Loving yourself in the middle of being sick isn’t usually the first response. The first response could go something like irritation, frustration, anger, and maybe even pity because life has changed. It is hard and not where you expected to be or the way you expected you were going to be living your life. You are certainly not practicing self-love in this moment.
I completely understand every possible emotion that you are feeling.
And although justified, they are very, very negative. They bring very negative energy to a body that is already struggling with very significant negative energy just because it is sick. The negative feelings support and perpetuate the illness.
What can you do?
Negativity can be a very easy place to live. It’s easier to live there sometimes than the effort it will take to look at it from a different perspective. I understand but just give me a few more minutes of your time. Maybe I can help you with that perspective.
I wrote last week on the fact that I feel Autoimmune is a gift. I feel, if you take a step back and then choose to lean into the illness, doing whatever is necessary to take your health back, you will discover that your health will be so much better than you could have ever imagined. But that isn’t enough.
All of us women that have autoimmune have it for a reason. We don’t offer ourselves a lot of grace. We give and give and give until we have exhausted ourselves and struggle to function. Even then we have a difficult time making ourselves the priority to do what is necessary to live our best life. We are, afterall, here for a reason. You did have hopes and dreams for your life at one time. Why have you let those get away from you?
What has happened?
When did you stop loving yourself enough that you would let others needs come before your own?
I think the first step in recovering from autoimmune and chronic illness is to realize that you do have to be the priority, that you deserve it, and more than that you must love yourself enough to want it.
It may not be enough me saying that you must love yourself. Maybe there are some examples I could illustrate to show how we as women don’t offer ourselves the same deep love and respect we offer others, particularly our family.
When a female friend of yours calls you up distraught over the 10lbs she has gained, feeling ugly, disgusted, etc. do you tell her the things you tell yourself when you look in the mirror? No, of course not. You tell her how beautiful she is. You tell her to have patience. You tell her she’s being too hard on herself. Not the things you say to yourself. You tell yourself you look ugly. You tell yourself you are disgusted. No wonder your husband or partner won’t look at you the same way, etc. etc, etc.
When a coworker needs your help to meet a deadline do you step up and help them. Of course, you do. You offer her your help because you know she will never ask. You work exhaustingly to make sure she meets her deadline. When you are in that same position, I know you don’t ask for help and I know you would never take the help when it’s offered because you don’t want to put anyone out. Even though, you are tired. Even though you might not make your commitment. You struggle to allow yourself the help for fear of putting someone else out or looking weak.
You work tirelessly in your home, looking after children, cleaning the house, even after 10-hour days sometimes. Even when you are tired, you don’t take a break because if you don’t do it, it won’t get done.
Are you asking for help?
Why are you taking all that on?
Why aren’t you sticking up for what you need to have quality of life?
You have allowed yourself to tolerate what you would never tolerate for others. This is not loving yourself, not in the way you show love for others. And I am sure you have plenty of your own examples. And because we are so ingrained in this behavior, it is hard for us to make those changes. Standing up for ourselves and what is needed is difficult, but we have to in order to heal. We have to take a stand for ourselves and what we need to enjoy the life that we deserve.
So, take a look at your life?
Where are you putting yourself on the back burner?
Where are you compromising your quality of life for others?
Spend some time answering these questions and then ask yourself how you can approach situations differently, coming from a place of love for yourself. Start small, get comfortable and then take on the big ones. The ones that you feel are going to be difficult to change. You might actually find that offering yourself the love and grace that you deserve and need for healing is so much easier than you think.
I hope you have a wonderful week.