I always knew I was able to love others, but I haven’t always known that I that I could be loved.
Easily I found many reasons that people would not love me or that made me unlovable. This was regardless of what occurred in real life. My ideas were superior to my reality.
I grew up in a loving community with a loving family. Sure we had our share of problems like the next family, but the love was abundant.
Dealing with chronic illnesses early in life impacted my perspective on myself. I was unnecessarily flawed, beyond the flaws of everyone else. That’s how I perceived things at least.
No, I didn’t live in a constant state of depression however every time I had a long drawn out battle with illness I lost perceived lovableness.
There wasn’t a doctor, teacher, community member, etc who noticed that battling chronic illness made me feel unlovable
We learn about the relation between depression and chronic illness; but, we hear little about the long-term effects of managing chronic illness on emotional intelligence.
I use emotional intelligence purposely because I cannot shelve the sense of being lovable in any one category.
It is amazing to be loved and to fully realize that I am loved. Being loved means little if I am unaware of it.
I can now see the love of my parents and extended family, friends who are like family, and many others now that I feel lovable
The love has been there for a long while but I can see it now.
Chronic illness isn’t the only thing that alters our self perception but it is one of my major ones.
I actively work to place chronic illness in the category it belongs. Yes, it impacts every aspect of my life but it doesn’t define me.
I always knew that I could love, but the discovery that I can not only be loved, but that I am loved…is simply beautiful.
I love and I am loved…priceless