I've been taking some much needed "me" time the last few days and quite frankly, my body put me down so I have been "catching up", enjoying my family and taking in life. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a huge proponent of balance and the power of restore, rebalance and reflect. What I call "Me Time" is a mastered skill for some, comes easily for others and as I have found is something many do not fit into their schedule. If you find yourself in the land of the #chronicallyFabulous aka the #youdontlooksick club then I implore you to schedule time for yourself as you would your tedious and exhausting doctor's appointments. Our bodies deal with much and taking care of ourselves should be top priority.
During my "me time", I have been quite sick. I have sat with physicians who did not give me reports that I wanted to hear. I needed to reflect and reign myself back in. I am a logically driven woman and when hit with emotions I need to center. I am fully aware of my Myers-Brigg's (MBTI) report and my Enneagram (tests I feel every human being should participate in as a part of their overall growth and self awareness path). Although, there are many, these happen to be two of my preferred. No matter, I found myself going over my current place in my #chronicillness journey.
As I began this process over that last 4 days I reminisced over the last 7 years. I reflected from the once healthy life that I had. I remembered being fully able and capable of holding down a fulltime job, volunteering approximately 20 plus hours afterwards while being a single mother and still finding time for another passion of weight training almost 5-6 days at the gym at 5:30 every morning or in the evening if I had missed my alarm. I spent much time reading and praying as I still do. I hold my belief system yet am open to you and all religious aspects and opinions as I am a person of relationship and I attend a church who believes the same. Mine is not to judge yet only to love which is a platform I have held since a child, for I know the pain of judgement and it is not one I wish to pass on to others. I reflected upon becoming severely ill and floundering while doctors shook their head while I was literally in and out of hospitals via car and ambulance for two straight years until I received the diagnosis of non #diabetic #idiopathic #gastroparesis and sent on my way with little literature and no support system. I had to find a "new me" with a new goal and reframe my entire life's purpose with this new body I had been blessed with and ever surmounting diagnoses as my journey continued. I fretted every single test and scan as it seemed to only garner me a new diagnosis or specialist as it still does. What it did bring me was community! What it did bring me was something I never thought I would find...an ocean!
Today, I sat and listened to a message quite profound. A message I have been repeating for years. "You're going to have a very hard time keeping up with being me" - my words. I believe everyone is born an extremely unique version of what the world needs in that moment they arrive and are granted a skillset which only they can give but in working with others in combination with peace, love, harmony and unity can accomplish so much more than just one. The message today was "We are greater than ME"! It is as if I were speaking directly back to myself and it was quite refreshing and encouraging. You see, as I was reflecting over these last few days I was also reading. I was reading emails, private messages and texts. I was going over the tone in which they came to me. Did they mean to be condescending? Did they mean to call me "a queen" because my pseudonym is "The Glitter Queen" yet that is in love as our entire team literally blesses the sick, hurting, broken and lonely or even just because to bring love, hope and cheer (with a little added sparkle and glitter) as a form of my very heart with joy as an extension of my life so why would this be done to hurt? Perhaps, I am mistaken or perhaps I am being awakened to someone's pain and they need more love. Maybe, they do not feel they are a drop in the ocean but merely just a drop. There was also many messages of encouragement that we are indeed an ocean and so I continued on refocusing on the greater good and community heart that I have.
