“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
“Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.”
Thanks for all your supportive and loving comments in response to Monday’s blog post where I discussed the latest in my chronic illness and degenerative disease journey. It’s important to me that I am honest in my sharing with you, although I admit it can be hard to expose myself and my vulnerabilities at times.
Illness and limitation is a journey I’ve been on since my teens. It’s a path I will walk until my death. I stopped fighting that a long time ago. It is what is is. My acceptance of that fact is not a failure. My acceptance of that fact (and yes, it was a long time coming) is a personal triumph. I am not my illness, I am not my pain, I am not my disability. It is not my failing. I am not devalued by these things. I may not want this illness, this suffering, but it has grown and enriched me. It teaches me. It humbles me. It reveals me. There is a strange beauty in that, I have decided. Even though it sucks.
Of course I want to do what I can to improve my health, to lessen my suffering, to smooth out the bumps in the road where and when I can. Who wouldn’t? I am fortunate that I am not trapped by poverty. I have access to good care. I have choices, where many in the chronic illness community do not. But even with money, and care, my body will deteriorate. Over time I will lose more of the things I have too often taken for granted.
It’s important to me that I am not invisible in this journey. Not because I have a desire to be seen but because I don’t want you to feel alone in your own health journey, or as a support person for a loved one on a health journey.
One in four adults globally experiences chronic illness, disability or pain. One in four. Nearly 50% of the adult population in Australia has some kind of chronic disease. Diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, cancer, infection, dementia. The list goes on. That illness or condition could be the result of genetics, lifestyle choices, accidents, physical illness, injury, mental illness, some kind of ongoing chronic or degenerative condition that limits choices or function or movement or interaction and communication. So, that could be you. Or someone you love. It might be you now. It might be you next week, next year, or
some time from now. None of us ever know. The future is not promised, although we can take steps to increase our likelihood of health, quality of life and longevity.
I’m weary of social media, and the mainstream media, portraying everyone as young, beautiful and able-bodied. Even the young and beautiful can have invisible illness (illness with no obvious external symptoms), or mental illness. Most of us will know what it is to have depression or anxiety, rashes and lumps, an upset belly and digestion issues, tooth decay, allergies, eyesight problems, infection, injuries and pain. Many of us at some time will experience our bodies not working the way we want them to, and causing us pain and distress.
As we age the likelihood of illness, injury and degeneration of our physical and mental health is statistically high.
Your body is an amazing thing, but life is fraught with risk, and most machines malfunction, break down and wear out over the course of their viable life expectancy.
That’s just how it is.
I hope that my sharing can help you to embrace the truth of your own physicality and mortality. I hope it encourages you to look after yourself better, to advocate for your needs and speak honestly about your situation so you can get the necessary support or consideration, and so you can treat yourself and others with greater empathy and kindness.
Please, don’t carry your burdens hidden. That makes a hard road so much harder.
Much love to you, and gentle hugs, Nicole xx