Once upon a time I was a perfectionist and pushed myself to try to do things “right”. Especially at those special times we call festive occasions.
Since my recovery from CFS/MCS/Fibromyalgia etc. I do not push myself if at all possible. I have learnt that doing so isn’t good for me, and therefore not good for those I want to give hospitality to or receive hospitality from.
Instead, I float through it all. I prepare in advance, give myself time to do what I want to be done. (Note...no needs or musts in my life except the obvious ones like needing air, food, water, shelter…)
How? By following ALE:
Acceptance is the key for me.
1: Accepting that I can’t be perfect and that I don’t really want to be perfect anyway. Being calm and serene while things occur which might otherwise be challenging is as near to perfect as my ambition allows.
2: Accepting that people may not understand that my feet/legs/hips often hurt (old injuries playing up) so it’s up to me to pace myself and manage that.
3: Accepting that if what they want to do would challenge number 2, then I can excuse myself from that outing/activity with a minimum of explanation. (e.g. “my legs aren’t too good, so I’ll stay here and or watch.”)
4: Accepting that they might be tired/worried/ill …. And adjusting my reactions accordingly.
5: Accepting whatever the weather does, and finding an alternative activity if necessary.
1. Letting go of any expectations of how it might be, just allowing things to be as they are.
2. Letting go of any possible upset if things don’t happen which I would have liked to happen.
3. Letting go of expecting people to come to see me, or of inviting me to visit them.
4. Letting go of my pride and telling friends and family that I would love to see them but fully understand if circumstances make that difficult. Their health, my health or whatever.
Engaging with joy
1. Engaging with whatever I can find to be joyful about, especially what is around me, whether it is a beautiful sunset, or birds hopping around outside my window. A phone call, a message chat, a comedy on TV or radio… Things which don’t depend on other people.
2. Engaging fully with conversations both offline and online with my friends and family. Listening and responding to what they say. Not venting my own concerns but sharing my joy at whatever there is to be joyful about.
3. Engaging with my own peace and calm and truly enjoying it.
All of which means my A.L.E. is good for helping me float through whatever happens during a festive season.
Keeping to this strategy
1. I use the Surrender meditation and also Soften and Flow to help me let go of concerns and to relax through painful times.
2. Mindfulness helps keep me in the moment, and has enabled me to enjoy mundane activities like washing up, I find joy in the colours of the bubbles, and in watching the water swirl away down the sink.
Finally, so my numbers go 5, 4, 3, 2, 1:
I wish you all a very calm and joyful season, whatever you celebrate at this time of year. Count down to floating happily through all of it.
Having been forced to stop working aged 53 due to CFS, I was later diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as well. (With the added challenges of hypersensitivity to chemicals, smells, various foodstuffs, bright light, noise, etc.)
10 years later I found the Gupta Program and started my recovery. Wanting to pay back some small part of what I owe the Gupta Program I later volunteered to be a moderator in the Facebook Gupta Forum.