Do you struggle with loneliness? Do you feel helpless?

“The purpose of life, is a life of purpose” – Robert Byrne

Frannie RoseThere are two themes that those of us with chronic illness deal with more than most. I believe they are loneliness and helplessness. These are the realities that we don’t see gently. We get a unique exposure that the “well world” does not deal with in the same way or intensity.

I have seen much solitude in the past few years. Most of it, I have chosen myself, choosing to think of it differently than loneliness. Loneliness and solitude are flip sides of one coin….spending time alone. You can choose to see it with purpose, or you can see it as something lacking in your life. How you look at it depends upon how you choose to see it.

However, loneliness or solitude is a fact of life for everyone. Human beings tend to think in terms of something they are lacking. When we were well, we surrounded ourselves with other people to avoid thinking about it. You and I know that we spend much more time alone now, than when we were well. But one of life’s truths is that we are born alone and die alone. And what we make of this: our purpose, is what lies in between.

On Helplessness

Another truth of human life is helplessness. We are helpless, whether sick or well, strong or weak. Up until illness we merely found ways to pretend we were not, giving ourselves black and white choices to deal with. But in truth, life is not within our control. Things happen. Illness happens. Pain happens. As does the flip side of happiness and healthy times. And it is just our human nature that tricks us into thinking that the choices we make can give us more control than others. This is merely to deal with our feelings of helplessness.

Dealing with the uncertainties of chronic illness, we have helplessness “in our faces” all the time. It isn’t always as simple as science: if we do this or we do that, we can create a certain response. Sometimes reactions follow nothing that we can trace, and sometimes no response follows things we would expect. Its part of the randomness of life forces combined with the variables of chronic illness. Our helplessness is something we must learn how to accept, whereas others in the “well world “do not have to think about or deal with these things in such an overt fashion.

On Finding A Purpose

The flip side of helplessness is finding a purpose. And finding purpose leads us to choices of what we achieve. As chronically ill human beings, our purposes must change. They change from feeling sick to feeling better, from making money to making life worth living. They change from what we did, to what we felt. They change from running around to the essence of living. They change from quantity to quality.

You can start right now to find a purpose. Whether it is helping others, or helping yourself. Whether you laugh one day or are still the next. Find it. Gain energy from your solitude. Use this energy to find a purpose. Use this purpose to change the world in subtle ways with inspirational thoughts and actions. Everyone in this world counts. We are all infinite bodies of energy. We all affect one another. Even what you feel are small things, are never meaningless.

Dropping a small pebble into a river or a creek creates ripples that can flow far downstream. Everything you do in your life, affects things that your loved ones do, and the energy stream around you. Remember even with an illness, you are a pebble in the river creating ripples downstream. What you do, what you feel and what you are, matters.

Find your purpose in solitude. Find an energy in solitude. Use the energy behind your helplessness to find a purpose. Does that sound hard? It really is not. For some the purpose will be to build a new you. For others, it will be to do something they never had time to do before. Still others, will use the new compassion flowing from their helplessness to find ways to help others.

Think of it now. There are always infinite possibilities!

I wish you cool summer showers with fragrant rose blossoms. Use this new, fine day to gain more energy. Use this new energy to find a purpose. Use your new purpose to change the world in fine, subtle ways.

I assure you, even with chronic illness, better days and rare opportunities await you.
Let us walk down this healing road together.

Always with peace and love,

(c) 2005 – Frannie Rose