Living Above Fibromyalgia – Embracing Childlike Happiness

I have been thinking about what it means to be a child lately. Being 24 weeks pregnant (yay!), I am drawn to remembering what it was like to be a kid, and to thinking about what, as a parent, might be a good perspective to bring to caring for and nurturing the blessing I have received.

Anyone living with Fibromyalgia is on a journey of learning how important it is to focus on the beauty, fun and joy in life, and live above the pain. If we can do that for ourselves, we have so much to offer as human beings, whether we decide to become parents or not. So what is it that we knew as children that we have forgotten or undervalue as adults?

As children, we naturally embrace and explore the many sides to ourselves. As adults, we see things as being in contradiction or opposition, rather than in supporting roles that overlap and inform each other. Children easily and beautifully embrace what adults might see as duality.

1. masculinity and femininity
2. activity and inactivity
3. introversion and extroversion
4. self-awareness and self-expression
5. growing and plateauing
6. receiving and giving
7. vegetating and doing
8. learning and teaching
9. preparing and creating

As adults, we often try to be one way or the other and feel uneasy as a result. We interpret one inclination as being superior to the other, rather than recognizing both as equally helpful and imperative to living our lives, happily, as opposed to “correctly”.

Young children don’t keep track of what portion of each attribute they possess or which ones are better or worse. It is the outside world that begins to impose those beliefs at a young age. Sadly, a child’s natural inclination toward self-acceptance is broken, and a natural sense of harmony is lost.

It is no wonder then that, as adults, we find it difficult to let ourselves be childlike and happy. But, eventually, we have to learn to live our lives that way again. Otherwise, we’ll be miserable. As I recall and share my own childlike happiness, I hope that you will too!

Masculinity and Femininity

As a young girl I loved everything. Even though I knew there was a difference between what girls and boys were ‘supposed’ to enjoy, I was equally as fascinated by fairies as I was with my red and blue BMX bike. I loved to play with My Little Ponies as much as I enjoyed arm wrestling. I was as likely to climb trees and race go carts as I was to make wedding cakes out of mud and create bouquets out of wild flowers.

Activity and Inactivity

I don’t ever recall thinking it was lazy to take a nap. I relished nap time, sinking into my Strawberry Shortcake bedding, thinking about all I’d done that morning and all I could do when I woke up. Once I rested, I could enjoy my afternoon bike ride, be alert for playing The Game of Life with my brothers, and be less cranky with Mudder during supper. I’d also languish in bed on weekends imagining what I could be when I grew up. My heart and mind wound themselves into wonderful fantasies and hopes.

Introversion and Extroversion

Sometimes, I was a quiet, deep thinking child that longed to express herself and take the stage. For hours, I’d sit quietly at the Atlantic Ocean’s edge, sketching seagulls or I’d lay across my bedroom floor, writing poetry and listening to tapes on my ghetto blaster. I spent hours alone, scouring the water’s edge for starfish or catching grasshoppers in a Mason jar. But I had no trouble yelling out my instructions during a game of “Simon Says”, playing an intense game of Clue with my best friends’ family, or singing the “Holy, Holy” at my first communion, in front of a church filled with people. It all gave me a deep feeling of satisfaction.

Self-Awareness and Self-Expression

As a kid, I was not always living out loud. Sometimes I’d grow quiet, read more, sit alone more and take a step back. This could be viewed to others as withdrawing when it is a great gift to go within to hear our own voice, see our own dreams and manage our own perceptions. We are finding a stillness that we need deep within our soul. Other times, I was singing the praises of something, talking non-stop about my latest obsession or proudly announcing my opinion about things. Neither state of being is better or worse. We may switch back and forth daily, momentarily or in long stretches, depending on what our needs are.

Growing and Plateauing

When I was going through a growth spurt, I knew I needed to eat more, sleep more and be more mindful of and patient with the changes that were happening. Other times, when nothing seemed to be changing about me, I got to ride the wave. And, while I may have been plateauing in one area of life, like how fast I could sprint, in another area I may have been growing. Perhaps I was getting better and better at biting my tongue when I felt like cursing a blue streak.

Receiving and Giving

As a kid, everything in my life was a gift. I was given a home, a place to sleep and food to eat. I was given donations to support my extra-curricular activities. Most of everything I had, I was given. But I was also giving of myself. I was a light in my parents’ lives. I sang in choirs at school and at church that gave hope and entertainment. I cleaned up my room, dusted the furniture in Mudder and Dad’s room, and committed myself to group sports (showing up even when I didn’t want to). I didn’t feel less than for not having an income. It did not make me any less giving or worthwhile. I knew I had much to offer.

Vegetating and Doing

I don’t ever recall feeling useless because I felt like watching TV or lazing around, staring off into space. I remember those times as being vital to feeling better. When I was exhausted, nothing revived me more than listening to some music or watching Sally Jessy Raphael or General Hospital. Veging out was necessary. And often, because of that downtime I was rejuvenated and felt like writing a short story or drawing a sketch or going for a run or calling a friend. It all felt equally important to me.

Learning and Teaching

Learning was a way of life as a child. I was continually responsive to rules, direction and knowledge. As I learned something new, I shared it with others. I didn’t feel silly when I did not know something. That did not mean I had nothing to offer. I was equally aware of my ability to create something new out of what I was already able to do. I was great at sculpting things out of clay and imitating a dog bark. I knew how to tie my shoes and make a friendship bracelet. There was no inclination to know it all.

