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How the Power of Acceptance Helped Me Embrace My Life With Chronic Illness

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It wasn’t until I fully embraced my health circumstances that I was able to live peacefully with them.

Three years in the making, acceptance of my illness has finally freed me. Before I got here, I begrudged this body. It had done so much to change my life and that of my family. Caused me to stop doing the work I love. Severely impacted my social life. Made us sell a house I loved. Thrust immediate change upon my young kids.

A mind in denial

I used to say it changed my personality, the very essence of who I was. The change professional was clearly in denial. My mind constantly going back and forth between the current reality and the past wishing I could be as I was. I was trapped and it was soul-destroying. But with the passage of time and finally a dawning that this thing is here to stay, it was time to get off the “merry go round.” I had had enough. So I surrendered myself to it and did what I could to make the best of it.

Accepting what’s been and what is to come

I still have bad body days. But they don’t impact my mind as much. Because I know if I manage my triggers well enough I can have good days too. Good days. Bad days. Sometimes a bit of both. These days, that’s just me. I’m a changed version of me with new lifestyle requirements to adhere to. But that’s OK. It’s a new time. A new place. A new me ultimately.

Acceptance is a powerful thing. It enables you to let go of what’s holding you back. To focus so much more on the good. To focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t. And there is good to be had in my not so new circumstances. Simpler living. Smaller bills to pay. Quieter living. Comfort in time spent with my family. Breathing space.

As Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher, said:

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

I’m now flowing forward. It’s not been an easy journey to get here, but somehow it was one I was meant to take.

Looking to embrace something new about you? Join a community of others looking to do the same in my Freedom to Choose Facebook Group.

This post originally appeared on Thrive Global and The Daily Manic.

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Originally published: October 19, 2017
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