Let me ask you this…
If you brought a puppy home from the shelter that has been traumatized and brutalized by his previous owner – so much so he cowers and whimpers at the slightest sound or movement – would you berate, ignore, or neglect him? No, of course you wouldn’t! I am guessing you would give him space, talk sweetly, be patient, and protect him. You would do everything you could to make sure that he felt safe and sound. You’d be eager to help ensure his little personality and spirit could shine again. And you would commit to doing this for as long as it took, his entire lifetime if need be.
If you are suffering with Fibromyalgia, you are traumatized, just like that little puppy. For one reason or another, your system has become overwhelmed. And now you are trapped in a “fight, flight or freeze” mode. You cannot relax. Your body is fearful and overreacts to everything – scents, sounds, chemicals, touch, emotions and thoughts. You are miserable as your body hardens against the world, creating intense pain and a feeling of suffocation. And just like that abused puppy, you desperately need your love and support.
As you know, feeding your puppy a balanced diet and walking him daily won’t be enough to heal him from his trauma. He’ll need as much love and devotion as you can muster for that to happen. The same is true with Fibromyalgia. But you already know this because you are doing everything you can with respect to diet and exercise. And still, you don’t seem to be able to bounce back. I know you are frustrated. But, the good news is there is more that you can do that will help you heal and enrich your life to no end. Here’s a good place to start:
You did not do this to yourself! And you are not responsible for what it has done to you, your family, and your life. This is not in your head. By forgiving yourself, you can lift a load of weight from your heart and free up that energy to focus on healing. How do you forgive yourself? You stop imagining all the reasons you deserve to suffer. I know you do that! And, you tell yourself, over and over and over again: “I am amazing”. Eventually, you will understand that this is the Truth. That belief in yourself will change everything.
You are entitled to do the things that you enjoy. Being sick does not mean that you are not worthy of engaging in the things that feed your soul; that make your eyes burn bright and bring a grin to your lips. In fact, you need to find joy where you can, if you ever want to recover. If you have a moment when you feel well, even if it is for five minutes a day, spend that time doing what you love. For me, that is writing or relaxing with some hot milk and cookies (yes, dairy and gluten free, of course). You know what makes you happy; do it.
We are literally connected to everyone and everything on this planet, and beyond, through energy. A person with Fibromyalgia knows this better than anyone; we’re like sponges, soaking in the stress, emotions and pain of others. You have to learn to surround yourself in a love bubble. How? Imagine a ball of white light deep inside your tummy, and then imagine it expanding until it fills your entire body and the space around you. Picture yourself as a little yolk (with a cute smiley face) inside a big bright glistening egg. State an intention like, “I accept love, light, beauty, peace, happiness into my love bubble. I send everything else back to its source, with love.” Do this constantly until your love bubble is a permanent fixture in your life. And sparkle on!
Stop telling yourself what you should do and do what feels right. It is an immensely liberating and kind act of self-love to take a ‘should vacation’. Just try it. Anytime you think you should do something, do not do it. Start small, like with the supper dishes one night. See what happens. I bet the sky stays intact. Now, this only works if you also refrain from the guilt you impose on yourself for having not done something. Keep reminding yourself it is okay to change your priorities and to slough off the excessive self-imposed ‘shoulds’ – think of the peace of mind and time you will gain. I have a little ditty I sing to myself to help me decipher what aspects of my life I could without. And it goes like this: “If it cuts you down to size. If it eats you up inside. Let it go, go, go. Let it go!” Make up your own tune and use it if you wish. It works wonders.
There is a gift in your sensitivity, your soft heart, and gentle spirit. We need you in this world, to balance it out. Right now, while you are suffering, it is hard to imagine what you can offer to anyone. But, trust me, your special brand of insight and wisdom serves a greater purpose. The people around you and the whole world are lifted because of the love inside you. Let your body know that it is okay to soften again; you are letting go of the ‘couldabeens’ and ‘shouldabeens’. You are stepping away from whomever and whatever does not serve you, and following your heart into a new life. Tell yourself, I am healed. Tell yourself, I am strong. Tell yourself, I am well with the world. And you are. The attributes you possess did not make you sick. Embrace your sweetness and do not relinquish it. It will make you whole gain. You don’t need to be like everyone else. Be you. Be love. You’ll see. Things are changing.
What is your damn rush? I know! I know! Whenever we get an ounce of energy we are in a spin, trying to make up for the lost time of our down days. But that approach gets us back where we started, too miserable to do anything, am I right? The only way I know to slow down is to try and notice how my body is reacting in the moment. If I am holding my breath, clenching my butt, or gritting my teeth, I know I am headed for trouble. Don’t tell me you don’t do this too! Start to enjoy those times when you feel well, fill them with whatever makes your heart sing. Stop using that precious time trying to prove your worth or tame your guilt. Your loved ones just want you to be happy. They don’t need you tending to them.
Whenever you get that urge to blame or doubt yourself, think of those big puppy dog eyes looking up at you and give yourself a big hug and a good scratch behind the ear. You are far more precious than you know. You can do this.