Preparing and Creating

Sometimes I didn’t have much to say or to give. I would be more likely to listen to or accept the guidance of others. I was somewhat in the mode of searching. I needed to receive some wisdom, a sign or a way of being that could move me along to the next step in life. I was mostly open to any and all opportunities or insights that might spark some inspiration. I did not consider myself to be unproductive, just gassing up for the next leg of my trip. At other times I might feel more creative. I’d learn how to make a French braid, make up a dance to a Madonna song or draw endless depictions of Garfield and Otis.

It is healthy to be childlike and accepting of ourselves. All sides of us are perfectly normal and necessary. And we will all be far happier when we learn to honor the opposites. We don’t need to justify them to anyone else or ourselves.

Love always
Asetha

Comments

  1. says

    I agree … children make excellent teachers! One time I was doing the memory cleanse technique with the Fire Ceremony (from the Truth About Karma and Reincarnation CD) along with a 5 year old who remarked “you have so much to cleanse!” err umm yes ’cause I’m old! 😀 The kid had just one little thing to cleanse .. one! Early stress prevention there. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Cheers!

    • says

      Wow, that is so cool to hear. I am always amazed by the power of the written word. And I thank you so much for letting me know how you were affected by my little story. Isn’t it a great gift to feel okay with ourselves. I never want to let this feeling go. And I wish everyone could feel okay with who they are just as they are. Wouldn’t that be something.

  2. says

    I love the way you write, it’s really clear and organised. It’s true, children see things from a completely different point of view. I’m still in my teens, but I do realize that growing up is really just growing “out” of a child’s perspective. Keep posting! 😉

    • says

      Thanks Francis for appreciating my writing. It is always nice to hear good things! I hope to continue posting and connecting with people like you. Take good care as you take all the things that make you special into adulthood. Enjoy these years. Be kind to yourself. 🙂

  3. says

    Oh my word, I loved this post! All the way through it felt like bits of me were getting healed. Getting reassured and reminded that its okay – and essential/healthy/important – to be all of these things. It reminded me of gestalt therapy and our ‘parts’. The concept – one which I totally agree with – that we are all made up of up to twelve sub-personalities, or parts. And healing and growing is about learning to embody and connect with the parts and allow them to be seen, and finding your inner healer, parent and witnessing self (3 diff parts) that keep you grounded and self loving in the process. As I watch this happen in myself, an authenticity and aliveness is here in such a raw way. It’s beautiful. But it also gets overwhelming trying to navigate through it all!

    I found great comfort in the last bit about not having to justify it to anyone or ourselves. Lately I’ve been taking pleasure in NOT working out what’s going on, intellectualising and trying to make sense of. Or worry that one day I’m like this and the next day I’m not. With friends particularly…but I am beginning to really embrace the ‘fuck it’ philosophy with this. It’s scary but it seems to work! Because I doubt that people even notice. I am so self aware and sensitive, and feel things so strongly, and in this process of healing I’m in, it means my parts are all over the freakin place so it can get really overwhelming because it feels like a constant rollercoaster or they’re constantly at an all night rave, but actually what’s happening is that they’re being listened to and found and discovered on an intimate level from myself to the other parts of myself, and to the outside world too, so I feel like this midway stage of feeling a tad chaotic is just the healing…and the listening. It’ll soften. People tell me 🙂
    Thanks for this! Will bookmark and come back to it when I need reassurance. x

    • says

      As they say, there is nothing more healing than self-love. I too find that there is so much overlap in any approach to healing. I think that is because truth is truth, right. We know it and it resonates, even before we can really grasp or embrace it. I also find that words and shared experiences can be so healing. Thanks for allowing the words on this page to move you and keep you grounded on your path. You are doing it!! You really are. Never lose heart. I understand what it feels like to be super sensitive – there is much joy and much pain. Sending you much love as you protect and love yourself just as you are. 😀

  4. says

    hi asetha – such a beautiful piece of writing. it really resonates with me, having remembered some of the same important truths during my “adventures” with ovarian cancer. 🙂 in fact i wrote a short prose piece, “trail markers on the healing path: 1. be childlike” which is in my new book, “every little thing.” your wee babe will have much to rejoice about with you for a mom. be well, and please keep writing – (jason’s) rosemary xo

    • says

      Your heartfelt words have made me sob. I know that you too have been through quite the adventure, as you say, with your health and I love that you were able to turn to your truth to get you through it. And, I love that the rest of us get to reap the rewards of and learn from your soul’s journey through your music and writing and art.. So wonderful that you have, most recently, put your heart into birthing a book . I know the courage that takes. And the healing it offers. Lots of love. Rays of light. Asetha

  5. says

    Asetha, what an inspiring post. Such an enlightened way of looking at ourselves and the world we create. And congrats on the pregnancy. I’m so excited for you.

    • says

      Awe, thank you so much Jason. I did not realize you were following me. Thanks so much. You must have been picking up on my vibes. I have been meaning to drop you a line, and send you my manuscript, for weeks! Will do that, TODAY!! 🙂

    • says

      This was a great and inspiring post! It’s always good to remember the qualities we had as children and bring them into the present moment. 🙂 (disregard the “this” post–my iPod was being glitchy, lol!)

      • says

        Hey! I am so happy that you found it to be inspiring. And I thank you for saying so 🙂 Today I wore my rubber boots and a rain coat outside and enjoyed the miserable weather here in Newfoundland! Ha! Feels great to be a kid again! 😀

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