Why Autoimmune Disease is Joy In Disguise

Blog, Lifestyle

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How do you find joy in the middle of a disease? Or a crippling accident or a painful loss like a divorce, death or job loss? We can call it autoimmune disease, or being laid off, or natural disaster, but I call it “Joy In Disguise.”

Because what is joy after all? My definition of joy is: the propensity of something to cause an upliftment in your life. And disease is no exception to that definition. This may be a good time for an exercise. Take a few breaths and close your eyes for a minute. When you feel centered, ask your mind to let go of any definitions of good or bad for just a minute. That means you let go for just a minute of the idea that disease is bad. For that minute just see your disease as  neutral. It is not destroying you, it is not healing you, it is just a benign blob in the corner of the room. Now, I want you to look at the blob, and ask it very seriously what gifts it has for you. Ask it what gifts it plans to give you. It may be a staring contest, but smile and be patient while you hold your turf and see what it has to say. If it gets snarky and says “none” tell it that you love it. Tell it you love it so much that you have the patience to sit and wait for 30 more seconds and give you an answer. See what happens. This is a great daily practice to remove the power you think disease holds over you and start redefining the relationship you have with it. This is an exercise of truly making peace with your difficulty.

That kind of exercise does two things. First it allows the mind to stop promoting the idea that your disease is something that is bad or the biggest baddest thorn in your side. It also allows you to open yourself to transformation disease into an ally that is on your side, promoting the best for yourself. Like the woman with MS who used it to write a book and change thousands of lives. Or the woman with fibromyalgia who finally got out of the unhealthy marriage. Or the celiac mother who used her knowledge to catch the same disease in her child and apply it to helping heal their autism. It goes on and on and on and I believe it is just a matter of finding the golden thread in your experience and pulling it to unravel its beauty to you. I have seen what happens when people find their golden thread and pull on it. Beauty comes forward. Healing comes forward. Acceptance comes forward. You come forward.

So I invite you to talk to the blob in the corner. I invite you to consider just for a moment you have been given the gift of Joy In Disguise and the messenger has been Autoimmune Disease.

 

22 Comments

  1. Cynthia McCarthy

    I have been searching for opportunities to change my life for the better and just came across this post. I started a pin folder because of this called, “I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!” I did the quick little meditation and had remarkable results. The blob said “I can give you your life back”. Then I remembered back instantly to my sisters death and my nephew and the colitis came soon after. And I thought “I lost my health” from their deaths. And I cried. And I told them I was sorry for not being a better person to them And I heard “go for a walk”…And I will. I am on an autoimmune paleo diet as of 3 weeks ago and will do this practice every day. Thank-you so much…

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Cynthia, that is incredibly beautiful. I am so touched you found it useful and that you shared how it immediately the exercise shifted things for you. It is a brave journey you are on, and I imagine that the gifts are just beginning to reveal themselves to you. It is a treasure trove that awaits you! So very wonderful for you! xo-jessica

      Reply
      • Cindy

        Jessica, thank you so much for that visualization and dialog with the disease. I am not yet diagnosed but things are pointing towards Graves Disease. I asked my blob what gift it has for me and it replied, “the gift of slowing down.” I am a Therapist specializing in trauma and Attachment. This was such a profound question to ask. I will pass this on to others clients in my practice. Blessings, Cindy

        Reply
        • Jessica

          Cindy! I love reading this! Thank you for sharing what the blob said. I love hearing everyone’s unique message! And very exciting it may be useful in your practice. xoxo- jessica

          Reply
  2. Denise Williams

    Thank you for this lovely post. My family has just started down the AIP road in response to my husband’s ulcerative colitis, which we have been “dealing with” for the last 18 months or so. We are now on our sixth day of eating clean! The disease has been a wake up call for him/us, and this is our first step toward real healing (we hope). He is already experiencing improvement in some areas. But your post is a reminder for us to look for the positive each day, which is definitely difficult when you’re scared and trying to deal with going from being an energetic, healthy young father/husband to having debilitating pain, mood swings, etc. Thank you for your encouragement. I will share this post with the hubby!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hi Denise! I so very much appreciate your compliment and I am SO happy that this may be helpful in some way to you and your husband. It is a wonderful place when we can have some hope that struggles can provide uplifment in our lives..I truly find that to be true. xo-jessica

