a work in progress

what actually makes me better


As I become more immersed in the idea that the universe has my back compared to the universe-is-conspiring-against-me mentality onto which I held for so long, I am starting to understand where I fit into everything.

I’ve read over and over again that when a person’s actions are driven by genuine forces, they experience true joy or happiness or whatever. All of that makes enough sense, right? If we do the things we actually want or need to be doing, we’re going to experience the most joy and live our best lives. But that never really worked for me.

There are many times when I feel like my body isn’t on the same page as my head/heart. For example, I badly wanted to go to a big music festival this weekend. The weather was beautiful, I liked a bunch of the performers, and I wanted to be out there instead of enviously viewing everyone’s Instagrams. My body, however, wasn’t so into it.

What about the rest of me, though? I considered what it was about this event that made me want to go. Well, there was the sun, the social aspect, the music, and just being outdoors in general. That’s when I realized I could still get those things but in a more Anne-friendly fashion.

I filled my weekend with friends and family. I found a couple of new albums and listened to them while I bopped around the house. I tried to get outside as much as possible and walked around barefoot to really ground myself to the earth and soak up everything I could from the experience.

By the end of the weekend, I was so satisfied and content. I managed to give every part of me attention and love, and that was enough. True, there was a little sadness that I first blamed on “missing out,” but I soon realized it was less about Jazz Fest and more about me still holding onto the things I used to be able to do but can’t do today, and as I keep healing that will lessen.

I think that having chronic illnesses makes me feel like everything is more complex in my life than it is for someone who’s healthy. But it’s not. Just like every single other person in the world I’m happiest when I really stop to listen to what I need and then give myself exactly that. Of course, I wish my body didn’t require all the attention that it does today, but that’s where I am. As I embrace that reality rather than fight it, I find that every single thing about me, from my wonky joints to my heart, is so much better for it!

Image courtesy of hbgoodie.

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