Manifesting Resiliency: Owning your Chronic Illness
When you are dealing with cancer, everyone tells you to be positive. To be brave. To be happy. That is a tall order to fill. It is okay to feel ALL the emotions. I cannot always be brave. Sometimes I am sad. Sometimes I am tired and sometimes I am scared and sometimes I am overwhelmed. How can one live with such intense emotions as well as live in a heighten place of, what if? I have come to the conclusion, to live my life AND to live it well, I need to be resilient. How do I become resilient? How do I live with purpose?
The best way to get into that sweet spot is to manifest it.
Really! This is about a mind shift. SO that is what I am doing. I am Manifesting my Resiliency and OWNING my chronic illness. How do I go about doing this? Well, being a forever learner I researched manifestation and resiliency. They actually have A LOT in common. So here are my steps to owning my illness and living my best life. Join me!!
First, start with Being GRATEFUL. FOCUS on what you DO have. Don't get stuck on what you don't have or stuck on reliving the past.
I am grateful that my cancer is NEAD and that I get this time to be a mom to my children. I am grateful that I feel well enough to work and support my family. I am grateful for amazing friends and family. I try to write down 3 things everyday that I am grateful for. Sometimes it is as small as having my cat purring on my chest.
For me, the second step is to set my intentions or goals. This will give you purpose and provide you with direction. This is necessary so that you don't get lost in all the cancery stuff. Like appointments, infusions and the statistics of life expectancy. Goals can be small, like making your bed or big like:
My goal is to see my children graduate from High school.
My goal is to go on a family vacation to the U.P.
My intentions are to get more active and to eat healthier.
Step Three focus on what you want. This can be through mediation, visualization, affirmations and journal-ling. You have to BELIEVE that your intentions and goals are going to come true. Now I know they may not come true. But we all need to have FAITH and HOPE. We have faith that God wants us to have our deepest desires and we have Hope that our goals and intentions can come true. It is a much better place to live with JOY and positivity than despair. See my blog For Hope Sake to read more about having hope while living with a terminal illness.
However, some goals require work. Being resilient also means, Step Four: working hard and taking action.
I want to be healthy but that will require more than me thinking about being healthy. I am going to take action by wearing my Fit Bit as a way to measure how I am moving more and limiting my sugar intake. Getting up in the morning and just making that damn bed. Where there's a will there's a way.
Step Five: this is all about your mental health. I like to think of it as the 12 step program pause. This is where you accept the things that you can't change and Be realistic about the goals and intentions set before you and TRUST yourself to know what you need. OR trust your gut enough to find professional help if you are having a hard time trusting yourself to make good choices.
You want to remain calm when setting your goals and intentions. Being relaxed and not in a heighten state of stress. You might have to mediate and visualize first to find that place of self acceptance and reflection so that you can trust yourself to make the right realistic choices. Sometimes this requires the help of a professional. There is NO shame in asking for help.
Step Six: Be ready to adapt and improvise. Life is fluid. Things can change in an instant. You have to be open to this so when it happens it does not throw you for a loop and you fall into a pit of despair. See this as an opportunity for change and perhaps something better might be on your way.
Step Seven: GET SUPPORT. We are social creatures and it is good to find your tribe. Ask for help. Ask for guidance. I know sometimes it is hard to ask for what you want or need. However, YOU are WORTH it. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be loved. If you need help there is no shame in asking for what you need. Being authentic and reaching out to get your needs met is so important for self-care and self-love.
Step Eight: LAUGH! Humor is VERY therapeutic. Find ways to laugh and smile everyday.
When it is all said and done. FOCUS on your strengths and be ACTION oriented. You too can manifest your own resiliency.
There are some days when I forget about being resilient and I fall into a pit of despair BUT I don't let my self stay there. I have too much to live for and don't want to waste my time wallowing in worry. But I allow myself to have all the feelings and a small pity party every now and then. But I clean myself up and begin again. This life is a blessing.