Things are not going my way, as of late. I have to move home, temporarily- that’s the part I have to remember, temporarily. I withdrew from classes less than a year ago. Six months ago, I was living on my own, planning to go back to school in the spring, planning to go back to my summer job. Now, I’m too sick to get up a lot of mornings. My illness is too unpredictable to have a schedule, to have a “life” like most people have lives.
Temporarily, I am resting, withdrawing from the life I was living before. I am bigger than my circumstances, and stronger than my illness. I am in an undesirable situation, but I am strong enough to get out of it. I will not wait, I will not sulk. I will make small goals, and do everything I need to do to rise above this situation. I spoke before about “climbing small mountains.” Now, it’s more important than ever. People with chronic fatigue find ways to function in the world that make them feel happy and fill, and I know I can do the same. In order to find peace with an illness (or any other personal handicap) you have to reach high levels of understanding and achievement in two areas: self-care, and actualization.
Self-care involves gaining awareness yourself, your body, and acting based on your needs. We live busy, tense, rushed lives, and forget to honor our bodies and the work they do for us. If you don’t have adequate knowledge of your body and its needs, you aren’t harnessing all of it’s skills, nor are you giving it the resources it needs to fulfill tasks. You’re running a car on oil that needs changing, tires with no tread, and old brake pads. The car will still run, but not as well as it should. You aren’t respecting the machine, and eventually, it will have a bigger problem that needs immediate attention. Our bodies do a lot of work for us, and they need to be acknowledged and tended to. On top of that, our society tells us to hate the amazing vessels that give us the abilities to function. We are always too skinny, too fat, not tan enough, too much arm flab, not enough abs. Screw that noise. You can walk, run, travel to Africa, laugh, breathe- your body gives you all those abilities and you insist that it isn’t good enough because it doesn’t look like Adriana Lima’s? Check yourself.
Actualization involves knowledge of your personal character, as well as the steps that must be taken in order to keep progressing and achieving. You have to know what you need as an individual, and how you want to act within a society. People need to feel accomplished, worthy, and productive. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every idea of “accomplishment” is logical or correct. We’re confronted with a lot of ideas of success that aren’t for everyone. For example, volunteering for charity may be more rewarding to one person than being the CEO of a company. Again, it’s all related to self-awareness. Know what you need and where you fit in. If you don’t know yet, climb small mountains along the way.
These elements may seem contradictory, when they’re really not. You don’t have to deny yourself care or comfort in order to be productive and successful. In fact, you have to do one to do the other. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the resources to reach actualization goals. If you don’t keep achieving actualization goals, you won’t feel like you deserve self-care (the goal is to know you always deserve self-care, but most people need reminders).
I am here, in this world, just as I deserve to be. I deserve to take care of myself. I deserve happiness, and I will keep moving and progressing until I make a difference in this world.