The message today spoke about how often we overestimate what we can do by ourselves while underestimating our own contribution to a greater community. What we can't do, someone else can. We do have impact as individuals but just think of what we can do together! It is essentially my entire mantra handed right back to me on a silver platter. The man delivering this message took it a step further though. He broke down a very slippery slope of what could happen if one stays in the 'me' category as if to be only the drop and not the ocean. He addressed the ego! Oh goodness! Ego often times does not want to be a part of the greater good and has a difficult time working within community. I know none of us have ever encountered ego in the chronically ill community, our workplace, church, family, physicians office or even trying to make a difference while advocating but I will share because I wanted to tuck this away to ensure that I, myself, do not venture into this arena nor do the people involved in blessing the entire population in which we serve so here it is. 1) Ego tells you "I am conforming" / I cannot conform to this community or I will lose myself and my agenda 2) Ego likes to be needed 3) Ego likes to do what it wants in its own way / no team playing and 4) Ego will tell you that you're not getting credit. I have to say that when I heard this I was disheartened. I felt sorry for those with this mentality and I can say that for me I do not ever want to appear this way. I want people to look at me and say that I gave with my whole heart. I want people to look at me in quite the opposite manner. I want to be known in the ways in which I will describe below.
The opposing factor in ego is the "WE" mentality. I stole a phrase from my brother which everyone knows and says as well but it is famously known in my house and that is "Teamwork makes the DREAM WORK" and it does. I cannot do great things on my own. I can do things and I can do a lot of things pretty well; however, I am wise enough to know that it takes a village. A phrase was posted up on the large screen today that scripted: WE gives us momentum and impact that the greatest "I" in the world can't accomplish. Well done indeed. The 'we' loves to be a part of something better and is more than happy to be a "cog" in the wheel. I about squealed because those are my dear friend's words! I knew she would be elated that someone else held her theology and I would be able to blog about this later on! Be a cog! These were not my words but his. The 'WE" says 1) How may I contribute? 2) What can I give into the community? 3) How can I serve? and 4) Who would get missed if I am not there? These are absolutely contrary to the ego philosophy and parallel to the mindset that I hold dear to my heart. I strive for excellence, comradery, unity, citizenship and a place where all people feel like they belong and have a home. I yearn for each human being that I meet to leave my presence feeling exuberated and lifted up as opposed to torn down and downtrodden. Community is the ocean and one drop is what makes the difference.
Far too often we cut people off and toss them aside knowing not that they are the very being we need as we continue on in our journey. Am I telling you to allow every party into your inner circle of personal thoughts, dreams and goals? No, I am not. What I am suggesting is that we take a deeper look into our personal theology of the human presence as a whole and ask what if? What if I was the one who extended the hand instead of slapping it? What if I was the best version of myself as opposed to trying to be the better version of someone else? I said this a long time ago. If you were me and I were you then one of us would be irrelevant. I don't need to be you. You don't need to be me. See, if you think about it, the only people who suffer are the ones who are looking at us and are at the receiving end of who we are trying to "copy". If I am trying to be you then that will surely become an exhausting job. How am I going to be able to keep that up? The gut honest truth is - I can't. There is no earthly way for me to be you and vice versa. Who perishes because of this? Those who have been on the receiving end of my charade. Did your heart drop yet because it should have. Those people will be so devastated if, say, you are trying to paint for them and you can't. What if you're trying to crochet and it just isn't coming together. What if you're trying to keep up as a "well" person and you're chronically ill? What then? We must accept who we are and then be the absolute best version of ourselves while offering that version to the world and be a part of the ocean. That is how we make the most marvelous part of history come to pass. That is what authors pen about. That is what gets the #BIllHR2311 onto the floor. That is what makes great teachers, leaders, #advocates, song writers, poets, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children and so on. That is what makes a great nation. We are a community of masterfully crafted individuals, secure in our own skin coming together for the greater good of whatever cause or platform you are here for; whatever your life purpose is, offer that "YOU" back to life!
I came today to encourage as I often do and to love on you. You are so treasured, cherished and loved just the way that you are. I hope that you are comfortable in your own skin because it is a masterpiece. It is you and everything in it. Your heart, mind, soul, talents, gifts - it is all you and what makes you unique. Together we are greater. Together we can do great things as a community and as a nation. I love the human condition much. I hope you were lifted up by the message I referred to here as much as I was today in hearing it. I am honored to be a part of any community and I will always be a servant to the human population. It has been my call since birth, a practice since childhood and it is in my blood.