Several weeks ago I was lucky enough to “attend” an online summit called, Lyme Less Live More, in which 12 Lyme literate practitioners were interviewed. It was an incredible three days of hearing from some of my favorites in the Lyme community, particularly Connie Strassheim and Dietrich Klinghardt. The conference focused on supplemental healing strategies and self care rather than treatment protocols, the goal was to fill in the gaps between doctors visits, and the conversations fell into three main categories: physical, emotional, and energetics.
One of the focal points of conversation that transcended each topic and speaker was the idea that Lyme Disease is in some ways a gift, or in other words, that there are lessons to be learned and treasures to be found in the pain and suffering that the disease brings.
The idea of viewing this incredibly painful and debilitating disease as a gift may be offensive to some people, but for me, it was actually comforting to think of my illness as a gift rather than an enemy. After all, Borrelia (the Lyme bacteria) is just another organism trying to stay alive, it’s intent isn’t to harm but rather to survive.
One of the principles discussed during the summit that really resonated with me was the idea of acceptance. Rather than spending precious energy fighting and struggling, one can learn to accept their present state and circumstance. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It means doing what you can do and being at peace with what you cannot.
One of the interviewers who had an active Lyme infection for almost ten years spoke about her experience with severe body-wide pain, saying that there were times when she would lay in her bed, wondering if she might die. She eventually learned to accept the pain and to just roll with it. Instead of draining her energy reserves with google searches, ER visits, and phone calls to her doctors, which she knew weren’t likely to offer her much help, she found a way to float along with the pain and to rise above it in a way. She began to observe her surroundings and to focus on all of the things she was thankful for. In summary, she accepted her pain and found a way to be content in her circumstances by maintaining a posture of gratitude and appreciation for her surroundings.
The idea of accepting rather than fighting is definitely not the obvious human response to a distressing situation, at least not for me, but it does indeed make sense. It means being more gentle with your body and loving and accepting it even when it seems by all accounts to be failing you. For many years I felt that my body was forsaking me. My response was to keep pushing it harder and harder to do what I wanted it to do. I learned the hard way that my body is precious and it is fighting hard to keep me going, my symptoms are signals that I can be thankful for rather than frustrated by.
I certainly have my work cut out for me as I am continually learning to accept myself and my situation, but I feel hopeful and invigorated to move forward. I was quite inspired by the Lyme Less Live More summit and encourage you to check it out if you or someone you love are dealing with Lyme Disease. And now I’ll leave you with one of my favorite scripture verses, written by one of my personal heroes, Paul. Thanks to Lyme Disease, I am learning to be more content and more like him every day that I walk out my journey toward healing.
… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV)
Until next time,