      Reply
  3. Brian

    Thank you for posting this. In March I tested positive for HIV. In mid-April I was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. My t-cell count was 8 (“normal” is 500-1,500) and my viral load was 2.5 million. I wasn’t just HIV positive, I have AIDS. Thankfully, this realization didn’t hit me until last week. The funny thing is that I feel great (physically). In fact, I feel better than I have in months. My t-cell count is now over 40 and my viral load is down to 4,780. There is still a long road ahead of me but i will eventually make it out of the woods, as they say. I am grateful that I have a loving partner willing to walk that path with me. (Upon my arrival home, he immediately began preparing the most delicious meals per the paleo auto immune protocol…how I found you.) The hard part is now dealing with the emotional part of this, especially for my sweet man. Reading this post changed my perspective regarding my diagnosis. I have never thought I am going to die (but others still do-and they’re in for a big surprise!) but I don’t always see the silver lining to this cloud. You have provided me with a powerful tool for changing my thought pattern so I won’t always be focused on the negative aspects of my situation. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Brian, I feel very grateful that you shared this. Bravery like yours, and the willingness to look beyond your struggle into the deeper truth of what is happening is not only rare, but is inspiring. You are truly spinning straw into gold and I think that is one of the biggest gifts of being human, and yet one of the most undiscovered treasures we hold in this experience. And, as you do it in loving way like you are, humanity wakes up to it as well. Thank you. xo-jessica

      Reply
  4. Lynn

    The last couple of weeks have been a foggy kind of whirlwind. My blood test results show I am positive for Lupus or Sjogren’s Disease. The docs are still trying to narrow it down. I have always been in good general health and am feeling perfectly fine-I really have very few and extremely mild symptoms, so this news was a bit of a shock to me. I’ve been pretty emotional about it and became stressed out as I am also losing my insurance. I felt so defeated and even embarrassed by this diagnosis. Then, I realized I needed to overcome that mentality especially since I feel perfectly fine! I’ve been looking to see how I can first change my diet to eliminate any inflammation that I could be causing myself and so I came across you page. This exercise has been so freeing and uplifting. I heard the blob say, “Slow down already! Don’t ever embrace stress. ENJOY your life. LOVE yourself. The Lord is with you!” These are all things I’ve been yearning for and now thanks to the blog, I will not continue to neglect myself. THANK YOU FOR THIS!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Hi Lynn! I am so happy reading your comment that is has brought me to tears. It is the exact reason I love this work so much. I congratulate you on your discovery of gifts. The lord is with us, and thank you for that reminder. xoxo-jessica

      Reply
  5. Vanessa

    If I could have yur email that would be great. I have some personal n urgent questions please

    Reply
  6. maria

    Thank you SO MUCH for your work and writing!!! In my own search for both meaning and healing in an autoimmune disorder, this was ExACTLY what I needed today. Thank you and thank God!

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Maria! Thank you! And you are very welcome! xx-jessica

      Reply
  7. Krysta

    Thank you for this article. I did it. The blob said it is giving me the gifts of 1) knowing how to eat for health and longevity after thinking I already did. 2) knowing how to help my daughter eat, who has Angelman’s Syndrome, and is not a sickness, but gluten/grain free is best for her cognitive function. 3) being able to help other someday 4) Community.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Krysta, I got goosebumps reading this! Love love love those. Thank you so much for sharing that!! xx-jessica

      Reply
  8. Christopher

    This post is so empowering. Thank you so much for posting such beautiful words. You have given excellent advice in such a sensitive manner. I take my hat off to you…. the world needs more people like you in it.

    Reply
    • Jessica

      Thank you Christopher for you kindness. I am so glad you found this helpful! -jessica

      Reply
  9. Amy Heinz

    This choked me up… Because i was so scatter brained and never knew i was unhealthy as i was and would become so quickly.. My mind has cleared alot. But autoimmune issues have truly been a blessing and a curse. But to now clearly see the things in my children. So glad i can teach them early and better myself… So Joy?… Yes i can say Joy?

    Reply
  10. Alex

    Beautiful article. My journey has taught me compassion for sick people and a passion for encouraging them. I have also seen my own strength through all of this. I have been through Endometriosis, adenomyosis, Ovarian cysts, Scoliosis, IBS, Hashimoto’s and now fibromyalgia. I am 29 years old with 3 young kids. Everyday is not pretty but I’m trying to find the good in everyday.

    Reply

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