How to Navigate the Emotional Tangles of Serious Illness (with Free E-Guide)
When we are ill, disabled, in an accident or newly diagnosed (especially with a chronic or long-term illness) it can feel like our bodies, our personalities, our dreams and even our emotions are no longer our own.
Trapped in a forest of foreign emotions or feeling intense grief or anger can, in itself, be immensely trying.
In the next month of blog posts I want to share some ideas from my book From Sick Chick to Trail Blazer: Reclaiming Your World. We will look at the how we can recognise and understand emotion as it grips us and how to reclaim ourselves by mapping a path out.
Our emotions have so much potential in them. They can help us move further along our paths into joy and new experiences or mire us in a mud of grief and stuck beliefs.
It helps at the beginning to recognise the power our emotions have.
The burden of carrying around the sadness, grief, frustrations and old stories around our health can actually be further exhausting us. Click to Tweet.
I don’t know about you but personally there are few things I find more exhausting than strong emotions (and that’s saying something).
We are carrying our anger, frustrations and old stories about our bodies and chronic illnesses or pain around with us. We can choose to set them down, it’s much easier to write than to do of course. But although we may feel our emotions, we are not our emotions. We are the one who observes them, we are the space in between our thoughts.
This is an amazing time in the world, you are in an exceptional place. In being here, reading this, you have the availability and opportunity to keep just the lessons and the love you have learned from your struggles and leave the rest behind.
Give Me the Why
Why bother? If pain and struggles will always happen then why bother trying to clear all the emotions when they will only come back? My answer to that is simple; when you clear out old emotions you are releasing burdens, struggles and tension and easing your pain.
Don’t think that these emotional pains are without physical consequence.
We have our primary pain, the one resulting from our condition. Say we have a back problem, it hurts so we tense. And we can’t reach or bend comfortably so we don’t and then we aren’t moving at all really. Then everything is getting stiffer and tenser. We become angry and resentful at the chronic pain and these emotions get stuck, they aren’t expressed or dealt with and we just get tenser and tenser. Which leads to more pain. Which means we move less, hurt more and we go around and around in circles.
If we can release the secondary pain then we will still have to deal with our original, primary pain but really, who wouldn’t want their pain levels dropped, perhaps drastically? Let’s begin there.
Difficult to restore;
Emotions move easily
When first they arise,
Become pain when suppressed;
To respond and release
Means less toil later.
by Haven Trevino
from Prayers for Healing. Ed. Maggie Oman.
Acceptance is such a huge and healing process. It’s too good to be relegated to just a stage in the grieving process or an over-used emotional buzz-word. If you stopped right now and concentrated the rest of your life and self development on sheer acceptance then dear one, that might just be enough.
There is so much ease, love, joy and peace hiding right behind acceptance. It may not look like one of the most glamourous healing options (yoga poses and exotic juice-drinks are so much more colourful) but acceptance is something we skip at our peril.
The Effects When We Accept
When you accept yourself, where you are right now and everything you are experiencing in this moment the struggles fall away and it all just ‘is’. Seeing yourself with unconditional acceptance inspires sweet self-talk and opens up new possibilities.
Let’s face it, wouldn’t it be easier to begin a new project/exercise regime/book without the voice of doubt hissing away in your ear all the time?
If your best friend rang you up and excitedly told you her new (business/family/travel) plans, would you shoot it all down and tell her it’s impossible until she has earned more money, dropped 20 lbs, paid off her debt and bought some new jeans?
No, of course not, because then she probably wouldn’t try anything new again. You’d encourage her and tell her now was the perfect time. You’d lend support.
This is exactly what happens in our own minds when we have an idea-embryo, we shoot ourselves down.
How much of your innate potential would acceptance free up and just how good would that feel? If you moved from the place of believing you can do what you dream of doing and the health challenges are merely a factor, not an insurmountable obstacle. How much would you love your precious life then?
Imagine it now.
Where to Begin?
Start where you are. Begin today, now, in this moment.
Notice where you are hurting and where there are emotions and pains ready to be released.
When things aren’t ready to go we don’t want to try and push them away as they often stick harder then. Just notice and allow, accept. Over and over again.
What are we supposed to do to release these emotions and encourage acceptance?
Well, I have a how-to guide just for you.
It’s an exclusive extract from my new e-guide The Sick Chick’s Survival Guide.
Want more support in your emotional allowing?
Make sure you sign up to our Trail Blazing Times newsletter.
We’ll send you your free Mindfulness Meditation MP3. Pop your email in the box below to get the healing goodness!