Everywhere you look today you see positive quotes, books on empowerment and life changing workshops. It has become part of the fabric of our society. So why then is it so difficult for migraineurs to take time to nurture, let alone truly rest during an attack?
Usually it isn’t due to outside forces, actual people who yell and verbally attack us for our illness. Nor is it the media. While they may not give migraine the coverage we would like, they are not claiming it to be an attention seeking or made-up condition. No. The source is far more insidious because it comes from self.
For most of us there was a before and there is the after. We remember life before chronic migraine. We recall how much could be accomplished in a day before even glimpsing the night. We remember the lightheartedness that comes with being untarnished by pain.
A life lived in comparison is no life at all.
When we cling to the past we are unable to embrace all that we are now. The present moment slips by us as we linger in the imaginary world of improved memory. (If you have ever idealized a past relationship and then had the pleasure of spending a few hours with that EX years down the road, you’ll know what I mean..because those perfect memories start to fill in with imperfect and irritating details that you had forgotten) Buddhism has a concept called Beginners Mind. In essence, it is a practice of seeing with brand new eyes every day. We die to our old selves each night and wake anew. We release all our assumptions of self, of others and the expectations of what kind of day we are going to have. Instead we use new eyes and open to who we are on this new day. It is easy to forget that today has never happened before and it never will happen again. Each day we get a fresh opportunity.
So rather than saying, I was a healthy, happy person…and now I am always a mess, always late, I hate my life! We can say: Who am I today? What do I need today? What feels nurturing to me? How can I honour my body? Who am I in relationship? Who is my husband/partner/child ?
Yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow only a fantasy.
Truly the only thing which exists is this present moment. We can be weighed down by the fact that we will never be the people we once were or we can invite it to be our awakening. This body, the one you are inhabiting in this moment, it is doing it’s absolute best to care for you. We tend to thank it with overexertion, resentment and poor maintenance. You will wait forever if you need doctors and friends/family/work to validate your needs.
So rather than living in the resistance to what is, why not experiment with living in unity?
This is no easy task, and one which takes a wealth of practice. We can rest assured we get a fresh opportunity each morning. Indeed it is a worthy endeavor. We all know from experience that we cannot serve others water when our well is dry. Yet it can be so difficult to take the rest we need and not feel resentful or guilty.
You know this but I am going to remind you.
Your migraines were a genetic gift. You were born into Migraine Royalty. Your body is not like the general population. You do not get to feel guilty about taking excellent care of yourself. This life is yours and it is your responsibility to live as happily as you possibly can. There is a high likelihood that you have gotten used to living in ‘“Survival Mode”. It is time to make a rich and happy life for yourself. That life starts with giving yourself permission to tend to your needs entirely guilt-free. It continues with learning how to deeply nurture your body and soul. I promise that you will be an inspiration to more people than you can imagine. More than anything it will be the start of a journey of reclamation.
Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place. ~Rumi