Kind promise: I will advocate courageously.
I have been exploring this promise as it relates to living in a body with chronic illness and significant disability.
I have ranted in my journal about difficulties getting appointments with medical specialists. I’ve whined about not holding fast to my decision about which coat to wear. I’ve left sternly worded voicemail messages to care coordinators who left me stranded without care attendants. I’ve made resolutions advising myself to be aware of my needs and ask for what I want.
Then I identified the power behind this promise and dropped into a pool of awe because (of course) it’s about love. When I love, I want the best for the loved ones. I will move into action to get what they need. I don’t wonder if they deserve it. I don’t measure my own energy before I do what’s next.
I need to love my body. That’s not easy for me. I’m not getting what I want from it. It doesn’t do what I ask it to do and it’s painful and heavy and awkward. Yet I know love can go beyond all that.
That sense of “me” versus “it” has to go. I am it and it is me and we are one. While we’re at it, understand that those bonds of connection go not just between this one body and mind, but also between here and all those other beings we imagine are separate: those we love, those we barely know, those we find difficult, the computer we imagine is solidly in front of us, our city, our country, our planet, our solar system, the universe… It’s all one glorious ball of being. At that level, it’s easy to love. Now, zoom the image back down to this consciousness in this body and bring the openhearted love with us.
From this place the caregivers and coats, the doctors and phone calls, the aches and hungers become easier. Advocacy energized by love is courageous by nature.