You Are NOT Your Illness, So Who Are You?
If you missed part one, Enjoying Imperfection With Chronic Illness, you can read it here.
You Are NOT Your Illness, So Who Are You? – How many of us have asked that question in the mirror? Throughout your life you may ask this question many times. What kind of answers do you get? Could it be that you have not grasped the importance of who you truly are so you keep asking? Most people think that they keep asking because they are not perfect yet. Here’s a news flash: No one is perfect! As long as you are in this human skin, mistakes will always be made. We often start identifying our-self as our chronic illness.. who are you? “Oh I have CRPS or Fibromyalgia, etc”. That’s NOT who we are!
We are created on the “trial and error” principle. We find things out by learning. The learning process involves trying, failing, trying again and finding a solution so we can move on. New neural pathways are created by experiences, good and bad, positive and negative. Accepting, that point, will begin the journey to true self-acceptance.
Many people look to others to tell them who they are. This is a mistake. Other people can summarize their experiences with you, but that is not all to your story. Yes, every one of us has a unique story. Even if you share some experiences with others, your perspective on them is never exactly like someone else’s.
In this life, we are burdened down with preconceived notions. Our parents may have believed them so we simply adopt them for ourselves. What was the American Dream that everyone came to the shores of America to obtain? It might have been the white picket fence, a spouse and 2 kids. In reality, that dream doesn’t fit every life. The “dream” is supposed to be subjective. It’s whatever you feel fits your best self, not a pre-formed mold that pops out perfectly happy people. Most of us have never dreamed we would be sick with a chronic illness or have to learn to live life with it.
People have undoubtedly died without realizing that they were playing a role. Who they were meant to be was lost in who they were supposed to be or who they needed to be to “fit in”. It’s sad and also unfair. We owe it to ourselves to love and be loved for who we are, sick or not. When you can love and accept then you can truly “belong”.
Over the next week I challenge you to ask yourself Who You Are several times, maybe you’ll get a different answer each time, maybe you’ll start seeing who you are, maybe you’ll start to see you are way more than your illness.
Please join us next week as we will be discussing “Living A Whole-Hearted Life Despite Illness”
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