Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Respecting Yourself--Another Step Toward Acceptance

"Respect Your Wiring
Some people are excitable, while others are placid. Some people excel at following directions, while others are best at improvising. Most of us spend a tremendous amount of our lives wishing that we were wired differently, that we could magically shift the basic aspects of our personalities at will. This creates self-opposition, which keeps us from being present to what is. Accepting something about ourselves that we’ve long resisted, by contrast, is a wonderful way to relax into the Now.

The Practice: Select one aspect of your wiring that you consistently disdain. Perhaps you’re shy or talk too much. Perhaps you tend to isolate yourself or to socialize compulsively. Whatever it is, give yourself a moment to stop fighting. Just let it be. You don’t have to like it–just accept it. See how it feels to live without any opposition toward this trait. Keep going until you’re loose, expanded, and flowing with energy. Ironically, to whatever degree change is possible, this type of energy is exactly what will bring it about."

(I wish I could remember where I read this, the other day, but I guess I forgot to copy the source as well as the content, so if you know, please tell me so I can give proper credits.)

After reading this, I began to think, once again, about the importance of accepting my disease in the effort to cultivate peace in my life.

How often do we complain about our hair? If it's curly, we want it straight; if it's brunette, we want blonde, etc. Well, you can imagine how often I wish that I didn't have migraines. I wish that things were as they used to be when I was able to do so much more than I can now. I hate the migraines that have destroyed my life. And, so, isn't it ironic that I now have to accept my greatest enemy as a permanent fixture in my life. Because of that, I have to accept so many other things about myslelf that when I do this excercise, it seems like the list could be endless. Not only do I have to accept my hips and tummy, which, shallow as that may seem, is difficult enough, but I also have to accept the fact that I can't just get up and go to the mall; or "simply" go out to dinner, both of which take alot of pre-planning in order to do. And the mall, *shudders*, well, need I say that the thoughts of more than 15 minutes under flourescent lighting, with noise, and food court and perfume smells abounding, gives me the willies? I have to make sure that I've packed my medication; my rescue meds; my rescue emergency letter, in case I end up in the emergency room while we're on the road; take my meds before I leave, so the bumpy road won't hurt as much; my neck brace, to stabilize my neck on the bumpy road; and, last, but certainly not least, I have to plan WHEN I will leave and come home, because when I go out for a day that usually means that I'll be on the couch in pain for 1-4 days afterward, depending on how big a day it is. (It's worth it, though, just to get out of this stuffy little trailer, so worth it!).

Does that mean that because I accept the fact that I have alot of limitations in what I'm able to do and how much I can do, that I stop looking for treatments that will raise the quality of my life? Of course not. I may accept the fact that there are ants in my house, but that doesn't mean that I won't call in the exterminator to get rid of them. I'm not defeated by generating acceptance. Rather, I am allowing myself the right to exist, side-by-side with people who aren't challenged like me; and I am giving myself a gift of peace that I can rest in day-to-day, knowing that I have a disease, but the disease is not who I am. It gives me the confidence that I need to say, "no", when I am unable to do something that someone else wants to pressure me into doing, without guilt or embarrassment.

I think that's what Respecting Your Wiring is really all about. It's respecting yourself the way you are AT THIS VERY MOMENT, in spite of how you used to be and how you may be in future. It's being present in your own skin and with your thoughts. So, maybe I'm taking one more step on the path of peace when I try to respect my own wiring. What do you think? What was your experience when you practiced this in your life? How did that affect how you saw yourself immediately afterward?


At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Eleanor said...

Hi Jessica. I found your blog through a number of others, starting with

I've had Chronic Daily Headache for 7 years. My doctors can't seem to agree on whether or not they are migraines, I have some of the symptoms and not others. Acceptance is something I still struggle with daily.

I live in a small community, Wellington, New Zealand, so sometimes it's really hard to find others who I can relate to what I go through. The internet has become my surrogate support group!

Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Hi, Eleanor. Thanks for reading my blog. I bow to your years of experience in dealing with CDH. I've only been dealing with this for a couple years, so far. One thing I've realized, from participating at Rhonda's migraine site, ( among other's, is that everyone experiences different symptoms. The main symptom that is universal, however, is the pain. I too have made the internet into my support group. When it's too painful to travel, you have to turn to the internet and thank goodness there are other folks out there that get it, because otherwise, I would've lost my sanity, years ago. Thanks for visiting. I hope you do it again and leave a comment anytime. Also, if you ever have suggestions for dealing with this horrible disease, please, feel free to drop a comment on that, too. It really helps.

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Eleanor said...

Different things work for different people, obviously, but I am very happy to talk about what works for me.

Basically, I find that prevention is better than cure. My headaches appear to be caused by chronic muscle tension, which creates trigger points in the muscles of my shoulders and neck, referring pain up into my head. So I do everything I can to relax, physically and mentally. I have regular massages, and do yoga. I listen to soothing music, have hot baths, get as much sleep as I can.

As far as treatment goes, I see a chiropractor regularly, and have Botox injections in my shoulders and neck. The latter is extremely expensive, but has gone a long way towards releasing tension and trigger points that are YEARS old.

I also have a special exercise programme which targets weak muscles. The idea is that a lot of my muscle tension is caused by an imbalance in the muscular system, causing some muscles to overwork. The plan is that as the exercise programme progresses, I will be able to increase the time between Botox treatments.

Have you read Paula Kamen's book "All In My Head"? I recommend it to anyone suffering from CDH. It doesn't have all the answers, but it is well-researched and very informative.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous personal development said...

Nice blog. If you like you can visit hypnosis.

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