The Gift of Illness

I have written quite a few blogs about accepting and loving yourself.  That seems to be the number one issue most of us deal with in this lifetime.  Of course, it can be explained away by parents that were too hard on us, limited social beliefs, harsh religion views, government dummying down in schools, and the list goes on.  But once we realize these hangups, we are still left with the knowledge that we do not know who we really are.

There are those who go on 90 day meditative journeys only to come out on the other side wondering who they really are.  Deep down there are voices that seem to want to help, but we distract or become numb to those voices after time.  Like being desensitized by violence on tv, we go through the motions without the emotions, or we are the feelings going through the motions.  Ugh, so confused, right?

My most significant hang up is that I only see what I lack and not what I have gained.

It has become easier to not have any deep connections with one another as well.  It is like the world has become a world of blame and judgment.  The other day I posted a meme in the EOL community, it must have hit some nerves because I had others remarking on it still from their past limited beliefs.  It is hard for us to realize we are the only ones who can change the way we perceive the world.

It is easier to find someone or something to blame for our reactions.  Why is that?

I am a survivor of protracted withdraw from benzodiazepines, a botched up surgery, and still a fighter from Lyme Disease. I have had Lyme disease for over thirty-four years.  I was misdiagnosed at the age of sixteen with EBV, so Lyme has inundated my whole body.  It is a very misunderstood disease, and survival is a work in progress. There are days I don’t feel I will make it much longer, it doesn’t help to see all those who have sub-come to this disease either. I am learning I am not my disease.

The other day I found these exercises in a book I have mentioned in a previous blog.  Alchemy of the Heart by Elizabeth Clare Prophet.  I felt a huge shift happen after doing these exercises she had at the end of one of her chapters.

The first exercise was: Make a list of what you love about yourself.   This was a tuff one, it is easy for us to see the good things in others but to really sit down and write about what we love of ourselves took a bit of time.

My list: Compassionate, Beautiful inside and out, sensitive, humorous, serious, talented, nurturer, resourceful, courageous, loving, gentle, listener, dreamer, giver, watcher.

Check in with your heart ask your heart what you need right now to be more in balance and at peace.  My answers:

  1. Letting go of the resentment of those around me who are allowing a considerable injustice to play out.
  2. Stop making things to serious which cause me stress in the long run.
  3. Let go of thought, I can’t do that.

My breakthrough to date hit me at this time. I started to look at my limitations due to my illness as Gifts!

  1. Without my illness, I would never have stopped pushing myself to do unnecessary things. ( My kids told me that once I got sick, I was a better person, I stop being the cleaning nazi and they got to stop and enjoy life)
  2. My illness had shown me how to care for myself when I hadn’t before.  I started to listen to what was needed to love me.
  3. My illness has helped me to stand up for my right to be loved and to love and nurture myself when others have not.

My illness is a blessing a huge blessing because it has helped me care and love myself more!!  Every day is fantastic and yes I love life, there are days that my illness is tough to live with, but I don’t let it take away the beauty of my day.  There was a time though I would allow my sickness to take all my joy for life away.   I felt I had to look and show my disease so others would accept me or not think me as a faker or trying to get attention.  People can be so cruel when it comes to having compassion for others.

Instead of fighting this blessing I started to be grateful for the lessons it is here to show me.  I am going to appreciate it more, and I’m going to love my blessing I have been living with for over thirty-four years.

To face the tuff questions in our lives is a remarkable gift indeed.  So ask yourself this one.

If you only had six months to live, what would you focus your time on? What would your goals be? How would our live your life?

Also, ask yourself these questions.  Are there any boundaries that you need to draw in order to nurture yourself so you can better nurture others? How can you lovingly communicate these boundaries to others?

When we take care of ourselves we help others around us, it is a given.  Once I stopped seeing my lack due to the limits my illness has graced me with, I started to see what others are struggling with and could give them the support through their tough times.

I do not see myself lacking anymore, I see so many blessings in my life now.  I am kinder to myself and allow my illness to be loved not hated and wished away.  I was given this affliction for a reason.  I wish I would have seen it as a gift rather than something I was damned with.  What if we were to look at all those things we see as a weakness or lack, as gifts from the Gods? The aches the pains the illnesses as a way to show us how to love ourselves unconditionally.

I know I  love others with their “graces” why would I not give myself the same love and respect?

So when my illness is at its worse, and someone asks me how my day is, I tell them now, I am hurting and really sick, but my day has been incredible, for I am alive and learning to love me through the tough times.



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