Chronic pain and depression are the cruelest mistress for the body that craves movement and the soul that desires to live life to it's fullest. This is my daily struggle. I'm not looking for pity. Pity is counter productive. Pity reinforces the justification of remaining idle and not seizing the day. It may take 2-3 hours every morning of slowly stretching my body to the point that I can get my ass moving, but it eventually does happen.
I guess what I resent most about having fibromyalgia is that managing it to the point where I can function and be productive uses up a lot of time. As a self-employed artist, who makes a living off various art-related income sources, time management is crucial. Time after all is our most precious commodity and I really hate that managing my pain takes up a very significant portion of my day.
There's a battle going on between my body and my mind. I have to resist the urge daily to lose myself in the "if only" mentality. "If only I didn't have fibromyalgia. If only I had more money. If only I was younger and had more energy. If only I had more time to dedicate to creating." Everybody has an "if only" that gets in the way of their path to happiness. It's not my health or financial situation or lack of time that are the obstacles to happiness, it's the trap of "if only." It's the lack of contentment that is the real obstacle. "If only" is a cop out. It legitimizes being miserable.
So how do I avoid the trap? First of all, letting go of entitlement is key. No one is entitled to be happy. In fact, entitlement is the first step down the path that leads to misery. So instead of entitlement, embrace gratitude.
Secondly, I need to accept that no one is immune to hardship, pain and obstacles. Instead of viewing them as unfair, they need to be viewed as an integral part of human existence. Once you get over the "unfairness" it's a lot easier to cope with the difficulties that life throws our way.
Finally most importantly, pay it forward. We've all been blessed with something we have in abundance. It may be talent, or time or money. What it is doesn't matter so much as what we do with it. This one is a spiritual principle for me that has never let me down. Whenever I give, I am never left wanting. Whenever I let go, I never lose. Try it for yourself. I promise it works.