It’s easy to see chronic fatigue (CFS) as a disaster.
That’s how we (most of us) are trained to see significant health problems. And if that’s all we see, and we hold it as true and real, that’s how we create suffering for ourselves.
And yet, as with just about anything else, there are also gifts there, and it’s good to acknowledge these. It helps balance the picture in my mind, and how I relate to it and my life.
So what are some of the genuine gifts in CFS for me?
When I thought of fatigue, the first that came up for me is I love you. (To the fatigue and associated symptoms.) This shows that something has shifted in me since I first got it.
I learned to befriend ordinary rest. I used to be driven to always do something productive (studies, work, photography, meditation). I didn’t want to “waste” any time. From the fatigue, I learned the value of rest.
I learned to find peace with being dependent on others. I used to be strongly invested in being independent and take care of my own life. And I learned the gifts in being dependent on others. In receiving. In letting people give. We are always dependent on others, in innumerable ways. And I found the gifts in being dependent in a more obvious way too.
I learned to find kindness for my very human experience, even when my human side didn’t like it at all. I learned the value and relief in finding peace with and love for what’s here. And I am still learning.
I had to face beliefs about health, value, roles in society, success, failure, and more. I have worked on and looked at many of these, although there are some left.
I had to face my ideas of being in control of my life, and being able to deal with any situation. I wasn’t in control. And I couldn’t turn the situation around as I previously was used to.
I came face-to-face with my ideas of superiority. It became difficult to maintain it when I couldn’t function or contribute even in basic ways.
I found myself in the situations that I used to secretly judged others for being in. My sense of being better than others has softened. (That identity was an attempt to compensate for feeling less than others.)
I am invited to became more fully and ordinarily human. I continue to see, feel and learn how we are all in the same boat.
I have found a deep gratitude for human kindness. I am learning to take it less for granted. (This is one of the biggest gifts for me now.)
I have learned to value resting with what’s here. Resting with this experience, as it is. I am still learning this.
I have met and made friends with others in a similar situation and on a similar path.
I have explored several approaches to health and well being. (Although I may have done that anyway.) I have explored and learned what works for me, in this situation.
I have seen the consequences of going against my guidance on a major life decision, and continuing to do so over a few years. (This led to the loss of much of what was most important to me, including my health. At least, that’s one way to look at it.)
– gifts of fatigue
– first that comes up for me is “i love you” (to fatigue)
– learning to appreciate rest, receiving, being dependent on others,
– inquire into stressful thoughts around health, receiving, being dependent on others, being non-productive in conventional sense
– being more human, embracing being human more fully, see that we are all in the same boat
– finding love for what’s here, including what I initially wanted to reject, battle, struggle with
– finding peace with what’s here, as it is, notice + allow
– learning about myself, belief dynamics, identifications, approaches to healing
– connecting with others in a similar situation, creating new friendships
– deep gratitude for human kindness