First published on KSL.COM
You mentioned in one of your recent articles that you suffer some chronic pain. I wondered if you would give us some advice on dealing with chronic illness and staying positive. It is terribly discouraging and depressing to feel sick all the time. How can I find joy when life is one health problem after another?
CC Scott said, “The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” I believe this is true, so the first thing I want you to know is that you can have joy in spite of this, and you can beat discouragement most of the time.
I say “most of the time" because every once in a while it is perfectly normal to have a big old pity party about your pain or illness. I do. I have been diagnosed with Sjogrens syndrome and it's not fun. Chronic illness is tough and it gets discouraging. An occasional fall apart day (or hour) or week is totally acceptable - but you can’t live there.
After you give yourself the chance to mourn, which you will do, because "loss of health" is a loss, you must choose a positive, determined, healthy mindset so you can thrive in spite of the challenge. Vivian Green said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass...it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” For many of us, the storm isn’t going anywhere, so we need to start dancing.
I asked some other people I know who are battling chronic illness to help me with this article partly because I wanted some more advice on this, too. Hopefully, their ideas will help you as much as they've helped me. Here are our suggestions for making it through chronic illness with as much joy as possible:
Often in life we have no control over our situation, but we always have control over how we will experience the situation. To help me control how I experience illness I read something three times a day to keep me centered in the mindset I’ve chosen. You can download my reading here. Feel free to tweak it to make it work for you. Then read it three times a day until you internalize it.
You can handle this and thrive!
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular life coach and speaker.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.