by Dr. Bill Rawls
Last Updated 11/01/16
My whole life, I’ve loved to sail. Sailing back and forth or around in circles can be boring; but sailing to a predetermined destination is always an adventure.
Challenges with wind changes, tide, water depth, and time must all be considered to arrive at the destination safely. Just having a destination in mind gives the journey purpose. Similarly, life without destinations seems pointless. It’s like sailing in a circle, the same routine day after day – a journey to nowhere.
Destinations do not have to be places. A better job, a more comfortable situation in life, a degree in higher-education, better health and physical fitness, a calmer state of mind: all are destinations. Destinations can be points in time, such as meditating for 20 minutes or exercising for an hour. Even tolerating an uncomfortable situation for a known duration of time can be a destination.
Some destinations in our lives are fixed and predetermined, but most of the time, we do have control over where and when we want to go. Remember, though, that destinations sometimes need to be altered midstream; it’s called going with the flow.
Often the destination does not matter as much as the journey, but a journey is impossible without having one. Destinations carry us places. Every journey, good or bad, enriches life. Every once in awhile, all things about a journey come into perfect alignment — the universe in complete harmony with purpose.
This is when we feel on top of the world, but these interludes are often brief. Sometimes we miss them completely, too caught up in the world around us. Paying attention to the here and now, living in the moment, captures every instance of perfect alignment and increases harmony in our lives.
Define your destinations in life and work toward them. Focus on one destination at a time. Make sure the destination is realistic so the journey will be fruitful. Enjoy the journey. Connect and synchronize along the way. Live in the moment. Be able to shift gears and follow intuition.
Getting into the right state of mind:
First and foremost, you must take control of your own recovery. Establishing a relationship with a healthcare provider can be beneficial, but you must remain in charge. Find a healthcare provider who is willing to listen and offer guidance, without dictating therapy. Someone who has actually overcome chronic disease or who works with chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia patients routinely is the ideal choice. A thorough medical evaluation is sometimes indicated to uncover hidden threats that may respond to targeted therapy, but it should not overshadow the need for complete health restoration.
Go with the flow. Be willing to look at life differently. The lifestyle required for overcoming chronic fatigue is gentle and relaxed. If you are a person used to driving through life, always choosing the most challenging way of getting something done (I was), then prepare for a change. Slow down and live life more deliberately. This journey is about finding your way, not testing your courage and stamina. Changing your perspective often reveals hidden magic.
Prioritize. From this point on, your entire focus in life should be getting well. Getting well is more important than a job, relationships, friends, food, sports, hobbies, or anything else—because without good health, none of those things really matter. Do not let anything distract you from this goal. The start of each day provides a new opportunity to renew your health!
Learn to say “no”! Set limits for what you can accomplish in a day, because your recovery depends on it. Helping others, social events and family affairs may have to take a backseat for a while. Be patient; it takes time to learn a new lifestyle, but the reward is getting your life back.
Allow time for recovery. Your recovery depends on down time. Sleep and rest are when the body is in optimal repair mode. Shift your body into repair mode as frequently as possible by allowing plenty of time for rest and sleep.
Do not accept your situation. Acceptance leads to complacency and complacency leads to stasis. Not moving in a positive direction increases the need for drugs to control symptoms. Work every day to overcome your condition. Anger can be a positive force as long as it doesn’t get out of hand; channel it into positive actions instead of negative emotions. Know that overcoming chronic fatigue often opens up greater purpose and meaning in life.
Record your progress. As you change your approach to life, symptoms associated with chronic fatigue will gradually dissipate. The changes, however, are very subtle and keeping a journal can help you monitor progress. Pick specific symptoms or bodily functions as “monitor points.” Define these points quantitatively (on a scale of 1-10 if you like), so that change is evident (or not).
Avoid focusing on just treating symptoms. Symptom relief is important, but complete recovery is very dependent on restoring normal functions of the body. Drugs can be useful for relieving symptoms, but have little capacity to restore wellness. Excessive drug use actually impedes recovery.
Natural supplements are the key to getting well. Natural supplements offer advantages of reducing causes of disease and normalizing function. They are a huge part of creating an optimal healing environment within your body. Poor response to supplements can often be linked to poor quality products or inadequate dosing, so make sure that you are taking supplements that will offer a high potential for benefit.
Follow your internal GPS. Your intuition is like an internal GPS that guides you through life’s journeys. When you veer in the wrong direction, it persistently steers you back to the correct path. When you become completely lost, it plots a whole new course that safely carries you to the destination by a different route. Too often, however, life’s distractions prevent us from hearing the voice and we lose our way. Fortunately, the voice of intuition is patient…and there is no greater source of knowledge. Tapping into it is a simple matter of turning down the volume on all the other distractions and paying attention!
If you found this information to be helpful, please consider reading my book, Unlocking Lyme.