Today I could wallow about lost muscle mass, flabby babesia weight, and pregnancy symptoms but that is not only useless, it is counterproductive. We must speak life over ourselves and marvel at how wonderous life is. I no longer feel betrayed by my body. In fact, I marvel at it. I honour it. I am grateful my body endured the trials of treatment and the stress of obstacles. I have even apologized to God for blaming my body as if it was poorly made and lacking value. Speak kindly of your body and value it highly. That’s how you will heal and make healthy choices. If you value and honour something you will take care of it.
In the beginning of illness I questioned my body, and felt that it was attacking itself. I identified myself as weak and disadvantaged. Thankfully I learned the difference between seeking a true diagnosis and simply putting bandaids on the symptoms. I discovered my body was not in fact attacking itself, rather my immune system needed bolstering, not suppression. My body was not the enemy, nor had it failed me. It simply required help. This realization led to the decision to stop the war on the infections, which worked but also lambasted my organs and circulatory system.. I needed to strengthen and support my body. My body wants to heal, wants to be well, and can do so if supported.
I learned to get in tune with my body. The isolation of illness caused by fatigue allows much time for introspection and learning. I learned to analyze and understand my body’s functionings. It may seem strange but I began to talk to my body, not about my body. I would pray over my red blood cells to resist infection and to properly carry oxygen. It sounds wonky, but I believe how we speak over ourselves and about ourselves affects our ability to cope and endure.
The Art of War enforced the idea of working with the body and not against it. “In the practical act of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.” To win this war I should not injure my body. I should not become acidic and therefore increase inflammation. I should not drain my adrenals by coping with caffeine. I should not push myself through the most intensive and extreme treatments without supports and detoxing. I may kill all the infections but if I have permanent liver and heart damage, did I really win the war?
Instead of solely focusing on annihilation and killing and waging war, I focus on life. I focus on what my body needs to do, what it is meant to do and then find ways to help it. It is difficult to choose life every day when weary. But it is necessary. Why feed my diseased cells sugar and “dead” foods, when there are life-giving foods? I can appreciate my body by eating alkaline. I can choose to bolster my red blood cells. I take as many herbs and meds to ensure new blood cells do not become infected as I do to kill the infections themselves. I honour my body by ridding myself of toxins, physically through healthy make-up choices and cleaning products, but also by avoiding abusive, negative people. I am framed, hedged in by this goal to pursue wholeness.
On days when I feel weary and heavy-laden, when I slip into feeling at odds with my body, and when my desires are unattainable by a flare of fatigue or pain, I must put these “feelings” and emotions in check. The mind must conquer the emotions with practicality, truth, and faith. I must choose calm. I must choose peace. I must seek wisdom. Here are some steps that help me:
1) If able, go for a walk. Getting out of the house, breathing fresh air, running into familiar people, and just marveling at what the body can do reminds me to value life, in all its forms and stages. The ability to walk and see is not granted to all. If you lost the ability to walk freely and see nature clearly, even for a day, I think you would marvel at the intricacies and complexities of the body. Long, contemplative walks gently remind me to love and honour my body and its ability to function and move and heal.
2) On “bad” days it is easy to drink too much coffee, eat chocolate bars, and wallow in self-pity. And for a few minutes these do bring relief. But to perpetuate a week of unhealthy food to self-soothe and to allow negative thoughts to stew will bring your body further from health. It is important to choose life-giving foods and thoughts. Eat alkaline, sip lemon water, take your supplements, feed and nourish your cells and speak life into them. Support your body, not the downtrodden emotions. (I admit eating ice cream and drinking iced tea of late. The last month if pregnancy has thrown me for a loop willpower-wise. But I am eating tons of veggies and drinking lemon water and taking chlorella tablets to offset the sugar).
3) Do not push so hard. If you push yourself every day you may crash. Want to lose weight? Walk, don’t run. Lift soup cans to start before attempting barbells at the gym. Set realistic goals so that you have success and follow through. Maybe don’t attempt a diet but add in more veggies and lemon water. Go slow and accept that each goal must be broken into stages. I sometimes desire to be a woman who runs with wolves, but for now I am content being a woman who waddles with a beagle. I am grateful for each stage of progress. 4)Recall the times your body went through hell and recovered. Remember all the ways your body functions despite the abuse it’s been put through. You may feel battered and broken, but your body truly is strong and wonderfully made. On my low days, I take out my medical journals and recall all the horrid events and medical emergencies documented, and sit in wonder that my body survived them. Recalling the battles helps me treat my body more gently. The fact that we can endure injury and illness and harsh treatments is a sign of the body’s resilience, strength, and value. Honour and appreciate all your body is doing despite the struggles put against it. Speak gently and appreciatively over yourself. Let the light in.
5) I seek wisdom daily. I don’t take any medications, call any doctor, or do any activity without first praying for wisdom and guidance. I get into agreement with God each day about what needs to happen. I ask for clear perspective and peace and guidance. To talk with the One who made me is such a comfort. I don’t think I could have stayed strong or began healing without starting this habit each morning. The mind runs wild when you are all alone. Desperation and anxiety can take over. Instead I choose to talk it all over with the Giver of Life. This ensures positive thinking, uplifted spirits. Even if I physically crumble and die, I can do so in peace and joy. A relapse or “bad” day does not make me question my life’s value. I do not blame God or feel betrayed. All life has value despite what society’s standards suggest. I am as valuable lying in bed hooked up to IV as I was earning a living and volunteering in the community. What a relief to have finally ascended to this point!
My wish for you is to be strong and courageous. And sometimes that means being gentle with yourself and adjusting your idea of wellness.