I do not feel well much of the time. Be assured, this is just an unbiased observation not a judgment, a call to pity-party or a martyr’s grandstand. Looking back over my life, I can admit I have persisted in illness more than I have experienced what most would claim as good health. An underlying inexplicable frailty prevails for me and daily life revolves…has always revolved…around its management with varying degrees of success. I have begun pondering the possibility that sub-par physical health simply "is what it is" for me. If that is indeed my truth, I have an opportunity to accept that and reconsider a few things.
Historically, I have harshly judged the reality of my physical health, deeming myself and labeled by others as sickly, defective and weak. Any downslide on my wellness spectrum generates anxiety, grief, wrath and ultimately despondency. In response to my perceived deficiencies, I have poured untold resources (both material and energetic) into Herculean efforts for breakthroughs, and although I have enjoyed intermittent improvements and gained productive insights, my day-to-day tally of feel well vs. not feel well remains virtually unchanged.
To be clear, this is not a resignation to or claim of eternal sickness, thereby denying myself the possibility of good health. In fact, I believe my former paradigm of self-criticism, defeatism and suffering potentially kept me locked into revolving manifestation. No, I am not resigning myself to being sick; I am merely considering a more neutral stance regarding my health whereby I don’t allow how I am physically to completely dictate how I experience life mentally and emotionally. This is also not an abdication of my former commitments to honor, nourish and appreciate my physical being.
In an article on Belifenet.com, "What Price Glory", Anne A. Simkinson interviews Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend. They discuss her history with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and how writing the book affected her life. She shares:
“I am not somebody who thinks I am entitled to good health or to a good peaceful happy life. We are fortunate when we have them, but when we don’t have them it’s not that someone’s taking them away from us. It just happens. [This attitude] has made it easier for me to deal with [my illness] than someone else who thinks, ‘Why me?’"
Ms. Hillenbrand’s physical debilitation has been longstanding and profound yet she wrote a bestselling award-winning novel, not in spite of her physical health, but right along beside her health challenges. I am awed and inspired by the accomplishment and this woman.
Is it possible to separate my emotions and attitudes from how I am doing physically? Probably not, however, I do believe I can work at not responding by feeling dominated and decimated. I can work to not rage against my physical status or let it equate to who I am or what I‘m worth. Moreover, if good health in the long-term sense is not in the cards for me, I wish to find ways and means of expressing who I am in any moment, shining my light right alongside being physically unwell.
As I reflect, a new question arises. How can I agree to be okay with not being well when I am in the wellness field? The very mission statement for my business reads, "assisting you in reaching a state of wellness and stillness so you may hear the whisper of your own inner wisdom and claim a richly rewarding life". The truth is when I enjoy the rewards of stillness and tune into the voice of my own inner wisdom, I know that my worthy pursuits are seeking balance in my emotional and mental realms…a quest for equanimity. This is where wellness resides for me.
Thus, my declaration: I will strive to remain in a place of non-judgment about my day-to-day physical health standing and eschew an all-consuming chase after answers and cures. As an example, today I observe that my throat hurts, my level of fatigue has increased since yesterday, my neck is tight, my joints are achy and… there is still much I can do. I can choose to feel capable, creative and worthy. I can write, organize, relfect, meditate, dream, plan, love, communicate and live. The fact that there are things on the could-do list that are out of my reach is a blessing of clarity about where my time and efforts are best spent in the moments that make up my today.
I have never before attempted a personal paradigm shift this deeply engrained. This experiment in true acceptance could be a real game-changer for me. During this season of thanks, I am grateful for the opportunity to try out a new perspective. Do you have unexpected or unconventional blessings to add to your own gratitude list?
Loving (and accepting) me,