Thursday, January 25, 2018

Embracing My Flawless Imperfection in the Midst of Chronic Illness

This article was additionally published on The Mighty!

The word of the day today is FLAWLESS. It's written on my t-shirt (see cheesy selfie), and frankly it's a good reminder for me to live into the body that I have right now at this present moment. But holy cow can that be complicated when living with chronic illness!

The idea of being FLAWLESS is a paradox. To look at a tree is to notice all of its imperfections, and yet as God's creation it is perfect in every way. I'm reminded of Lady Gaga's lyrics... "I'm beautiful in my way 'cause God makes no mistakes I'm on the right track baby I Was Born This Way."

So here I am today in the space between...I want to be healed! I have come so far! But I still have a long ways to go...And I recognize that it could be so much worse.

This is what we call a liminal space - or the ambiguous space of waiting. Living a life after a Traumatic Brain Injury, with migraines, post concussive syndrome, pituitary problems, adrenal insufficiency and now some very rare undiagnosed inflammatory condition, liminality is a part of my existence.

As I have been in this liminal space, I have endured all kinds of judgments and assumptions. I choose not to give those negative experiences any more power by discussing them here. Rather, I will say that I am using this experience to cultivate my own inner strength. As a woman that struggled to trust myself, I am learning to how to rely on my own perceptions, my own anchor, my own self esteem and my own self awareness. That's a huge deal given my anorexic history.

So just for today, I am fully embracing the gift of this body. I'm choosing to call my body FLAWLESS, even and especially with all of my imperfections. I'm choosing to love my body so much that I nurture it with every fiber of my being. That means good nourishment spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It also means going to the difficult doctors appointments, engaging in holistic healing, utilizing art therapy to help me process what's inside, spending time with my animals, training my horse, honoring my energy levels with rest, advocating for myself, engaging in contemplative prayer, and simply putting one foot in front of the other.

I live with several invisible chronic illnesses and rare diseases. I can't control how others perceive me; yet I can control how I see myself. I believe that all things in life flourish when loved well. This is especially true for those that are struggling and/or in the process of healing. So today I am starting a quiet internal revolution by choosing to give my body the love that is so richly deserves in this exact moment. Yes, I am FLAWLESS.

...and so are YOU.

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