Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Love Theory

These physical journeys we take with our bodies are nothing short of remarkable. I am ever in awe of the way each part of the body works in tandem with each other, like a big puzzle that was designed before we took our first breaths. They are incredible, even when illness occurs. It's the way we treat our illnesses that can make the greatest difference in how we heal. My "Love Theory" is based on the Golden Rule,  Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.   It is meant as a guide for maximizing our enjoyment of life while also maximizing what the body can do amidst severe illness and pain.

Around the 5th or 6th year anniversary of dealing with my painful disease, I made a huge shift in the way I saw it. Rather than seeing it as the shackles around my ankles, I started imagining it as a chain of links by which I was connected to other patients, creating a human chain.  My illness became integrated, not isolated. It's about finding unity amidst adversity.
With the new vision of my pain being a path towards inner strength and empathy, I started looking for other ways to stay positive even when it seemed there was  no hope. I felt like my body and spirit had a friendship; two bodies of energy trying survive. Then introduce the illness that uses both of us as hosts.  I think the normal reaction is to detest that which attacks us. It's human nature to run FROM illness, not TOWARDS it. We want to purge disease in any way we can.

I speak from experience when I say that Western medicine is running out of options, at least for me. As for alternative medicine, there are great options to help manage symptoms and heal the body. For example, acupuncture helps a lot for certain symptom control. However, I can't do it every day, or even every week. I've been needing something I could access from within, 24/7, no cost, no transportation. All I needed to do was find my center, and I would find a source of healing.

This is where the Golden Rule applies. As I have been searching my soul for internal wells of healing, I could hear my Nana telling me to bless my body, to love it. She dealt with so much pain, especially at the end, but she always declared her unconditional love for the vessel that had taken her through life. I started wondering if, perhaps, our illnesses treat us with the same attitude we deal with them. I realize many of you at this point are thinking me crazy for giving my illness the power of intention. You are welcome to stop reading at any time.

I wondered if we dealt with our illnesses or symptoms with a loving spirit, not a hateful one, if we nurtured them towards healing, they would heal almost like babies with colic that are cradled in loving arms until they fall asleep. It's not a matter of liking or loving being sick. It's the attitude with which we choose to heal. We can heal lovingly or hatefully. If I loved my body, with all its imperfections, and treated my illness like a child that needed healed, perhaps it would be less angry. If we can treat our illness and pain with love, perhaps it will recover with love. I believe love trumps every other emotion in spades. If that's our attitude towards healing, I believe we would see a difference on our roads back to health.

I think we all come into the World with love. On the same token, we all die with love as we are returned to God. Why should we not suffer with love? This isn't to be misunderstood as loving the suffering and scars and disabilities. It’s about treating our illnesses with the same love, respect and dignity we would like to be shown on our path to healing.  

I believe that healing is a profound and epic experience that takes one on a sometimes turbulent journey. By remaining true to a loving and nurturing attitude, I believe healing is more apt to happening than if we approach it with anger. Negativity and anger use up far more energy than love and compassion. So if you are on what you believe is a path to wellness, but all you spend energy on is wallowing in negativity, you are compromising your recovery. 

I have an image in my head of how this process is happening. It's actually more like a blurry memory. When I was a baby, my Nana bought a rocker for me, and she and my parents spent hours rocking me until I would fall asleep. They couldn't just put me in my crib. I had to be rocked. That chair is long gone, but I can imagine myself in it, rocking back and forth and speaking to my body, almost like a lullaby. I offer gratitude to the illness for all the lessons it's taught me. I reassure it not to be afraid to move on. Despite all the obstacles I've had to overcome, I still believe that healing with love is better than healing with hate. In fact, I don't think healing with hate is healing at all, but to each his own.

Under any circumstance, I believe that love is the super power of the Universe. It can empower or humble us. The "Love Theory" is an idea that has flowed from my heart in an attempt to leave positive breadcrumbs for others with chronic pain to follow.  In the grand scheme of things, we can't change certain things, only our reaction to them. My pain is in my life, and part of loving myself means loving my pain. It is a powerful teacher. No matter what the future may hold, love is my inner compass and greatest friend. May you be blessed with the same love in your lives.