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Dear Lyme: I'm Sorry, I Forgive You, Thank You, I Love You

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Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian forgiveness practice that typically uses the mantra “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” Although it’s usually used to heal relationships with other people, I decided to apply this technique to Lyme in order to have a better relationship with my illness and help me heal. When I was first diagnosed with Lyme, I had a lot of anger and blamed it for ruining my life. But as time passed I challenged myself to become more accepting of it in order to take back the power it had over me.

I’m sorry:

For ignoring your symptoms and making excuses, hoping they would just go away. For not listening to you and for not taking care of myself properly. For pushing myself too hard. For not making myself a priority.

I forgive you:

For the year of stress trying to find a diagnosis for my symptoms. For the chronic pain, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, memory issues, brain fog and insomnia you caused me. For forcing me to become bedridden, stop working and use all my savings trying to treat you. For taking all my energy so that I couldn’t shower, cook, do errands or go out with friends. For all the judgmental comments I had to endure from people not understanding what I was going through. For causing stress in my relationships. For forcing me to feel things that were ugly and painful.

Thank you:

For being my greatest teacher. For teaching me to be stronger, more patient, more compassionate, less judgmental. For teaching me to let go of control and have faith and trust. For showing me that perfectionism isn’t healthy, practical or necessary. For teaching me that I need to live in the present moment instead of focusing on the past or worrying about the future. For showing me I needed to slow down, make myself a priority, and incorporate self-care practices on a daily basis. For teaching me that it’s OK and actually healthy to say “no.” For teaching me that it’s possible to find gratitude every day, and that I should take nothing for granted. For teaching me to find joy in the smallest things. For connecting me with wonderful people I never would have met otherwise.

I love you:

For the change you spurred in me – I am now a different person. For making me love myself more. For forcing me to get to know myself better and realize I’m more than my illness. For showing me that we never truly know how it feels to be in another’s shoes. For helping me put everything into perspective. For showing me how fragile life is and how to appreciate every moment. For teaching me to live in a way that is healthier and more fulfilling. For showing me how lucky I am to have an amazing, supportive, loving team of people on my side including family, friends, doctors, nurses, therapists and healers. For leading me on a healing journey that is only getting better each day. For giving me a story to tell and experiences to share that can benefit and inspire others.

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Photo via OlgaPink on Getty Images

Originally published: January 11, 2018
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