Yesterday, I spent the entire day in bed. When I first woke up, my head was full of all the things I was going to get done, like working on my novel, paying the bills, and writing this blog post. But I was in too exhausted to move and in too much pain to think.

I didn’t know if I was sick (other members of the house have the some of my weirder symptoms), suffering a flare-up of my autoimmune disorder (I’d been canoeing the day before and may have over done it), or both. But I was dead in the water. I wasn’t able to do any of the things I’d planned on.

Naturally, I felt frustrated. Then I remembered: this is who I am.

I am a person with chronic health problems that sap my energy and disrupt my schedule, whether I want them to or not. I can be angry and complain, or I can accept this fact about myself and work with it.

Yesterday, I had no choice but to work with it. I re-read a book for comfort (Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, because she makes me laugh while reminding me I’m not alone) and I rested. I gave myself the time and space I needed to revive, and it worked.

I struggle constantly to accept things as they are, especially my body and my health. One of the gifts of accepting where we are at is that it frees us to make changes. You can’t change something if you don’t know what you currently have.

I came across this quote yesterday, and it’s way of looking at things gives me hope:

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.

Nido Qubein

After dinner, I was able to do some dishes (the only thing I accomplished yesterday) and today I am up and moving again, feeling more energetic, able to get some writing done and hoping I will have enough spoons* later to tackle some of the chores on my list.

When we finally accept what is true — that it takes time for bodies to heal — we open the door to a better future. We can’t move forward until we know where we currently stand. Embracing where we are at makes it possible for us to starting heading in the direction that we want to go.

Are you feeling blocked by current circumstances? What do you struggle to accept about your life?

*The use of spoons as a metaphor for the challenges of living with a chronic illness was first proposed by Christine Miserandino in an essay she wrote in 2010, only I can’t find any working links to it. Click here to watch a talk she gave about it.

2 thoughts on “To Change Things, First Accept Where You Are”

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