Fighting Parkinson’s, and learning to love…yourself, part 1

Learning to love yourself. This is a very difficult topic for most, including me when I had Parkinson’s. As you can see from the title of this post, it already says “part 1” because I know that this topic cannot be handled in one post. Today, I will explain why it is necessary to learn to love yourself in this recovery, and in a subsequent post, or posts, I will explain how I did it and how many others are learning this critical lesson. It is the “learning to love yourself” that enables you to see that it is not selfish to say, “I am worthy and deserving of my Parkinson’s recovery.” It is not selfish at all…it is NECESSARY!

Relationship. Let’s suppose you are in a relationship with another person, and for most of the day, every day, the other person tells you these things:
1. You are not worthy.
2. You are not deserving.
3. You are not pretty or handsome enough.
4. I do not like your tremors.
5. I do not like your stiffness.
6. I do not like your slowness.
7. Your speech is poor.
8. You are not good enough.
9. You are wasting your time doing this Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery&#0174 .
10. It is selfish to put yourself first in your recovery.

If you are completely honest with yourself, you will have to admit that this is an unhealthy relationship. It is such an unhealthy relationship that at some point you would feel compelled to say, “Enough! I have to end this unhealthy relationship.”

Here is the difficult part:

WHAT IF THIS IS THE RELATIONSHIP YOU ARE HAVING WITH YOURSELF!

How can you expect to move forward in your life and in your Parkinson’s recovery if you think so little of yourself? This is a very difficult issue. When I had Parkinson’s, for months I would have a morning argument with myself about all the reasons why it was pointless to be doing the Recipe. It is incredible how many excuses an Adrenaline-driven-mind-mode can spew out, rapid-fire, to try to derail a Parkinson’s recovery: “The Recipe won’t work…who are you to think that you will develop the cure…Sally and the children are sleeping so who will know if you skip today…do you really think you are worthy and deserving of being cured…face it, your tremors and slowness and stiffness will be with you forever…why are you wasting your time…why are you being so selfish having Sally and the children help you do things you used to do yourself”……..this is a very long list, and one to which I am certain you can add your own self-criticisms.

Relationship. Let’s suppose you are in a relationship with another person, and for most of the day, every day, the other person tells you these things:
1. You are worthy.
2. You are deserving.
3. You are pretty or handsome enough.
4. Your tremors do not bother me.
5. Your stiffness does not bother me.
6. Your slowness does not bother me.
7. Your speech is fine.
8. You are good enough.
9. You are not wasting your time doing this Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery&#0174 .
10. It is not only not selfish to put yourself first in your recovery…it is necessary.

If you are completely honest with yourself, you will have to admit that this is a healthy relationship. It is such a healthy relationship that at some point you would feel compelled to say, “I love you, too!”

Here is the difficult part that will be the subject of my next post, and subsequent posts if necessary:

HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS THE RELATIONSHIP YOU ARE HAVING WITH YOURSELF!

Today, I just want you to be able to explore how an unhealthy relationship with yourself needs to be ended as it does not serve you well and it prevents you from serving others well, too.

This unhealthy relationship with yourself makes service to yourself and others come from the mind: “I have to do this because it is expected of me or it will help me avoid conflict or it will make others like me or love me or maybe I can feel good about myself because somebody will say ‘good job’ or ‘thank you.'” This is unhealthy fear-based service from the mind.

A healthy relationship with yourself makes service to yourself and others come from your heart: “I am doing this because I want to or because it enhances my joyful feeling inside or because it feels right.” This is healthy joy-based service from the heart.

In my next post I will provide you with the “how to” on ending the unhealthy relationship with yourself and learning to love yourself.

In the meantime, here is something to do.

