day and not worrying or stressing about what we cannot do, we look forward to seeing how life unfolds in the days and years to come. Taking joy in each moment (which isn't always easy), life is transformed into something magical and joyful instead of a struggle. Affirming the value in days of rest or quiet contemplation frees us to invite health and healing in the absence of burdens that hinder wellness and wholeness.
Straying from the path of Radiant Acquiescence has led to some of the darkest times I've had in my life. By struggling against the current of my life, worry, fear and depression overwhelmed me. The more I tried to apply my will to a situation, the more imprisoned in my life I felt. When I surrendered my will and accepted my life for what it is, I was set free. I'm not saying we don't have a choice or free will, that it doesn't matter what decisions we make in life because our path is set - I'm saying that Divine Will can guide us to powerful, wondrous places and influence the decisions we make for the better - no, for the best.