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

We Just Need More Love…Thankfully It’s Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day…

I know that most people celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved ones…but I have such love for the community we’ve created together that I felt it only right to share this day honoring love with all of you.

We all know that the word love is sometimes used loosely and that it may lose some of its oomph at times.  However, when we think about love we often forget about putting ourselves on the list.  Would you ever consider sending yourself a Valentine’s Day card? 

I know that many times following the diagnosis of a chronic or other life-altering illness you may feel that the body betrayed you.  In essence, you may experience a loss of love from the physical body, but I don’t think that’s the case.  The body is an amazingly intricate being and sometimes one little thing gets out of whack and the domino effect kicks in resulting in illness.  Of course, if you’re a conspiracy theorist you may think differently.

Would you consider having a love affair with yourself?  I’m not talking about physically (that’s another post), but an emotional and spiritual love affair with your full self?  Would you go ga-ga over your physical, emotional, and spiritual selves the way you would if you met someone you were instantly attracted to at a party or on the subway?

Are you willing to court your own physical, emotional, and spiritual self?  When I think of Valentine’s Day and the words “be mine”, wouldn’t you want that for your own self?  Don’t you want to be connected to your physical, emotional, and spiritual selves in such a way that you’re forever in love with who you are?

I believe that type of love is what Valentine’s Day is about, and I hope you’re willing to think of yourself as your own special Valentine.  What will you do for yourself this Valentine’s Day?  I’d love to hear how you celebrate your love of self.

Posted in Caregiving

A Personal Valentine for Caregivers

Welcome to Caregiver Friday!!

I know that holidays like Valentine’s Day may not be the most comforting for those of you who are caring for someone who is sick or injured.  I could give you the “be grateful” that the person is still alive, but I’m not.  I don’t think that cuts the mustard.  I know that it’s a time of deep sensitivity and vulnerability and that’s why I want to focus on you today and only you.

It would be great if the Valentine’s Day of the past were present, but I’ve tried to encourage you the caregiver/wellness partner to care for yourself and that’s the direction for today.  Make Valentine’s Day about you.  If you haven’t received the 5-part e-course called “The Courageous Caregiver” then go http://www.survivingstrong.com and look in the right column where it says “Caregivers”.  There’s strategies for self-care and reflection that are important.

To support you in this journey I thought the best gift I could give you for Valentine’s Day is a poem that really speaks to the love affair I hope you have with yourself because caring for yourself is at the center of this discussion…

Love after Love

 

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome.

 

And say, it here.  Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine.  Give bread.  Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

 

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

 

The photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.Sit.  Feast on your life.

~Derek Walcott!

I wish you the best Valentine’s Day possible!