In my last post, I acknowledged that I needed to write an equal amount of posts that were about happiness (not just me venting when something bad happens). And of course, to continue with my main purpose of writing this blog- helping others, providing advice and practical tips.
Also pleased to report that after a two-week stint in hospital, my chest and breathing is the best it has ever been for what feels like about 3 or 4 months. The ‘sacrifice’ was worth it as the intensive treatment managed to kill off any bugs I had. I no longer feel like I’m suffocating. And it’s just a reminder, more and more that one should be in touch with their body, more intuitive if they can, and to listen to their body. This is a hard job and I thought I was ‘qualified’, but I’m not. I also had to let go of my stubborn nature and listen to others properly including my doctor who was keen to treat me and look after me properly. He knows my stance on over-use of antibiotics, but in this case it was necessary. And he was also right.
A good way to think of this, is that most extreme spiritualists will vilify ‘western’ approaches and modern medication, but the truth is, without it, humans wouldn’t be living as long as they are living. Some spiritualists are too inward looking, the ‘western’ approach can be too outward looking. Balance is what is needed. You need both e.g. you can’t just sit and meditate all day think peace, health, tranquility and harmony will just arrive. Some action is required e.g. effort is required for you to have a good diet, exercise etc.
Being mindful and balanced is a journey, not a destination and you always have to tap into it to maintain good well-being. Even as a ‘yogi’, spiritual-being and as a libra, it’s still possible for me to be out of balance! Some areas of my life are great, some not so good but I am working on those. And again, it’s just accepting it as it is, not slacking off to much but also not over-doing it.
I did have heart-breaking moments, such as thinking I’m destined to ‘suffering’ forever or having to cancel my trip of a life-time holiday to Bali that was a gift to myself, I also had to count my blessings and remind myself it’s also a 1st world problem! Much much worst it could be. And again, much of it is about perspective.
Having researched how other chronic sufferers cope with their illness, I did come across some great tips:
- Separate the illness from yourself
According to mindfulness based stress reduction techniques, you can be aware of the symptoms, the aches, the hurt without inviting them to become part of you.
If a painful thought, such as, “You will always suffer; you will always be subjected to this” acknowledge the thought, register where in your body it has landed then try to detach from it so that you don’t over-identify with its message.
Like an affirmation you could say, “There is sickness here, but I am not sick.” This helps to break down the notion of a solid, permanent self that leads to fixed identities such as “I am a sick person.”
- Honouring your limitations
This one I can definitely relate to because there are so many times I’d feel bitter and frustrated for ‘missing out on opportunities’, social events, being able to meet friends, cancel my holiday, not living a ‘normal’ life etc. But the best way to think about it is that you don’t want to deal with the consequences of bad health.
And trust me, this happened as you know with my hospitalisation. Having pushed my body too far, it ended up bad, bad, bad. And whilst you may think you shouldn’t have to even think about consequences, meditating around acceptance may help and protecting your health is everything you have. It may feel like you’re in chains a lot of the time, but it’s also be an opportunity to be creative and do some internal mind, body and soul work.
- Analysis is paralysis
It’s hard not to constantly search for this why. Is it my lifestyle? Is it because I deserve it? Is it past life karmic debt? Is it my body? All this does is fuel guilt and shame. Give yourself a break, be kinder, love yourself more (y’know all the usual schmooooze and inundate yourself with better, kinder, more positive thoughts). If you’re constantly on the hunt for answers and something to treat it, cure it, solve it, it creates expectation and when it doesn’t happen- there’s always disappointment. Acceptance doesn’t mean surrendering, but it does mean, just go with the flow, appreciate whatever small things you can and let it be…
My sister also taught me that fully facing your fears can help- go to the darkest place, think the worst of the worst thats happened and could happen, and just be like “fuck it, come at me, I’m not scared of this”, how much worst can it really get? And remembering that not all good or bad situations last forever, things come and go. Things pass. And if bad things do happen, they happen for a reason which you’ll not yet realise it’s for the better.
- You’re not fighting, you’re managing
Everyone can view something as a fight. Or they can view it as a challenge/opportunity. With a chronic illness, you may reach levels of desperation and may think you need to fight it, beat it, voodoo doll it, exorcise it, meditate it out etc. And if some of that works- great. But ideally, you actually, control it, manage it, live with it, accept it, contain it, prevent it from getting worst. I’m told resistance and ‘fighting’ can cause more stress, frustration and unnecessary worry as well as ‘bad vibes’. You can work on ‘good vibes’ and try to be content or happy without a reason or attachment to something.
I think without my chronic illness, I definitely wouldn’t have gone to the depths of my mind and soul, wouldn’t have the appreciation for everything small and large in life, wouldn’t have understood the meaning of what it means to be content, wouldn’t have discovered the beauty of the spiritual world, wouldn’t have understood what it means to be kind, compassionate, selfless and less demanding. Not to mention being way less materialistic (but I’m a libra so still enjoy the finer things in life ;))- and that is totally okay. Everything is cyclical- as long as you give back, don’t abuse, overuse and be balanced.
Peace out xXx