We try to hide them, deny them, and, when we cannot ignore them, we try to get away from them as quickly as possible. They are our weaknesses, and many of us may find them so very embarrassing that these seeming “flaws” hold us back from becoming as strong as we are capable of being.
For many of us with chronic illness, fatigue is a huge factor. But it is also something that might make us feel weak, less than adequate (especially if we get tired more easily than others engaged in the same activity). We wish we didn’t get so fatigued so easily, wish we didn’t have this weakness. But every time we try to ignore it, we know we have to pay a sometimes very steep price. So, instead of ignoring it, we can give this “weakness” strength, that is, acknowledge it, rest more when we have to, and help our bodies suffer less stress and more understanding.
Physical manifestations of disease can also seem like weaknesses, especially rashes, hairloss, and severe weight gain or loss. But, just as with fatigue, we can adapt to them (and any treatment our medical teams deems necessary), and accept them so that we can move ahead with greater strength and less embarrassment.
God loves the entirety of who each of us is – the perceived weaknesses brought on by illness and pain, as well as all else. If we learn to love ourselves in this way, especially our illness-precipitated flaws, we’ll be able to replace a lot of the stress of daily living with calm, comfort, and peace!