If you’ve been reading on line, or picked up Deepak Chopra’s book,”Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of your DNA for Health and Wellbeing,” you are finding some wonderful research regarding epigenetics and how we can change our thinking and our genetic impulses. You also know that having an autoimmune diagnosis does not mean you have to give up on life, or that you need to suffer with the side effects of medications. Recently I wanted to acknowledge my good friend who has several autoimmune conditions and is reducing her dosage of Prednisone little by little. Her commitment to a healthier body will allow her body to heal it’s way, as it is designed to do and is just one step toward taking full responsibility for her well being and her life. I wish I’d said that. Instead I said, ” It’s a choice, I choose to drink smoothies, speak unintelligibly and let my husband drive me places when my double vision flares up because it’s a choice between that or taking drugs and never feeling like myself.” And she added, “And feeling fat and bloated all the time.”
What we choose to do translates daily into how well we are feeling. We choose to smoke, and eat cookies and drink sodas, we are handicapping our body’s ability to heal. One piece of cake can set us back a week of healing. Too much activity, not enough sleep, asking too much of our selves can have the same effect.
I was in Washington DC recently with my husband and his sister and husband. So much stimulation, information, beautiful afternoons walking on the green, visiting museums and delighting in the day, and on top of that, so much good food to try. I am eating mostly veggies and protein, a little fruit and some fermented foods to nourish my body, but with all the activity and emotions that come up with new experiences, my throat closed down. I could barely drink water. This has happened before but not so drastically. I could drink a blended veggie drink very slowly, but with so much to see, I was hardly relaxed enough to do that. When we drove to Williamsburg, we stopped in a restaurant and I could not choke down a sweet potato without gagging and coughing and running to the ladies’ room before I made a real scene. Being sick is so humiliating, but worse than that is the fear of never getting better.
I stayed home from two days of adventures back in time witnessing the replication of Williamsburg and slept and meditated. I sipped smoothies and felt so sorry for myself and so alone. The alone piece was most painful. I hated letting everyone down, including myself, but my health is so much more important to me than what the colonists suffered under the British. I grounded my energy within my body with repeated exercises (subject for another blog), meditated, and allowed the feelings of pain and humiliation and fear each to come up in their own time. I felt these feelings as powerful energy moving and passing through me and in time I owned them. What’s owning them mean? It means I am not the suffering from what I feel. The pain is not my identity, but rather an experience I am having. I got in touch with my inner child, as I have so many times before and I prayed for help. My little five year old feels so vulnerable and helpless, I often believe her pain is still happening today, though my parents are long gone and I have made peace with them through forgiveness of myself and them. Help came in recognizing how very afraid my little girl is still today. I had brought my ipod on the trip and found a recording of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Fear: Essential Wisdom For Getting Through the Storm.” I listened and cried and breathed as Thich Nhat recommends and sure enough, I made friends with myself again. I was back in touch emotionally and physically with my connection to all things, to God’s love inside of me and out, and aware of the gifts I receive daily. As Deepak Chopra says, my thinking and perception of my life had authentically changed from loss to appreciation.
When we feel pain, especially emotional pain, we distract ourselves to avoid having to feel it. But with autoimmunity we can’t avoid the pain anymore. We can take pain killers and think we are OK, but the pain still exists, it is not released from our bodies or our energy. The pain remains until we die. When we decide to take responsibility for our health, we are no longer willing to go numb to our pain. We are willing to feel and go through the pain to find release and healing and freedom from symptoms. This is the choice for vitality rather than illness because experiencing our symptoms is the pathway to releasing them (Please read Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Body.”) Freedom from our conditions comes hand and hand with claiming responsibility and awareness of what our bodies are screaming at us through our pain.
As we choose awareness through daily practices for health and well being, we choose the cake and smokes less and less and we thrive.
Please share with me below your experience with your painful symptoms and what you are choosing. Thank you.