I’ve had a bit of a personal epiphany this week. Just like many epiphanies it has resulted from several ideas floating around in my head all coming together to make more than their parts. It resulted in one big but very simple truth shouting out at me, and it’s something I want to share.
Our mind/body entity has only 2 fundamental states: tension or relaxation.
The importance of this realisation is that our body can only work on healing whilst it’s in relaxation mode, so anything that gets in the way of proper relaxation; any kind of tension at all, reduces the chance of our body winning the battle with illness.
Sometimes we think we are relaxing when we are not. My morning T’ai Chi can be very relaxing but not when I switch to auto pilot and my mind starts planning what I’m going to do with my day or ruminating about something that happened yesterday. Watching a trashy movie can be relaxing but not when you’re silently resenting the fact that you don’t have the energy to do anything else! Even when we are doing relaxing things we need to be careful that our thoughts aren’t keeping us in tension mode!
A long time ago I identified that the key to my initial recovery was developing an attitude of relaxed effortless in all that I did. I’ve somehow understood the importance of relaxation and I’ve identified many strategies to achieving it but on one level I’ve somehow underestimated its importance. I still haven’t quite achieved a way of being that keeps me grounded in a relaxed state. Not to the extent that I did the first time around anyway.
I think I’ve been a little too focused on relaxed effortlessness as a means of energy management and on tackling what I’ve identified as the different illness mechanisms involved in ME/CFS. When actually all I really need to do is just relax and be. All I really need to know is that my body will take care of healing me as long as I can keep it in a relaxed state for as much time as possible.
One of the things that contributed to this epiphany was reading a post in a facebook group called The Community of Hope for Recovery of M.E. /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In this post Elyse mentioned that one of the things that contributed to her recovery was giving up caring. What she meant by that was giving up focusing on her symptoms and caring about what they meant. If you decide to join the group you can find her story at this link.
I’ve realised I can ‘care’ too much about my symptoms too: focusing on them and worrying about how to tackle them keeps me in a state of tension. I resolve to take my symptoms (and myself in general) less seriously from now on. The more light-hearted I can be the more relaxed I will be.
The simple message behind this is epiphany is that the best way to beat chronic illness is to dedicate yourself to getting really good at being properly relaxed, body and mind!
With that in mind I wish you all an abundance of Peace, Love, Joy and Laughter this holiday season, all of which I trust will bring you healing!
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