Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Igniting Your Pilot Light

On Tuesday I referred to the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and his realization about what it will take to win at the 2012 Olympics.  He discussed the need to rededicate himself to his training.  Rededication seems like a great goal, but that’s about stoking the fire, ramping up the energy, refocusing your goals.  There’s a more pressing issue for those facing a chronic or life-threatening illness and that’s keeping your pilot light lit.

 The pilot light on the stove or furnace is that flame that burning continuously that ignites the appliances and furnace in your home.  There is a continuous stream of gas flowing to keep the light burning so when you need it; it’s ready.  So what does that mean for you as a human?  Do you have a pilot light and if so how do you keep it lit.

 We all have pilot lights.  The question is in what arena will you need to re-ignite your pilot light.  Physically we have our heart, brain, circulatory system, and other vital organs.  We have an emotional pilot light unless we’re comatose or dissociative.  We have a spiritual pilot light and I’m venturing out there by calling it faith.  Keeping the pilot light lit requires a commitment to health and healing.  It is a testament to your devotion to wellness.

 Igniting your pilot light can take many forms, but I would say it comes from some type of inspiration.  Having those in your life who have blazed the illness battle can help in igniting your pilot light.  Seeing how others have navigated the challenges of an illness gives you the energy and knowledge you need to ignite your pilot light.  Hearing others’ stories allows you to identify yourself with those on a mission of wellness.  Praying with those who love and support you allows you to have the faith required to take those leaps of faith that propels you forward on your journey.

Find inspiration in your life!  Find survivors who have accomplished some type of healing (remember that healing is different from curing)!  Engage people who will challenge you to be the best you possible; the you that will take risks, try new things, and know that quality of life is important for peace and harmony.