Perspective plays such a huge role in any success and all happiness. It is one of the only things in life that you have complete control over.
I can only speak from what has worked for me. It is important for each person to find what works for them….and getting creative helps. This is how I got through all of the years of not knowing what was wrong; and the anger, pain, anxiety, depression, and every other emotion that goes along with treatment.
Shift your Perspective
It’s simple. If we perceive life without judgment, without expectation, and without fear or regret; we perceive it as it truly is, nothing more, nothing less. If we live in the present moment and find gratitude, we live in peace; despite our outward experience.
The truth of the matter is if you shift your perspective, you quickly realize that your life could always be worse. Even when you think it can’t. And no matter how bad it is, if you get stuck in it, if you allow it to envelop you, you are only making it worse for yourself. At that point, YOU are the one that is hurting you. Part of any growth and success requires you to take responsibility for your part in your experience.
Then, not taking on what isn’t yours, and letting it go….is the next most important thing. That doesn’t mean blame everyone else or circumstance. Really look at your part, and change what you can. Look at what truly isn’t yours and what you can’t control, allow it to be there…..and let it go.
Life is not about accomplishing every huge unachievable goal that we set out for ourselves. Life is about appreciating and recognizing what we can achieve and share in each moment of each day. It is realizing the fact that we are all doing the best that we can based on what we are faced with each day.
Some days will be better than others. Some days I had to stop and regroup every hour on the hour. Some days, I just needed to cry for a minute to get it out.
Allow Yourself To Grieve
There is a certain sense of grieving that goes along with this disease. Often, we are grieving our old life, and that’s okay.
The key is to realize that you can’t go backwards, and you create your future in the present moment. So be there. The present moment is truly the only thing that exists. Know that it is okay to be where you are, doing what you are doing, and feeling how you are feeling at any given moment, on any given day.
Remove the judgment that things should be anything other than what they are. Just allow it all to be there. And remind yourself that you are in control of your own perspective and your own body.
Claim it. ~ Own it…truly own it. ~ Let it be yours.
Let Go of Control
“You can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you react to it. If you are miserable in life, it is your own fault.”
My grandfather taught me that saying when I was very young, and it was not until recently that I have grasped the true meaning of it. Not as simple as it sounds, but there is a deep truth to it. You always have the choice to change your perspective on things. You always have the choice to redefine who you are and how you view things in each new moment.
If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that there are no victims. Yes, things happen that are out of our control, but we always have a choice as to how we react to them, and what our perspective is.
And even if you fall out of balance and find yourself buried in depression, in the victim mindset whatever that is for you….you can always choose in any moment to change your perspective.
This is a Buddhist philosophy that holds an important lesson. It seems so unachievable at times, but it holds deep truth.
“Since it is impossible to fulfill all our desires or to stop unwanted things happening to us, we need to find a different way of relating to frustrated desires and unwanted occurrences. We need to learn patient acceptance.
When patience is present in our mind it is impossible for unhappy thoughts to gain a foothold.
Patience is a mind that is able to accept, fully and happily, whatever occurs. It is much more than just gritting our teeth and putting up with things. Being patient means to welcome wholeheartedly whatever arises, having given up the idea that things should be other than what they are. It is always possible to be patient; there is no situation so bad that it cannot be accepted patiently, with an open, accommodating, and peaceful heart.”
~excerpt from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in How to Solve Our Human Problems
Get Out of Your Head
As a friend of mine says, “You’ve had too much to think!”
Stop over-analyzing it all, stop looking at the overwhelming big picture.
As silly as that sounds, if I found myself looking at the daunting reality of what I was faced with, it was overwhelming. Instead, focus on each moment… moment by moment, day by day. Instead of focusing on the pain, focus on the little successes.
If you can get out of bed in the morning, that is success. If you had a week or a month with less bad days than the one before, that is success. If you are doing better now than you were yesterday or even 2 hours ago, that is success. Congratulate yourself and your body.
Find Your Sense of Humor
Laughter is proven to have health benefits and to reduce stress levels. Laughter truly is the best medicine! Try to laugh as often as you can. Turn frustration into humor. Learn to laugh at yourself and relax. And best of all, find your smile. Carry it with you close to your heart, and take it with you everywhere you go. Smile at strangers, just because. Share your smile, which reflects your inner light…with the world.
Find Your Mantra
Find your own mantra to scream at the top of your lungs.
I found with this disease, it is very easy to get caught up in the long term view, the fear, and the constant worrying and wondering if you will ever get better. Rather than focus on that, I made a choice to stand up against it, and demand that I get my life back. I refused to let it beat me. And when I started sinking back into that place, I didn’t judge myself. I just said, “Okay….let’s start again.”
“NO! A stupid little spirochete is NOT going to win. It’s MY life, MY body…….and I WILL beat this thing.”
I screamed mantras and war cries daily. My favorite one was, “Die you bastards die!” So every time I felt pain, fatigue, or any of the myriad of symptoms; I called my battle cry, and it reminded me that the reason I was having the symptoms was because they were dying. It empowered me instead of making me a victim.
When you start to get overwhelmed, if you fall back into your hopelessness, get caught up in the down moments, the pain, and the struggle…..don’t judge yourself or your body for it….just pick yourself up, brush yourself off, scream your mantra as loud as you can….and shift your perspective. You can do this all day every day.
Disown the Disease
Make a conscious choice not to identify yourself with the disease, and to reclaim your life and your body.
Instead of saying “I have Lyme disease” say “I am currently being treated for Lyme disease.” Or “I am fighting Lyme disease.” It puts you in control, instead of the disease. And it separates you from it.
Focus on What you CAN Do
Don’t focus on the negative, what you don’t have…focus on your perspective, on taking control of your life and your body…focus on what you CAN do. Educate yourself about all aspects of this disease, diet, your body, your mindset, your emotions…..truly educate yourself about it all and how it inter-relates so that YOU can heal YOU. Don’t believe what you “hear” or what others tell you. KNOW for yourself.
The important thing is to keep focusing on moving forward. Don’t judge it or get lost in the fact that you may have gone backwards. Allow yourself to have the courage to keep taking the next step, to keep looking around the next corner. You never know, you may surprise yourself. You may find out you have more courage, hope, and strength than you ever thought possible!
I believe in you, and I know that healing, strength, courage, and wisdom are within you.
You become what you see in the world…