You may be thinking “but a silly title. Of course people who are ill are as lovable as they were when they weren’t ill.”

That’s the conscious, reasonable attitude.

A funny thing happens, though, in our unexamined, reactionary minds.

People who are ill may find themselves thinking “what did I do wrong?” They may start feeling guilty for all the trouble they are causing and feel like a burden to their caregivers or society in general. [When I say “they may,” I am writing about myself. I have had those thoughts.]

Onlookers may, without realizing it, consider the person who is ill is not quite as capable as a “normal” person… Not a reliable witness. I saw this in action the first time I was out in public in a wheelchair. A waitress asked my husband “what does she want to order?” She was making assumptions about my capabilities because she saw the wheelchair and not the person.

It’s a short skip from there to believing that we are not quite as deserving of love and connection. This, at a time when we most need that sense of belonging.

Love is not something we deserve or don’t deserve. It is a celebration of all that makes us unique and wonderful. Each person is an amazing concoction of body, mind, and spirit never before seen and never to be seen again. How magnificent!

That magnificence is not dimmed by illness. (In fact, living with illness may add to its luster.)

When you are down and feeling unlovable, you might want to look at a cat or dog near you. They are lovable, but they don’t do anything except be themselves in their own open-hearted, generous way. [To be honest, I’m a dog person. Cats don’t strike me as openhearted and generous, but their people seem to love them anyway, which proves my point.]

Trust in this, dear one, you are lovable and magnificent.

In your journal:

  • When have you had your capabilities doubted?
  • What is love?
  • Write about a time you or someone you know felt unlovable.
  • Write a love letter to yourself.