For this inspiration we thank Clarissa Shepherd, author of Find Your Way: A Guide to Healing While Living with CFIDS and Fibromyalgia, and founder of the uplifting Fellow Travelers FMS and ME/CFS support & chat Facebook group.
Loving Who We Are
As we face our chronic illness day after day, we begin to associate ourselves with our illness. We define who we are by what we can or can not do. Many times, we lose our self-esteem by adapting to the belief that our worth is somehow connected to how we contribute.
We are not our illness. Our limitations are just that – limitations. We allow other people, and even society, to define us or impose their ideas of self-worth on us.
So many times we forget that it’s important to love ourselves first. We’re burdened by guilt, with thinking we need to be doing more or being more to friends and family. This guilt can send us into a tailspin, only adding to our limitations.
We must learn, one tiny step at a time, to care for ourselves in order to be effective, in this same way, to others in our life.
I challenge you to reexamine yourself and find the area of your life in which you’re applying these things and take back the power from this kind of stinking thinking.
We are ill, yet we are important, vital human beings and deserve the same respect as we give to anyone else.
You are kind, generous, caring, understanding and beautiful. This illness is not of your own making and is not who you are, just where you are.
Reprogram your thinking. Learn to love the person that you are and this change will bring you a much deserved peace of mind.
My motto is: If we change nothing, nothing changes.
– Clarissa Shepherd, November 2012