Fibromyalgia is a devastating illness. Not only are we in pain all or most of the time, but it impacts every area of our life.
It challenges our relationships. It can limit our career and ability to express ourselves in the world. It brings anxiety and depression daily. It limits our ability to socialize and enjoy it. It steals our sense of self worth and well-being.
It can completely take over our life and sense of self.
Emphasize the Positive
Yet, we can bring some balance and sense of self by emphasizing the positive. One of my favorite teachers taught me that we had to balance our experience by emphasizing the positive.
Especially with fibromyalgia, there is so much negative experience on a daily basis it can be very easy to be consumed by it. To the extent that it can become our identity. We forget who we really are.
During my worst years of my fibromyalgia, I was nearly consumed by it. My saving grace was my practice of yoga and meditation along with teaching yoga. Those practices gave me a sense of who I was beyond the fibromyalgia. They brought love, joy and peace into my life. And helped me greatly.
Since then, I have learned more ways to emphasize the positive on a regular basis.
Challenges of Emphasizing the Positive
I understand the challenges of emphasizing the positive. There are days that you simply can’t do it. On those days, practice compassion and kindness for yourself, accepting where you are. That in and of itself is emphasizing the positive.
The idea of cultivating joy had always been something that I didn’t think I could do. Joy seemed to be out of my reach. Then one of my teachers explained that Joy wasn’t jumping around in a state of bliss.
Joy could be finding peace in reading an inspirational book or listening to some calming music. Or doing something that you love, gardening, drawing, watching a funny movie, having a talk with a dear friend.
Anything that you do that helps you to feel uplifted is cultivation joy. The options are endless. What do you do, or can you do that gives you a sense of peace, relaxation, or upliftment? That is you cultivating joy.
Kindness to yourself and others is a wonderful balm for the heart, mind and emotions. Even if you are having a horrible day, if you are compassionate with yourself, that is an act of kindness. A smile or compliment to someone, whether a family member or stranger is an act of kindness.
I used to notice things I appreciated about people, like I liked a piece of jewelry or clothing that they were wearing, or a hair style. Then I thought, why share that with them person. It is remarkably amazing. Lifts my spirit and theirs.
When you have a bad fibro day, kindness to yourself is your best ally. That could look like sleeping and resting for the day, taking a nap, having a warm cup of tea.
How do you show kindness to yourself when you are having a rough day?
Peace and Love are offshoots of Kindness and Joy
When you are cultivating kindness and joy, peace and love are natural and flowing. It brings you in touch with your heart, your needs, and your self-love.
Contemplation for this week
This week, take some time to contemplate where you are regarding cultivating joy and kindness or love, and peace or compassion into your life. Easy? Hard? Got it mastered? Could use some work?
Then make a list of things that you do or can do to cultivate joy and kindness in your life. Get creative around this. Here are some questions to consider.
- What calms and relaxes you.
- What brings you joy and delight.
- How do you practice self-love and compassion?
- What do you like to do?
- How do you take care of yourself on a bad day?
By making a list, on those days when you are having a fibro flare and life seems miserable and never ending, you will have a list of things that you can do to navigate the day.
May you cultivate Joy and Kindness into your life, 💕Bindu