“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen
I have a long history with pain and poorly functioning limbs so I was delighted to leave my Physical Therapist’s office with a clean bill of health. At least for that day.
But it was what my PT noticed about the work I did that struck me, “… you showed dedication in sticking with this new exercise program, tweaking and resting as needed, even when the activity itself seemed to create more pain”. I knew what I wanted when we started and I had clear benchmarks in mind for improvement and I couldn’t have done this alone. I can only take risks when I’m working with someone I trust and has something to offer.
No surprise here at I’m a believer in getting support when trying to make important changes. I wouldn’t do the work I do if I didn’t use resources myself.
After 35 years of living with debilitating autoimmune diseases, my body is currently stable and illnesses are relatively quiet. I’mhealthy to a degree I didn’t think would be possible to achieve again. I’ve had times like this before and I have no doubt that this, too, will change. I’m trying to savor it while it lasts.
But I also know that I never climb out of the dark places of illness and bad health on my own. I create a village to support me.
And each time I’m working with a client who is in that kind of bad time — when chronic health problems suck the life force out you and you lose any semblance of who you were — I’m struck by the determination it takes to climb out.
If all you can see is pain, fatigue and a life of loss, how do you muster the energy, courage and hope to keep your spirits afloat? Where do you find the resilience to keep trying? What words or actions will help this person to stop wallowing in chronically bad health and create a different place that supports balance, resilience realistic hope?
Does it sound simplistic to say that there is a broad stroke approach you can take?
- Distraction — do things that shift our mind from negative thinking so you can be productive.
- Mood lifting activities — these should be things that actually move your mood you to a more positive place.
- Engage in satisfying experiences — focus on what you can do (not what you can’t) that allows you to get out of yourself.
Doing the above requires motivation. Few of us are born with grit and resilience. But I believe that we all have the capacity to develop it.
Do you want to be that person who finds a glimmer of hope — even when your body seems determined to shut it down?
What do you do to find the light?
FYI -I listen to music that soothes my soul.