Acceptance is a tricky word when trying to explain to people that I have “Accepted” my illness. Acceptance does not mean that I am giving up or giving in. In fact, the ability to accept one’s current situation comes from a place of incredible strength and not weakness. I wish people in my life would understand that if I was giving up, I wouldn’t get out of bed every day and face the world. I wouldn’t continue to go to countless doctor visits or try new supplements or medications or continue with physical therapy.
Accepting the reality of my current situation means that I don’t have false expectations of myself or others. It means that I can finally look truthfully at my current life situation and try and figure out how to live differently, but still live a life with meaning. Unfortunately we can not alter what has happened to us in the past, we can only adjust our expectations and our actions to fit into our new life.
I am not a buddhist, but recently read a very insightful book by Toni Bernhard entitled “How to Be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill”. I would highly recommend this book for anybody struggling with a chronic health situation. Buddhism teaches that one of the main paths to spiritual growth and awakening, is the acceptance of all things, as they are in this moment. It teaches us to acknowledge that things are the way they are and that we need to accept the situation as it is. Rejecting our current situation and pushing reality away, only causes us more hurt and suffering. Toni’s book shows us how she dealt with her suffering and was able to find happiness even in the most difficult situation.
I have to accept my limits or else I will constantly be relapsing and collapsing and what kind of living is that. I am still on my journey to find happiness and contentment, while living with a chronic condition, but at least I have stopped pushing the truth away and have begun to accept where I am.
Perhaps happiness is right around the corner. One can only hope….