Yesterday, I was fly fishing with my boyfriend. It was below 30 degrees outside and we were fishing in a dark canyon with little sunlight. Naturally, I run cold, despite having grown up at 8,000 ft, I am usually cold even in the summer. This could be a result of type one diabetes and a lack of circulation, who knows. Needless to say, my body was working extra hard to stay warm and despite my best efforts, my blood sugar numbers would not stay regulated. I saw the dreaded diagonal arrow down on my Dexcom cgm and tried to mitigate before it was too late with glucose tabs and temp basals. Suddenly I was that kind of low that you just can't function. It is so uncomfortable and painful. I just wanted to cry, "Why ME! I am so TIRED of this!!!" but I didn't because what good is that? So I sat, watching the far away sun on my face waiting for the time to pass until I could function again. It was so cold and I felt so awful but I had to surrender to that light of the sun to hold me, help me stay patient and separate from the horrible feelings and sensations that I was feeling, not to mention the guilt of not getting the equation right and missing out on prime fishing.
This is a common scenario for the adventuring diabetic. What did I do wrong? I thought I knew what I was doing? How did I get it wrong? Sometimes you just do everything right and it is still wrong! It is hard to resolve these uncomfortable feelings and emotions that follow any type of chronic condition. When you have done everything possible, the only thing left is to surrender.
Surrender – One of the core tenants of yoga is a Sanskrit term called isvara pranidhana: to surrender to something that is bigger than you. This implies that there is a force that is bigger than you. This has nothing to do with dogma or religion, simply the belief that you come from something that cannot always be explained. It implies that you are not in control of EVERYTHING in your life. Isvara is the ultimate power that has never ever experienced sorrow. It knows what it is, but is impervious to fear and darkness. It is the strongest most pure force that is completely fearless and wise. It is a guiding light in turbulent moments. Now I get it, this sounds a little new agey...but stick with me. Sometimes these ancient beliefs are universal truths that surpass all time.
When you can surrender to the fact that despite your BEST EFFORTS you still missed the mark, this will save you time, grief, stress and unnecessary self-ridicule. You can learn to surrender more in your life with regular practices like yoga nidra, pranayama (seated breathing) and meditation. These simple, yet incredibly potent, practices can help you to see where you are contracting, straining or holding on to something that is not useful.
Don’t waste energy on your mistakes. See diabetes as a relationship that is constantly evolving and changing. Once you try less and surrender more you can choose what you give your energy and power to, saving you time and vital energetic resources that can be put forth to the things that REALLY matter.
I would love to show you how you can start to do this work for yourself. It is definitely work but the benefits can change your world and relationship to your disease.
Evan Rachel Soroka