Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the holidays. While we are chronically ill, we may feel like we have lost our energy for the holidays. We certainly have lost patience for the stress of it all. So why can’t we simply turn our sparkle on while we are being still through the holidays? Be still and sparkle!!! I love this idea. We can all muster up parking our bike to rest and flipping the sparkles on.
Being chronically ill and the holidays usually creates additional stress. This year I challenge you to let the stress of it all go.
Literally park it!!!
Get off the ride of the illness fight, just for a moment in time.
Use that energy to turn on your sparkles.
Plug into people, relationships, things that really matter to you.
You don’t have to do it big, you can do it very small and have great impact.
Your sparkle could be a simple smile instead of the growl you feel because you are in pain. Most likely no one is going to understand anyway. Skip wasting your time and energy on trying to get others to understand, they can’t unless they too have been-there-done-that.
I know, fake smiles seem quite useless, almost like a lie.
What do you want out of your holiday experience? Is a fake smile better than the conflict and misery that can come with trying to get others to understand how miserable you feel??
Focus on the end result of YOUR holidays. How can you end up with good results? What works for YOU?
Sitting still and having a fake smile creates a bit of sparkle even though you don’t feel it. It is welcoming to others so that they are more apt to approach you instead of avoiding you because they truly have no clue how to communicate with someone chronically ill. Most people don’t have that skill.
Keep conversations about them, not you. Just keep smiling and sparkling!! This may be more for your benefit than theirs. It depends on your particular circumstances. Either way, we are looking for a positive holiday experience for YOU.
Gift of Sparkle
During chronic illness we have so many needs. Usually, all of those needs are not being met. We are tapped out, feel like we have nothing left to give. We are the “needy” ones so our expectations get focused on our needs. Rightly so. But others rarely cooperate with that reality we live in.
For me, when I cannot change things, I like to turn it upside down and see if that creates different results. I have had numerous holiday seasons with pretty upsetting ridiculous results. Tired of those outcomes so it was finally time to try something new a few years ago.
During the years of illness, I have approached this in a few different ways. I learned to accept where I was at the time and simply give it my best, nothing more. Each year I stepped it up a little. As my heart and body were healing I could handle more.
Turn chronic illness holiday disaster upside down… Look for ways to create success…
- So much physical and emotional pain that all I had to give was the gift of not complaining during the holidays
- So numb and lifeless that I accepted being still through the holidays, just existing but not making a stir
- So needy and lost that I gave instead of receiving, with only the resources of a smile to give, nothing else
As healing progressed, I had more energy to give, I even had more patience to give during the holidays.
Depending on where you are on your health journey you can determine what you do and don’t have to give.
Only after years of holiday seasons and much practice have I finally decided to PARK IT. Let it be for the holidays. Find a way to give the gift of sparkle and be content, maybe even joyful, with that act alone.
With nothing to give financially, with little energy to share with others, without an outward sparkle to me, I chose to sparkle from the inside this year. No expectations of anything in return. A gift can only be given when we expect nothing in return. A gift of sparkle is what I have at hand and what I can give in love freely.
It is not for me to make others see that sparkle in me or even accept it. It is not for me to make others understand it. It is not for me to make others show up. It is not for me to be in control of one single thing during the holidays except for my own attitude.
I have done chronic illness for 5 decades, I HAVE PRACTICE, tons of it. I rarely get it right but I am finally enjoying the process, the journey of peace and sparkle, healthy or not.
I have been given the gift of physical and emotional healing and have that to be eternally grateful for. Yet I still clearly remember the decades of pure misery through it. It is a difficult journey beyond description. The holidays are a good time to focus on the good that comes out of the chronic illness journey. To accept that every human has tremendous value whether they are ill or healthy. To find value in the moment at hand.
The moment at hand is Christmas. You are chronically ill but you have great value. You have enough value that you can choose to park your bike (your fight/battle with illness) and find peace in being still for the moment. In that peace and stillness you will automatically start sparkling, you will!!
Give that gift to yourself first, only then do you have some sparkle left over to give to others.
Grab your favorite blanket and your favorite chair. Park it!!!
Grab a string of Christmas lights and put it around you or your chair to remind you to sparkle!!!
You are still breathing, you still have life inside of you no matter how poorly you feel. Experience the life inside of you this Christmas, you are worthy of that gift.
May y’all be blessed this Christmas!