10 Ways to Love Yourself When You Live With Lupus

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

It can be a very hard task to love yourself beyond the pain that lupus brings, but it is necessary. There are a couple of steps you can take to begin the process of just loving who you are beyond lupus.

1. Begin your day with love.

In order for you to get through the hard days, try starting your day in meditation and positive thoughts to saturate your being with love. You have to spend time focusing inward daily to clear the path to a better day beyond your pain.

2. Speak happy over you.

Yes, it is difficult to deal and fight lupus day to day. That is the reality. You have to use positive affirmations sometimes just to get the day started in the most productive way you can. Don’t continue to self-criticize yourself and make your moments even more difficult than they need to be.

3. Get honest with how you feel.

You have to get honest as to how you feel about your battle with lupus. Acknowledge those feelings and begin to process them so you can begin to heal emotionally. The masks you place to hide lupus must be removed in order for you to heal emotionally to deal with lupus positively and purposefully. Realize how important your emotional state is to healing your body beyond the constant pain.

4. Allow yourself to relax.

Breathe, relax and let go. It can be hard with the pain but it is necessary to stop fighting against yourself in order to understand and deal with your emotions during pain. You have to let your body and spirit rest before your body and mind force you to.

5. Be patient with yourself.

Stop blaming yourself for things you had no control over. It is not your fault you have lupus. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you create a double fight with your body and spirit. Be patient with yourself in going through the process of dealing with a chronic illness.

6. Accept uncertainty.

Lupus is so unpredictable and as a warrior, it’s important to accept that. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it has to be accepted so you can live in your present moment in peace.

7. Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself for being your harshest critic during your most difficult times. Having lupus is no easy feat but forgiving yourself for not being able to do what you want to will give you the strength to accept it all and move peacefully in your moments. Forgive yourself for judging you in the times when you need to love you most.

8. Be real.

Be real about how you feel at all times. The time has come to stop hiding behind the masks of lupus. Be real with how you allow yourself to be seen, known and heard. Grow more comfortable allowing people in your world of lupus pain so you are not creating a super human to those who misunderstand what lupus is.

9. Focus on the positive.

Get in your head and heart that you are amazing beyond lupus. Yes, you have pain which can create some major setbacks, but you are still able to fight. Get positively in tune with you.

10. Seek professional help.

Lupus is hard to deal with and it can create in you a self-rejection and neglect that can be extremely painful. You deserve to be happy beyond lupus. You have a right to be accepted and loved by you. If necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor or coach. It will be the best investment you will make.

Loving yourself can be one of the hardest things to do while battling lupus. We can get down on ourselves and notice every flaw. We may focus on who we used to be instead of the greatness of who we are in this moment. You have to work at reconditioning your love of self. Begin to do what you need to do to make yourself feel good, to make yourself happy. Don’t try and be perfect, but be proud of who you are beyond the limits lupus imposes.

This post originally appeared on Lupus in Color.

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