I received and completed lesson one and the course setup is interesting, divided into a guided meditation, followed by writing segments (i.e. Transformational Action Steps and Confidence Builder), ending with a Courage Affirmation. I made a vow to post my thoughts even as I still feel really weird letting it all hang out there. Here goes…
Transformational Action Steps: If I were 100% confident I would not struggle so inherently with faith and self image. Both of which are deeply intertwined. Sometimes I wonder if this hatred of my body has helped to create my illness. My struggle with faith only adds to increased suffering and uncertainty. Rather than feeling confident and comfortable in my own skin and in my beliefs, I doubt. I question. I fear. I lack trust.
Intuitively I understand myself, I am self-aware, and yet I cannot seem to trust in who I am. Struggling with the belief that something is inherently wrong with me and I am fundamentally unworthy. Years of therapy let me recognize that such thoughts are bull shit, but they are so ingrained, remnants of a difficult childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, surrounded by mental illness.
The disease of perfectionism is another crutch to manage. Years passed with me so out of control in my surroundings, all I could control was myself. And so my perfectionism was born.
Now my own body is attacking itself; my autoimmune system is attacking the myelin and grey matter in my brain and spinal cord. I have an illness that attacks my brain. My brain. My sense of self, my control center, my whole self, the organ that controls it all. My thoughts, perceptions, bodily functions. Everything that makes me, me. I spent so long mired in the mental illness of others and now I struggle with an illness that affects my central nervous system. Coincidence? Bad luck? Shit karma? Scientific randomness?
I’m left with painful truths and decisions. If I can finally heal the relationship with my body, past wounds and find the courage to love myself the way I am, flaws, illness, and all, I hope that my faith and courage will increase ending, or greatly reducing, my suffering. I hope that I can better manage multiple sclerosis and whatever other illnesses may eventually come my way, including my current cancer health scare.
Daily mantra: Don’t only focus on the negative. Positive outcomes are just as likely. Repeat as often as needed.
Confidence Builder: Part of lesson one is to list my strengths as a way to build confidence. So what exactly do I like/love about myself. I always hate creating such lists, but here goes:
- Creative/Artistic: I’d feel lost without my ability to paint and write.
- Initiative: I love that I go after what I want. Case in point, creating a full-time painting and writing career. Even if it takes me years to become financially successful.
- Kind: I like being kind and harmonious rather than an ass-hole.
- Compassionate/Empathetic: I try to treat others as I wish to be treated and understand differing perspectives.
- Intelligent: I’m grateful that I’m smart and can figure things out on my own.
- Independent: I love being my own person with my own ideas. Doing what I want, when I want.
- Adventurous: I love to travel and enjoy learning about and seeing new cultures.
- Open minded: I try not to be overly judgmental and am pretty open about most things — not overly traditional.
- Loyal: It may take a while before I trust you, but once you’ve earned my trust, you have my absolute loyalty.
- Fair: I try to be fair and equal.
- Honest: I’ll tell you the truth, sometimes a little too bluntly.
- Spiritual: Spirituality is important to me. Even if I’m still trying to figure my shit out.
- Intuitive: Internal self-growth and awareness when I actual listen and trust myself.
- Athletic: Even when ill my body allows me to push boundaries when I try, Example: Training for and completing a 45-mile bike ride in 2017’s MS City to Shore.
That’s all folks. Apparently I’m supposed to add to this list as more traits come to mind, so now is a good time as any to stop.
Courage Affirmation: It is safe for me to thrive.