I spent seventeen years being ‘flexible’, constantly pushed to fulfill someone else’s goals for me. Yes, I could certainly do what was wanted – but they weren’t goals that were important to ME! I didn’t want to be a director of a small corporation, especially one promoting values foreign to my own. I did want to follow my passion for holistic health and empowering women to create and own their wellness. I tried to do both, but it quickly became clear that I could not follow my passion and continue to meet those goals set for me, rather than by me.
What does this have to do with Fibromyalgia, you ask? One of the hallmarks of Fibro/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a very limited supply of energy. It takes a lot of energy to just keep your head above water when it comes to Fibro symptoms, so using what you have wisely is essential.
All the energy I was spending in meeting someone else’s dream was energy that I was not investing in my healing and wellness. The stress of doing something I didn’t want to do and ignoring what was important to me was another energy drain. There was nothing left over for the very important task of healing. End result: a lot of time spent laying on a couch staring at a wall, unable to muster the energy to think, let alone move.
My saving grace was that I got it into my head that I simply had to have a dog. Nobody knows where that desire came from (including me), because I had always been afraid of dogs. I persisted, and bringing Pixie home changed my life.
Some days, the only reason I could find to force myself out of bed was that Pixie needed to go outside for his P&P. He needed exercise whether I felt like it or not. Cotons de Tulear need daily grooming – again, whether I felt like it or not. There was only so much energy to go around, and the other demands that were sucking the life out of me were still there. Pixie mattered and they didn’t. I gave him priority. It was in choosing to meet Pixie’s needs that I began to meet my own. Energy spent due to coercion is energy drained. Energy spent voluntarily? Ah, that is energy invested, and the ROI (return on investment) is stellar!
It took a very long time, but I finally realized that, at the end of my life, what will matter is not what anyone else thought of what I had made of my journey, but what I thought of it. So, I’m now happily single, off the couch and going about being who I am, instead of who someone else wants me to be. And it turns out that who I am is much more healthy, strong and energetic that I could possibly have imagined during those dark days on the couch!
How about you? Are you investing or draining your energy? What are your thoughts on your life’s journey? Is there something that makes your heart sing? If so, go for it – energy invested in joy has an incredible return on investment!