Diabetes Self-Management Blog

When I had almost finished writing my first book, The Art of Getting Well, I was overcome with doubts. Was it any good? Would anyone want to read it? Could I do the promotion and marketing that would be necessary? I didn’t know.

Doubts stopped my writing for weeks. I meditated on it; I worried about it. I studied the market and analyzed where my book might or might not fit in. I realized I had a small publisher who couldn’t do much to help. Perhaps I was just wasting my time.

Finally, a friend did a guided imagery exercise with me that opened my eyes. She had me relax, then meet, in my imagination, with my “Inner Advisor.” An Inner Advisor is a “wise, kind figure who knows you well.” It can come in any form. Many people imagine Jesus, or a wise old ancestor, or an animal. On this day, I got an image of a woman who said she was my great-grandmother, a person I had never met in life.

When I asked my advisor about my problem, her message was simple. I had to have faith. “You can’t know what will happen with your book or with anything else,” she told me. “You just have to have faith that whatever happens will be OK.”

I remembered that message. It enabled me to finish that book, and my diabetes book, and helped me deal with the fears and challenges of chronic illness. I have gone back to that message many times when things seemed difficult with health, work, relationships, finances, when I can’t walk as well, or friends seem distant, or whatever. I have to have faith.

But faith in what? When I ask people what they believe in, many will say God. That clearly works for many. But a homeless poet in San Francisco told me, in rhyme, that faith is not dependent on belief in a particular god or religion or spiritual tradition. Faith is belief in the world, in the future, in yourself, that “even when you don’t know what is going on, things will be all right.” I wish I could remember more of his exact words, because they were beautiful, and from such an unexpected source!

Faith definitely helps me in living with my multiple sclerosis (MS). Every morning I wake up asking myself, “Is this the day my world shrinks further? What have I lost since yesterday?” It’s not until I do my stretches and try to get out of bed that I learn whether I will be able to stand that day. I used to waste energy worrying about such things, but having faith is better. For the last couple of years, I’ve been pretty stable.

I imagine it’s the same with fear of diabetes complications. It’s very scary not to know when or whether your body will give out in some way. When your blood sugar is up, does it make you feel a little bit doomed? Without faith, those situations are harder to deal with.

Sometimes when I look at the world situation — the growing gulf between rich and poor, the endless wars, especially the rapidly heating climate — it challenges my faith. Lately, I’ve been putting more faith in yin and yang, the constantly changing, constantly reversing flow of opposites that make up our world. That concept helps me believe that much of the madness we’re living in can’t last. Just when a situation looks most hopeless is when it can change most radically.

I could see where some people might feel that having faith means not having to do for yourself. “God will take care of it,” like in that story of the man refusing a boat ride in a flood, and drowning. But to me, faith supports self-care efforts. It doesn’t guarantee any results, but I maximize my chances by exercising and eating right.

Or with global warming, I don’t think having faith means “I can drive all I want and God will take care of it.” We still have to do our best. But we also have to believe. Otherwise, why bother?

What about you? Does faith help you deal with complications or fear of complications? Does it help you with managing? How difficult is it to maintain faith when things get hard, and how important is it to do so?

**
Even if you haven’t visited my blog Reasons to Live before, or haven’t gotten much out of it, I think you’ll like my new post on helpful and unhelpful ways to help. Readers are finding it inspiring and useful.

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. There are no comments at this time.


Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Emotional Health
What Is Depression? (09/10/14)
Anxiety and Grief (08/26/14)
Righteous Anger! (08/21/14)
Diabetes Distress and Depression (07/09/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.