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How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Body, Even with Chronic Illness

How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Body, Even with Chronic Illness | www.achronicvoice.com

I’m sure you’ve noticed the commodities of love mushrooming around us at an alarming speed. Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming right up 😉 Amidst all the expressions of romantic love, I’d like to take some time to honour the bond I have with my body. It’s after all, the most intimate relationship I’ll ever have.

Loving Our Bodies on a Daily Basis

Relationships require a great deal of effort, whether they’re romantic or not. They need time and attention in order to thrive, and to take root beneath the superficial. Our bodies are a relationship destined by birth, and not one we can separate from as and when we please. Like it or not, we need to learn to get along with it. Over time, you may even realise how much it wants to make you happy, as opposed to being the abusive bitch you thought it was.

There are many things we can do to love our bodies on a daily basis. These are often inconspicuous acts that don’t seem like much, but add up over time. Respect its limits, and listen to it with an open and empathetic mind. This is an important factor for any healthy relationship, and is no different with your body. Treat it with compassion, and watch the relationship grow stronger than ever before.

Finding New Ways to Love Our Bodies

It’s difficult to love your body when it’s flawed, and wrecked with constant pain. But I’ve also come to appreciate the imperfections, for they are marks that set you and me apart. It can be frustrating when my body doesn’t go along with my plans, but compromises are the cornerstone of progress. These constant face-offs can be a drag, but I also get to pick up the most important life lessons at a younger age. I am forced to confront uncomfortable topics which society can choose to ignore. As a result, I become intimate with the elements of life, and learn how to navigate across its fierce ocean.

Your ideas of love will differ from mine, and there are a million and one ways to express them. So go ahead and unleash your creativity, but never leave sincerity out of the equation. No matter the state of your health, find that special rhythm with it. Speed isn’t of essence here; learn how to connect with your body, such that the dance through life is an enjoyable one.

An Intimacy Like No Other

If there’s one thing I’ve become with my body due to illness, it is intimate. Many healthy people aren’t fully aware of changes happening within themselves, but I’ve gained a heightened sensitivity to it. This isn’t always pleasant, like a tooth with its nerves exposed, but it does provide crucial feedback. I am familiar with every nook and cranny of my broken body, and ‘gross’ functions no longer perturb me. In fact, I’m amazed by how much knowledge our blood and poop contains, and the process to produce them is pure art. In that sense, my body is the artist, and I am its medium.

I am comfortable with my scars and bruises, lumps and bumps; almost proud of them, in fact. Each one represents an event or milestone of healing or survival; each one owns a piece of my life story. Go ahead and look at them all you want – you have some of them yourself.

Commitment to Being a Better Partner

Whatever it is and as grim as it may sound, we have no choice but to make things work between us. The prize for clear communication, careful compromise, kindness and love, is a deeper understanding of who we are as a person. There will be days where we fail, but we can try to commit ourselves to being a better partner every day. In that way, we can live a rich and full life, no matter the length or circumstance.

Live well and love much, my friends. Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! 😉

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    For More Insight:

  • Valentine’s Day for families (article on einfachmaleinfach.de): https://goo.gl/XYuFXX
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Amidst all the expressions of romantic love over Valentine's Day, I’d like to take some time to honour the bond I have with my body. It’s after all, the most intimate relationship I’ll ever have. Here's how I try to maintain a healthy relationship with it. Click to read or pin to save for later. | www.achronicvoice.com | #chroniclife #relationships #spoonielife #chronicillness #healthylifestyle #mentalhealth

7 comments

  • […] with your Body, Even with Chronic Illness” written by Sheryl Chen of The Chronic Voice (https://www.achronicvoice.com/2018/02/05/healthy-relationship-body-chronic-illness/).  Sheryl explored the idea that the relationship we have with our bodies echoes the relationship […]

  • Pretty much a love letter to ourselves – that is us spoonies. Great post Sheryl – sharing!!

  • I really love this article. I used to look at my body as my enemy when I first got ill, but through the years I slowly learned more to take care of it. I think whenever I have a high pain day I’m gonna come back to this piece. It’s a great eye opener that we should not be angry at our bodies but we should comfort it. After all, it’s the only body we were given so we might aswell treat it right.

    • Hi Kirsten,

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts 🙂 Yes me too. I used to fight against it and get really angry with it, but now I think it’s pretty amazing despite all the errors with its internal code lol. Wishing you low pain days! x

  • This really hit home for me as I don’t like, let along love, my body very much. We are wonderfully made and even when things are wrong, our bodies are still amazing.

    Thank you for the reminder to honor my body for the marvelous creation it is.

    Hugs!

    • Dear Pearl,

      I’m happy that this article is of use to you 🙂 Yes it can be so difficult and probably be a lifelong learning journey, but our bodies are still wondrous things 🙂 x

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