Relationship. Start building a loving relationship with yourself. For most of the day, every day, tell yourself these things:
1. I am worthy.
2. I am deserving.
3. I am pretty or handsome enough.
4. My tremors do not bother me.
5. My stiffness does not bother me.
6. My slowness does not bother me.
7. My speech is fine.
8. I am good enough.
9. I am not wasting my time doing this Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery&#0174 .
10. It is not only not selfish to put myself first in my recovery…it is necessary.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,

Howard

 

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21 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and learning to love…yourself, part 1

  1. Yeah Howard!…such a delightful and wise invitation…how can I resist?

  2. Melanie says:

    Such wise counsel Howard………..I am completely drug free now and have been for several months and still functioning and I tell myself I am worth this effort, though stiff and slow in all things I am on the road to recovery. Your blogs keep me going and I would like to do another skype session with you to help me to finish line! Thank you much for all of your support and care! Much love and gratitude. Melanie

    • Marie says:

      Congratulations, Melanie, on being drug free. that is great! What an accomplishment! Give yourself lots of loving appreciation of all your hard work.
      Eager to welcome you to Recoveryville!

  3. Kevin says:

    There is nothing like telling yourself that you love yourself and actually believe it from at least somewhere from the bottom of your heart. Every thing about you becomes lighter. There is a sense of freedom from the perceived YUKINESS in your life.

  4. judy says:

    can’t wait for the next post….bring it, Howard!….
    thank-you

  5. Barry says:

    I woke up this morning thinking self compassion is the final, unfinished “piece of the puzzle,” necessary to putting me “over-the-top” in my healing journey. That’s right, I think this is all that I need to heal myself.

    Amazing. Wonder of wonders: I open up my email and here’s the perfect blog from Howard. Can’t wait to read installments number two, three, four, etc.

  6. Jane says:

    Thank you, Howard, so spot on, as ever. It is such a profound comfort and joy to feel totally & fully seen & understood. Feel so grateful for you! Your generosity is like a miracle. Love & blessings, Jane

  7. Helen says:

    Thank you Howard for your clear and wonderful message loving myself. My heart broke when I read the words my stiffness doesn’t bother me, my slowness doesn’t bother me. For these have bothered me I have felt embarrassed and tried to walk faster to just get there! Rather than accepting loving must and being in the now, present moment. So I will give myself this love n kindness and be compassionate with myself. Thank you buddy

  8. Joseph McEleavy says:

    Howard you are the Mensch!!! My parents used to bombard my little self with these:
    Who do you think you are?
    What’s the matter with you?
    and my (least) favorite: You should be ashamed of yourself…
    So naturally I’d repeat that Drivel to myself whenever I screwed up…
    So let me answer those with these:
    I am who I want to be: Kind loving and gentle
    There is nothing the matter with me that a little kindness and sincere faith won’t cure!
    Not only am I not ashamed of who I am I LOVE ME FROM THE TIPS OF MY TOES TO THE ENDS OF MY HEADHAIR!!!!
    I’m proud of what I have accomplished both before I developed symptomology and especially after Dx…
    I LOVE MYSELF AND I LOVE WHO I AM BECOMING>>>
    Thank you Howard you are Incredibly Kind and Immeasurably Brave. We stand in awe of your Compassionate nature… I am proud to call you my Sifu aka TEACHER/Sensei!!!

  9. mayarita says:

    Thank you dear Howard. What a battle it is! After spending most of life with negative thoughts that are buried and automatic.
    Today in a school meeting where voices were raised with a lot of shouting I began to shake all over uncontrollably even though no anger was directed at me and had to leave. Does this happen to anyone else?
    I am sure it comes from big fear and low self esteem.
    Thanks for the wonderful post
    Love to you all

    • Trish says:

      YES! all the time – seems to be a deep seated fight or flight symptom which for me is rooted in childhood. Adrenaline reaction is hair triggered and lowers dopamine…………….hence the shaking

  10. Helen C. says:

    Thank you, Howard, what lovely, resonating words to receive on my birthday!
    I don’t know how you do it: your posts are always so intuitive.
    Much love,
    Helen C.

  11. Debbie says:

    Thank you Howard, for your love, compassion, perfect timing guidance, and your endless energy at helping us help ourselves. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  12. judy says:

    mayarita…..yes, that has happened to me….if in the vicinity of a tense or anxious situation, though it doesn’t involve me, I have started shaking….usually, if I just talk to myself, slow my breathing, consciously relax my body, I am better…..hope that is helpful to you…..judy…

    • mayarita says:

      Thank you Trish and Judy I have just seen your replies looking back over these posts. I must say I feel so privileged to have crossed paths with all you lovely people here on Howard’s blog. Lovely to think we are all out there supporting each other.

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