Chronic Voice Llinkups

Words are the nourishment to the soul:Reflecting on difficult thoughts

I’m excited to be back for the linkup this July, it feels like the first half of the year has flown by. I am one for looking back and seeing what I have achieved this first six months, I’m my own worst inner critic though and I’ve been demanding a lot of myself this first half of the year which fits well with the first word for this linkup, Lets get into my reflections,

Demanding

 

Demanding was the first word that struck me, mainly because of my nature as a person. I am always on fast forward, the time is flying by and before I know it I will be 23! To me that is unbelievable, I’ve spent years not living and exploring my identity, my hopes, and dreams. I have become so demanding on myself to catch up and explore every avenue of life that is on offer, that I become obsessive and overly frustrated when I’m not meeting my own demand and everything isn’t here right NOW. At all costs to my own health and wellbeing. I believe we all demand a lot of ourselves, but when it comes to our health its seriously damaging, how many times have I pushed myself to get my never-ending lists done or demand that I have to do this now or it will all go wrong, or I’m too far behind from where I should be. For the next six months I’m demanding a slower pace and a belief I grow in my own time. After all, our demands are thoughts and we have a choice in how we react to them.

 

Ways I’m working with demanding thoughts,

MEDIATION, watching thoughts in meditation is a powerful way of processing what these thoughts are actually saying to you, often the thoughts that say they are a priority are there one second, and next your thinking about something else. When a demanding thought occurs listen and make a conscious choice whether to react.

CHOICE, knowing I have a choice in whether I believe the thoughts ‘thoughts are not facts, even when they say they are ‘. The more we practise meditation the easier it gets to implement this way of being. 

Nourishing

Nourishing thoughts come to mind for this one. How many times I say things that pull me down, that noise that drowns in your head all the time criticizing your every move. I wonder what thoughts help to nourish the mind instead? After all, words are the nourishment to the soul, so what we say about our selves can become a reality. Recently I’ve been trying affirmation cards, rather than figuring out what to write and repeating them, I find this process to fake it never really feels real. With the affirmation cards, I sort of just pick one from a random deck that feels right, I allow the words to relate to an experience I’m currently feeling and look at the card if I feel I need the words.

I drew these cards last week from an oracle deck, even if you are not spiritual these cards are very uplifting, they invoke something that is deep within and its truly wonderful to just sit in a space, take this card in your hands and feel a little happiness within. Both cards really related to the difficulties I’ve been having loving myself recently especially my body.  Below are the two cards I’ve picked from a deck used, I’ve written them out for you to save for future inspiration.

 Tolerating

 

I’m definitely getting to the point where I can no longer tolerate the social distancing situation, I miss my boyfriend, it was our twelve months anniversary on June the 16th and spending it two meters apart outside has just really hit, my frustration and sadness is becoming intolerable. I’ve tolerated a lot longer in the house before after being bed-bound and spending months seeing and doing nothing at all, but when its that year you’ve waited for to finally have a choice to go out and explore new places, catch up with actually living my young years it certainly feels intolerable. It is also so easy to get frustrated at others for these situations and lash out, it is certainly not a good way to deal with it or there fault.

 

Ways to cope with intolerable thoughts and feelings

 

    1. STEP BACK, from the thoughts and feelings, Are you lashing out in frustration? Be aware of how you’re reacting to this intolerable situation, are you blaming someone else? seeing it from a narrow-minded view?  Really consider what you are reacting to and why.
    2. ACCEPTANCE, we only move forward when we make a conscious choice to accept, maybe there is nothing right now that can change the situation, but somehow accepting can help us find a solution right now.
    3. DISTRACTION, distract yourself, delve into a hobby you’ve wanted to try at home, carve out time to meditate, exercise, or do yoga, relax in a hot bath. Do anything else you can focus your attention on in a good way 
    4. COMPROMISE, Maybe there is a way to still find the situation somewhat tolerable, Ask how you can compromise with the situation?

Bothering

The last month has been difficult, I haven’t felt bothered about my meditation practice and I began to wonder whether I even wanted to continue with my teacher training with breathwork. Since doing my orientation workshop I’ve become more inspired again. It is the feeling of not really moving forward and feeling in limbo, it can really knock motivation. I remember at the end of my Mindfulness for health course we were asked to write a letter to ourselves to read later on when we where feeling discouraged from practicing. Writing letters to yourself for self-encouragement is becoming a popular practice, one I am certainly wanting to implement.

