I just finished reading one of those “positive thought conquers all” articles that discusses it’s power and how much it controls when I became motivated to write something that maybe all of you with CFS/ME/CFIDS can relate to.
Positive thought- we all know what that is. But have you practiced it? I mean reeeeeally live it. Chances are… you may initially think you have but upon further inspection of the positive outlook you will possibly find it was only surface deep. I say this in hindsight as I too went through that stage of really believing I was being positive and nothing was happening.
I read every motivational book, did writing exercises, said affirmations, left myself positive post-it notes around the house, did mental exercises I always thought were outrageous and joined in on numerous support groups online and in-person. You’d think with all that going on I would see some positive change in my life! Well I didn’t, at least not on the surface.
The first step in finding how to LIVE a positive life was ACCEPTANCE of myself. Not who I used to be, not the job and skills I used to have, not the books I used to read or events I used to go to. I had to accept what I was able to do today, tomorrow and (possibly) for the rest of my life. I had to find the new 2.0 version of myself. The newer, different version of myself. Taking the time to find out who 2.0 is may not be as dismal as you think. You may be lacking activities, friends, support, mobility… But maybe you find out some wonderful things about yourself you never knew! Maybe you’re able to discover new hobbies, set new goals, make different types of friends and find support in places you never thought you’d find it! I know what you’re thinking… You’ve tried that already. And good for you if you have! Hopefully you’ve found a 2.0 version you can love and live with. But if you haven’t taken the time to find your 2.0, I highly recommend you start now.
Once you find some new things about yourself it will lead you closer to acceptance. Closer to finding the new qualities that define you. A new answer to questions like “What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies? Do you workout? What do you eat?” Once you find your 2.0, answering questions will come with more ease because YOU are secure with where you are currently at. Is it ideal? Probably not. But it is where you are right now so own it.
I’ve heard a lot of doctors, speakers, even CFS/ME/CFIDS patients say to never stop trying to reach your goals, no matter how big or far off they may seem. While this may be good for some, I found it to lead to daily disappointment. Without adjusting my goals or making completely new ones I was never succeeding which lead me to feel like I’ve failed everyday. Which I fact, I wasn’t! I was still plugging away and doing my best, just not to my previous standards. Now that I’ve adjusted my goals, made realistic to-do lists and accepted my abilities I am pleased with just getting out of bed (admittedly not until 2pm most days). Do I want to be able to do the things I used to? Of course! I’m still the same person!!! I have just accepted the 2.0 version of me and have surrounded myself with things I CAN do and people that know this new version of me.
While positive thought is a Huuuuge part of moving forward, I have found that it didn’t make a difference until I learned who Lindsey 2.0 was. I encourage all of you to take the time to learn the new you. Don’t expect this to take a day, a month or even 3! You won’t find it in a book, motivational article or in advice from anyone else. You will find it in you. You are the only one that can define You 2.0. Once you do, own it and the others around you will love what they see also.
The next blog will outline some steps on HOW to find your 2.0. Let us know how you feel about this one in the comments below!
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