No matter what, just keep moving forward. If you have a goal, keep moving towards it. If you are sick and so sick of being sick and you are too frustrated to have a goal, move forward anyway. Even when we do not always feel like we are making any progress whatsoever, when we put one foot in front of the other, no matter how small the step, we really are moving forward.
When we choose to move forward every single day, we get some momentum on our side which encourages us to hang in there and keep going. For now, in the middle of chronic illness and pain, being in forwarding motion is enough. Our bodies do not always cooperate and our minds get out of whack and our emotions are off target and life can be a bit goofy. That is why the forward motion is so important. When we are chronically ill we do not want to get stuck there. It takes some forward motion every day to get out of that loop.
Part of forwarding movement is to allow yourself not to be perfect. If you don’t get it right one day, there is always tomorrow to try again. Beating yourself up is a complete waste of time and halts your progress. Allow yourself to be kind to yourself. Find your correct balance of self-kindness and self-pushing.
What does forward motion look like?
- A willingness to choose life
- A mindset of hope
- Physical movement
- Keeping up with supplements (or required medicine)
- Eating as healthy as we can – for today
- Willingness to accept any visitors or phone calls to connect with others
- Awareness of what you are listening to or watching on TV that can deplete your hope
The list is endless because we are all unique individuals. All you can do is see where you were yesterday and make one step forward today. Pick something and work on it. Keep it small at first so you see success. If you are in the middle of chronic illness and pain you will not be planning a triathlon. Instead choose realistic forward moving goals; taking a daily shower, opening your front door once a day, try a new healthy food.
You can pick something as your forward movement today and just do it. Then tomorrow make one more forward movement. It is the only way you can look backward and see progress. It does not magically happen on its own. No one can do it for you and no pill can activate this inside of you. You alone are capable of forwarding movement every single day.
For the most desperate during chronic illness and pain, the step forward might be simply to choose to keep living and wait it out one more day to see if anything changes. That is perfectly acceptable. Choosing life one more day is a tremendous feat when in the depths of illness. That all in itself is something to be proud of and rejoice in.
Be kind to yourself while you are walking through chronic illness and pain. You are precious no matter how sick you are.
What does your forward motion look like?
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC
Donations accepted to serve others on their chronic illness journey. Maribeth Baxter, MBEC provides voluntary certified health coaching services to the financially limited during their time of crisis.