In the few weeks, I have posted Fighting Parkinson’s, and learning to love…yourself, part 1, Fighting Parkinson’s, and learning to love…yourself, part 2, and Fighting Parkinson’s, and learning to love…yourself, part 3. If you have not read those posts, I highly recommend that you read them prior to reading this post. As I stated in part 1, this is going to be a multi-part series. Today’s post will be the final installment of the process I used to learn to love myself, and in the end, how I learned that it was not selfish, but was, in fact, necessary for my recovery…in my life and with my Parkinson’s.
You are uniquely you. It is not your accomplishments that make you special. It is not straight A’s that made you special. It is not hitting the home runs or scoring the most points or getting the lead in the play or the solo in band that made you special. It is not the job that made you special, or the promotions or the raises, or the leadership positions you held that made you special. It is not the classes you taught or the books you wrote or the degrees you obtained that made you special. It is not the school buses you drove or the children you counseled that made you special. It is not the patients you saw or the bandages that applied that made you special.
All of these are the illusions we created in our minds. We felt we needed to be over-achieving perfectionists in order to be special…in order to be accepted and like and loved. What we failed to realize is that we were accepted and liked and loved by the very people we were trying to impress. What we failed to realize is that the very people who we were trying to impress, through issues uniquely theirs, were incapable of conveying to us that we were accepted and liked and loved. So, in the end, the only one who did not accept us, and did not like us, and did not love us…was us.
All of this because somebody said or did something (or many things) in our lives that we held inside ourselves with silent, sub-conscious agony. And that silent sub-conscious agony set up a fortress of self-protection. And that fortress of self-protection said, “If I am invulnerable, control everything, over-achieve, strive for perfection, never feel that my best is good enough, do everything for everybody as they expect I should be doing, and never ever make a mistake, I have a chance to be happy.” And, since this is absolutely impossible to achieve, we became experts beyond comprehension in one thing and one thing only: self-criticism.
All of this because of the illusions created in our minds.
As a result, what occurred? We wore ourselves down, physically, mentally, and spiritually. We became filled with worry and stress and fear and anger and frustration and self-doubt and worry and self-loathing. We ate all the wrong foods and burned the candles at both ends and in the middle because burning the candle at both ends just was not good enough. And then, in what many see as the biggest failure in their life, we find ourselves with Parkinson’s Disease. So there is no confusion here, I want to be clear on an important point: Parkinson’s is a physical disease, period!
However, if we are honest with ourselves, we have to acknowledge and take ownership and responsibility that the life patterns outlined above helped bring the Parkinson’s symptoms to the surface. So, to turn this around you have to acknowledge and take ownership and responsibility of your life and make the changes necessary for your cure. You need to be your cure!
The Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® is the road map for your cure. The physical part of the Recipe will heal your organs from the inside, chipping away, day by day.
The mental/emotional part of the Recipe will help you lose your mind. Here is what that looks like:
Illusion of your mind. “If I am invulnerable, control everything, over-achieve, strive for perfection, never feel that my best is good enough, do everything for everybody as they expect I should be doing, and never ever make a mistake, I have a chance to be happy.”
Losing your mind: “If I am vulnerable, only control what I am doing in the moment and my emotional reaction to life, do not over-achieve, do not strive for perfection, know that my best is good enough, do things for others because it feels right in my heart, not worry about making a mistake, I will have happiness and joyfulness in my heart.”
The spiritual part of the Recipe grows the happiness and joyfulness in your heart into compassion for yourself, followed by forgiveness, acceptance, and liking and loving yourself. And when you achieve this, you realize that viewing the world from your heart actually is what is real. It is where you find God, or the Universe, or the Higher Consciousness, or the Energy that surrounds us all and connects us all. It is where you find love, and peace, and liberation from what had been the illusions of your mind.
It is where you can look at yourself and realize that loving yourself is not selfish, but instead, it is necessary…absolutely necessary to being a complete human being. And you let go, you surrender, you voluntarily give up the shackles of illusion that have kept you a prisoner in your own body, and in your own mind.
