Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Faith and Spirituality

I intentionally don't discuss religion in my blog because I want people of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds to feel comfortable when they enter my world. Religion, after all, has caused conflict since the beginning of humanity. My own extended family includes people of different religious faiths or no religion at all. My philosophy is that we are all human.

Still, I thought it would be interesting if I included this one entry about faith and spirituality.

Though I do associate myself with a particular religious group, I do not attend regular services. Because of my CFIDS, being around groups of people (which usually equals a large amount of noise) can be overwhelming. My attention span leaves much to be desired, and it requires an exorbitant amount of physical and mental energy to make "small talk" with anyone other than my husband.

I consider myself more of a "spiritual person" rather than a "religious person." I think there are many beautiful religions out there that have something to teach us. I believe that everything happens for a reason (even the bad things), though we still have the free will to choose our actions. I believe we should treat others how we want to be treated. I think there is something to be said about karma. I think Gandhi, Mother Theresa, and the current Dalai Lama are people to be admired. I believe in peace and tolerance. I also believe in the power of positive thinking.

Now, I don't want to give the impression that I live in some sort of la-la-land of pink bows, fluffy clouds, and sunshine 24-7. I am very aware of all the bad and scary things out there, including hate, war, and disease...especially the disease part.

I suppose what I'm trying to express in this stream-of-consciousness entry is that my world would be a much darker and more depressing world if I didn't hold onto the belief that I have CFIDS for a reason. I'm still trying to figure out what the reason is, but I'm starting to get an inkling.

I'm more compassionate now than I was before I got sick. I used to be one of those people that might say, "but you don't look sick." I'm more patient with others because I've had to learn to be patient with myself. I'm also trying to be an advocate for people with this disease by writing government officials and the media about CFS. I have opened up my life to the world by writing this blog so that more people (including my own family) could better understand CFS.

Of course, if I had a choice, I'd "give back" the CFIDS.

Today's Activities: work. Today's Symptoms: exhaustion, mild headache; active eczema on left underarm and right ankle; rash on back and abdomen healing.

Mood (10 is best): 5
Energy (10 is best): 3
Physical Discomfort (10 is worst): 3


Jo said...

Thanks for this. I have a spiritual dimension in my life too and my illness has prevented me from taking part for a long time.

CFS has many gifts and you are 'lucky' to be getting this insight so early in life. For me, along with the disease, came a big dose of humility. Like you, I'd give back the disease, but I'd also like to keep all the things I've learned. Maybe I can't have it both ways.

Treya said...

I am also quite a spiritual person, and again this illness has only strengthened this. I have also learned a lot about myself and it has thought me to be more aware of others and to be more patient. I have also learnt to really appreciate the smaller things in life!!

Alyson, do you think you could write a bit about yourself in my "Say Hello" post, as you leave comments quite regularly, I think it would be good for people to know a little about you. If you do not wish to do this I totally understand.


Treya : )

alyson said...

It's amazing how many life lessons CFS/ME comes with...for better or for worse. Thanks for your comments!

Renee said...

Hi Alyson
I am enjoying your blog and I like the way your keep track of your symptoms/activities.
I too have found that CFS/ME and Lyme for me has given me many gifts and taught me alot about myself. If it was not CFS I think I would have ended up with another illness with the path I was on. I needed a pace of grace although it has taken me years to figure that one out!

alyson said...

Hi Renee,

Thank you for reading my blog and for your comments! I enjoy reading yours, too. I have to give Jo credit for my starting to list my symptoms and activities. My husband had suggested that I start a symptom diary, but it was Jo that finally gave me the needed push to move forward with it.