#BlogElul 5 – Accept

BlogElul graphic As many of you know, I’ve been living with a chronic disease since 1987. It has waxed and waned over the years, but it is not likely ever to be “cured”. The best I can aim for is extended periods of remission, punctuated by uncomfortable flareups. The reason I am telling you this is not to elicit a pity party, but to talk about acceptance.

I am not a person who accepts limitations easily. I have been rebelling against this presence in my life for nearly 30 years. My image of myself is of a healthy person who has boundless energy to do what she wants, takes on projects and new businesses and new ventures and just does everything.

I want to stay up late and get up early, and never mind the research (and personal experience) that shows that lack of sleep is a major trigger for autoimmune flareups.

I want to eat whatever I want, and not have to think about how my body is likely to react to the food in front of me. This despite the fact that I have been able to control (mostly) my condition with food and lifestyle changes for the last few years, and I always pay a price when I stray from the right path.

So what does acceptance have to do with any of this?

It’s really a form of self-love. It means that I’m whole and wonderful and amazing even if I can’t run the same laps as my classmates who are in their 30s. It means that it is entirely OK for me to pass on the bagels at morning minyan, and not feel deprived. Yes, bagels taste good, but not being in pain is even better.

When I accept that bagels are not good for me, I have no qualms about avoiding them.

When I accept that sleep is crucial for my healing, I go to bed on time.

When I accept that my body feels better when it’s moving, I go for a walk.

How about you, what do you need to accept in order to love yourself better?

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