 

Being in the house it’s easy to just sit there and watch TV and not give care while lounging all day, fortunately, I have some practice in this situation as a lot of my time is spent at home. One of those things I’ve felt a lot bothered by is my style this year, I’ve realized I stick to a lot of items that make me feel so uninspired. Last week I wore a dress I rather felt comfortable it was soft denim with an embroidered pattern, it made me feel happy inside and confident. I have definitely fallen into the trap of not being bothered to get up and dress or wearing a little makeup, even wash my hair, it feels like the old days where how I looked never bothered me at all. It is still so easy to fall into this pattern, but getting up, showering and dressing makes me feel awake and ready for the day. Somehow I still think what we look like and wear has an impact on how we feel inside, not that we should feel obliged to look a certain way but more how we feel about ourselves, what makes us feel good.

15 Comments

  • Anne

    I’m so sorry you were not able to get closer to your boyfriend on your anniversary, that must have been difficult. I do appreciate having those I love living under the same roof. I too use affirmation cards when I need to, or even just inspire me. Having the right frame of mind can be so helpful whatever the situation. Take care, and I hope you get to be with your boyfriend soon.

    • Sarah

      Hi Anne, thank you for your lovely comment and understanding, affirmations are certainly a great thing when you just need a little boost, I’m so glad they help you to, stay safe and take care x

  • Nikki Albert

    I feel you on the demanding section as I was that way at your age. And it took a while to learn to pace properly. And even when I did get into a career after university I was i denial and pushed an pushed beyond my limits. Don’t do that, by the way… Really bad idea. I had to learn that one the really hard way. Ah well. Now I slow down and pace because now my body has literally made me

    • Sarah

      Hi Nikki, it’s relieving to know we all go through these processes , it is good you have now found your pace , our body’s defiantly protest we certainly learn the hard way from them

  • Louise

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for this post. I can really relate to what you say in your demanding section. I too tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve certain goals by a certain time and if I don’t, I feel really bad. I’ve started trying to look at things differently and focus on all the things I have done, rather than the things I haven’t and that helps me a lot. Although lockdown has meant that I couldn’t achieve the things I wanted to this year, so I have just redone my goals for the next 6 months which has made me feel better. I also like affirmation cards and have them around my flat and in my car, even my phone screensaver has one on there. 🙂 I hope you get to see your boyfriend soon as well. <3 Take care, Louise x

    • Sarah

      Hi Louise, thank you for your comment, I think a lot of us really struggle with demanding so much on ourselves even more so with chronic health problems. I’m the same with goals so much has changed this year for all of us, I Luv doing a review in July in the mid-year to see where I am. I’m happy you are feeling better with your goals, hope things work out for you, stay safe Sarah x

  • Alison

    Hey Sarah,
    I so feel you in the demanding section – it seems to be a trait many of us with FND share! High expectations aren’t bad, but it’s really important to manage them, especially when dealing with chronic illness. I’ve had to do a lot of work on forgiving myself and being kind to myself and it’s helped me to both manage my symptoms better and to feel better about my life!
    I’m so sorry you and your partner are forced to be apart during all this – that has to make things extra tough – I have friends where one partner is higher risk and the other is a nurse – so they’ve been separated through most of this – even though they normally live together!
    I hope things get easier and safer for you, and I hope you can continue to celebrate the progress you are making!

    • Sarah

      Hi Alison, thank you for your lovely comment , it’s nice to know a lot of us with FND share these same things it is encouraging that you have found some some kindness towards yourself it makes such a difference.
      Thank you lovely , Sarah x

  • Kimberlee

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for this lovely post, I can completely relate to experiencing intolerable thoughts . I also tend to put a lot of pressure on myself, especially on my “good days” when it feels like I need to make up for the time I lost. I’ve started to shift my focus a little, so my timeline is little less rigid and little more fluid! One thing I loved about your post is your willingness to dive deep and explore the thoughts showing up for you. It’s not easy, but you are digging deep and inspiring others with your findings. Take care xx

    • Sarah

      Hi Kimberlee, thank you for your wonderful message, I’m seeing that so many of us suffer from similar issues with overdoing things some days and not others, it’s so difficult to say no to our thoughts. It’s nice to see you are finding some fluidity in your day and thank you for your kind words. I wish you all the best with exploring your thoughts Take care x

  • Catherine Green

    It is good to see that you are being kind to yourself and finding ways to get past those intrusive and damaging habits. I have had a very challenging lockdown and am using the distraction techniques you suggested (meditation, pampering, different clothes) to make me feel better. My situation hasn’t changed but my mood has improved.

    • Sarah

      Hi Catherine, Its good to hear you’re finding some techniques to help you through, sometimes its definitely the small things that help us. Sending you some healing love Take care x

  • Rhiann

    Hey Sarah, congratulations on a great post, one which many of us living with chronic conditions can relate to. I love that you have incorporated some great coping strategies for when things get tough, not easy to implement but certainly ones that will help during the inevitable difficult days

    • Sarah

      Hi Rhiann, thank you for your lovely comment, I love being a part of this community when we all understand and can relate to each other struggles. I often find it easy to say them but implementing them is surely difficult x

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