You realize that what is in your heart is actually you, and that he or she is BEAUTIFUL!!! What makes you special has been with you all along. However, your strong mind convinced you otherwise.
Lose you mind. Be the real you in your heart. Be cured.
Parkinson’s is curable.
Be your own cure.
I know you can do it.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Beautiful statement Howard. I would add that each person has a unique voice to bring into the world, and if one is silent, that voice will never have a chance again to be heard. Each of us is a one of a kind treasure.
Thank you Howard,
This was so beautiful! You have shared not just the cure for Parkinson’s but the keys to a happy life. I will read these last 4 posts over and over.
Bless you from all of us!
Howard, thank you for so clearly stating in these last four posts the core of what is needed to heal from all types of chronic illness. This has been the hardest part of the journey for me, and old self-deprecating habits die hard.
But I will not abandon myself, I am worth it.
Howard reminded me of something important: I am not choosing to fight the old habits, in fact I embrace them as old well-meaning friends, ask them to sit by the fire. Meanwhile I cultivate new, self-loving habits that begin to take hold.
spot on, Howard…..i echo Jon, “this has been the hardest part of the journey for me”….
Wonderful, Howard!….Huge gratitude….so treasuring the clarity and direction this offers not only those of us with PD but everyone who finds this blog….
Thank you Howard great blog. I need to hear this so much. Will re read it several times.
What a special post. You have the unique ability to share from deep within your heart, to truly connect with that place deep within all of us. There’s no way we can hide our beautiful true selves from you, thank goodness. You exude love, peace and acceptance. Thank you, Howard.
I appreciate the comments from Patricia, Rick, Jon, Judy and Penny. They are ‘right on’.
I have gone over and over all of your incredible blogs every day repeatedly for the past year since doing the recipe consistently and committing to recovery! I have done a lot of work soul searching, healing my body mentally, physically, and spiritually, trying to take all of your wonderful advice to heart and figure it all out. I have really been struggling lately emotionally with depression and anxiety and I know that fear is the culprit. I have been desperately working hard detoxing my body from mercury poisoning for 8 years before I found you and I think I’m running low on patience in seeing any progress. At this point I feel I have finally healed my inner organs, restored my sense of smell, healed my digestion and elimination issues. Working hard on replacing fear with faith, but I think my biggest hurdle now is to surrender my ego and not be embarrassed to go out in public and not worry about what others are thinking. I feel I am heading toward that finish line and with you as my coach, how can I fail!!!!!! I thank all of you for sharing your feelings and experiences and to Marie for staying involved and connected and keeping us motivated! Howard, you are truly an incredible individual and I can’t thank God enough for answering my prayers for help and leading me to you! I will forever be grateful! With much love and gratitude, Melanie
What a revelation Howard!
I used to think that no matter what I did I would never be loved or accepted so I could do whatever I liked and it would make no difference. It was a lonely and depressing conclusion. Thank you for opening my eyes to a new way of seeing things. Also thank you to all of you for sharing your stories.
This learning to love yourself series is so hopeful and rings so clearly true. Thank you, Howard and everyone who commented. We can only win daily struggles with anxiety and self judgement with a new foundation of self love; changing foundations ain’t easy! For all those on this healing journey that challenges us to the core, Be Well!
Hi Howard (and readers of this blog),
Thank you for the “Learning to love yourself” postings. I have taken this to heart, so to speak, and found something I can do regularly to help shift to a loving mode of operation. I look to find something I love. I do this when I see I am negative, fearful, anxious , or just OK. There is always something to love: I love the sunshine on my face, I love the colors and fragrances of the Spring flowers and flowering trees, sometimes I love that I am alive and breathing, that my heart beats, I love the food I am eating, I love the person I am speaking with, I love that I can do specific tasks, on and on. I try to find something that is in the moment and not too abstract. This is a little different from my gratitude list at the end of the day, but related. Gradually, I can feel a shift from resentment to love. Thanks for nudging us in the direction of love.
and… I love that I found “the Recipe” and have followed it, to the best of my ability, for a year now, since I was guided to your workshop in my area.
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