If recovery from chronic illness is like a long-running detective story, with us as its protagonist, this year has felt like one of those chapters that make sense of quite a few things in a series of "a-ha" moments. And though what I have learned in quick succession may very-well have overwhelmed me, it has also enlightened me as in TO LIGHT ME UP with a new degree of self-appreciation and awareness, also clarity as to how certain root circumstances click together to make chronic illness what it is.
When we subscribe to the belief that we are ugly compared to others, especially when it is delivered to us by other people (and it can be very subtle, but it all comes from the same place of power-play…). it is all one very manipulative case of “smoke and mirrors”. We are being duped…and it makes us into targets for more of the same. When I fell for those lies, I manifested it, and now I don’t, it’s not even a factor in my life. Rather, it’s been a tender plunge into the most supportive relationship I could ever imagine, to love and appreciate all my unique qualities and stand up for them, in all their differences and similarities; a whole mixed bag of traits that makes me who I am. This is as it is meant to be, in spite of the prevailing culture that tries to dictate “conform at all costs”, as is so loudly delivered through life’s tannoy by mainstream media.
To an extent, those of us who have been on these long-lonely self-healing journeys are always destined to be misunderstood. Our very journey has awoken us to such a different paradigm of reality that we are hardly on the same book cover (probably not even in the same book shop...) as anyone else, let alone the same page. People who haven’t been through what we have are simply incapable of understanding the depth of the inner journey as we self-explored our own existential crisis, inch by inch, day by day, nor the altered trajectory of the journey since that all began for us...but many more people are starting out on those journeys now and we can be of assistance to those who start to seek us out because we shine a light on somewhere they have found themselves; yes, we can do that, if they meet us here...
Exploring the extreme softness that offers increased strength, increased resilience, increased GROWTH...as long as we don't rush to label it!
Sometimes we all need a little faith in ourselves, and the gentle push of momentum, to realise we can be our own rescue party. Exploring the extraordinary power of momentum in the journey of self-healing and becoming more whole.
How do we know the difference between when our intuition is speaking to us or when our self-sabotaging fears are stopping us in our tracks? This is an essential lifeskill for self-care and guidance when we venture back into life's busy fray...
Many years of chronic, complex "mystery" illness have a habit of predisposing a person to developing a "spiritual" perspective, setting them off on a journey of consciousness expansion and tireless philosophical exploration. I've come to appreciate how this has such a lot to do with all the disbelief thrown at us for experiences that are, to us, far more real, insistent and unrelenting than anything we have ever known before and yet others will doubt us, over and over again, due to a lack of conventional diagnosis criteria and an inability to frame our circumstances as easily or neatly as with some other health conditions. There is simply no explaining away much of what we experience, using such a typical framework, so here lies the growth-potential since we become the leading point of a whole new way of having to think about things. Here's an off-the-cuff list of some of the powerful gifts of having this experience.
A magical thing happens when we get even close to wholeness; we feel an updraft, as it were, lifting us up to a new level of experience and we become the spiral that breaks us out of the tedium of circles. Suddenly, we are viewing things from a more advantageous perspective than before and everything seems clearer, crisper and more vibrant, somehow. Without having to "solve" anything, we make better sense of some of the chaos that once bewildered us and we love ourselves more completely, less conditionally, than ever before. We can tell when we are getting there as we feel the joy build in our heart and the excitement in our gut; life starts to feel appealing again, even with all its difficulties. Its as though nothing has changed yet everything has. Its fascinating how better health almost always comes in this feeling's wake; as soon as we surrender to the not-knowing part of how we got there, since this is not to do with "figuring anything out"...(cont. reading).
Its not a level playing field; the way we are attached to our primary caregiver as a child can have profound and long-lasting effects on our immunity and health patterns for the rest of our life, which could explain why some people are much more prone to chronic health issues and other anomolies, even more bizarre sensitivities, than others. Attachment issues have been especially associated with chronic pain, how we experience and handle that pain and how effective we are at seeking help when we need it. This is a deep plunge into the new science around this topic as well as an anecdotally personal look at how to go deeply into this opportunity, when triggered, in order to offer yourself all the attentivenes and tender love you may have lacked in infanthood in order to heal.
Introversion is a topic very close to my own heart, as I've written about before, especially at the end of a year in which I have finally owned my very own version of it, with more than a small sigh of whole-body relief. In fact, its been one of my crowning glories of 2017 to achieve this degree of self-acceptance and, yes, appreciation, understanding and respect, at last; which comes with huge health benefits. Having just realised that I have now spent twelve continuous years being home-based with almost no regular people-contact outside of immediate family members and, prior to the two years in an office that led to that, a further nine years running a small business from home, I am forced to admit that twenty-one years of near solitude marks a defining trait more so than an accident. Yet it is incredibly hard to explain such a preference or, rather, need to others; especially when you can be as sociable and, yes, fun-loving and conversational as the next person on the rare times that you go anywhere. So as I start to visualise a year of "getting out there" somewhat more than I have for a while, in 2018 (on my own terms), I feel it is just as important to extoll the positives of introversion and to help others understand that it is a valid and powerful way to be, not an illness or problem to be solved.