Thursday, 27 August 2009

Self Consciousness and Other Thieves Of Peace

This is for people who are almost socially crippled by self consciousness, either due to their illness or other flaws they think they may have. Most shy people fall into this category. I heard this quote on TV today and remember when I was told this many years ago and how much it changed my life.


People are usually so busy worrying about how THEY appear to others, or how they look, or about the many things they have to get done today, or about the pain they are in at the moment, that they do not notice things about you that you might be so self conscious of.

For those of us with chronic illness, at the beginning of our illness, we often feel like we owe everyone who sees us or is in contact with us an explanation or apology of what we can't do and why. The only people's opinions about us that matters are people who are in direct connection with our daily life. For those people, I have sent a letter of explanation of my limitations to clergy (if I have a church job), or employer, or family members who would badger me about what I was NOT doing right. That works quite well. I have stopped worrying about what most others think of me. I think its because I no longer have the strength to worry. All my strength is now used just to survive each hour or each day, and worry drains more energy, so I refuse to let that worry steal any of my precious little strength. The only opinion that really matters is God, myself, my spouse (because mine is loving and accepting, but not all are). If I am doing my best, that's all I can do.That's all the Lord expects of me. Even angels can do no more than that. People have to learn to adapt to my limitations, because I just can't live up to everyone else's expectations.

Success is not based on money, but on satisfaction with your life. Perfectionism is not necessary, and it is destructive to your health and soul. I think the more "stuff" you have, the more you have to worry about and take care of, so I am simplifying by getting rid of things I don't use. I can do with less clothing. That would mean less energy spent on laundry. There are other things we could find in our life that are time/energy/peace thieves.

I've also started weeding out activities that are stealing my peace, and being conscious of how much time I spend on the computer, TV, other time wasters that add to my stress when I realize I have used my energy on those instead of things that would make my life better; or activities that would simplify my life and bring me more peace. Make peace and strength and joy your goal, not how much you can buy or how much you can squeeze into a day.

We are not human DOINGS, we are human BEINGS.

We need to learn how to just "Be", and know that God is with us, and learn to feel that very palpable feeling of when He IS with us, comforting us, strengthening us, guiding us.

When I look into my future, I want to picture a lady who is peaceful, with a smile, despite the pain and exhaustion, and a sense of humor, knowing how to pace myself, and accepting gracefully that there will have to be times of recovery where I will have pain and exhaustion. I guess all of us need to learn patience during those times. There are many small steps that can be taken to achieve those goals. I don't want to envision the person I used to be: Never happy with the amount I accomplished, letting my "lists" rule my life, never accepting what I did as good enough, never taking time to enjoy the small pleasures in life, never taking time to listen to the Lord, instead of just talking to Him, then not spending time to try to hear the answers. "Hearing Him" takes practice. At first, you may get impressions or inspirations, and wonder "did this idea come from me or from the adversary or from the Lord?" But as we act on those promptings and guidance, we soon hear/feel His guidance more loudly/strongly.

May you feel the strength and comfort that comes from the Lord. May you feel that He knows you and your limitations, He expects less from you than you think He does, and He expects less from you than your church might, and less than the world might expect. May you know that you only have to try to improve on your own life, (making it simplified and more peaceful, not more materialistic), and may you try not to be better than anyone else, but try to be better (in your own goals) tomorrow than you were yesterday.Bless each of you!Sheila

P.S. I really need to publicly thank the Lord for letting me live in the age of Internet! How did people who were sick and possibly stuck at home alone ever survive without it?


Hi Shiela:)

Greetings and salutations:)

Amazingly wonderful post. I am truly inspired by your practical wisdom and depth of knowledge.

This message is priceless!

This is what I wanted to read, to understand, to implement in my cluttered worldly life. Worry about this, worry about that. If you really look at it, most worries never materialize and if any worry confronts us, we find a way to overcome it or circumvent it.


I am truly inspired by your fantastic, practical insight into life. I just can't get over the lovely message contained in it. I admire and salute you. You are great!

God bless you abundantly Shiela:)

Dear Joseph;
You are always so good to me and so generous with your kind compliments. I am happy if even 1 lesson I have learned through hardship and through the Lord's guidance can help someone else. When you praise me, you are really praising HIM, the author of all wisdom. You are so right! Most of what we worry about is never as bad in real life as in our imagination, and half of what we worry about never happens anyway!Sending hugs and prayers!

Yes, we should always be thankful to the Lord whatever our situations maybe. Let us just trust in His unfailing love that He will do for us what is best for us. Thanks for your very positive outlook in life. You are always a source of inspiration to your readers. God bless you more for that. Is your husband with you already in Canada? Thanks for the positive post. God bless you always.

bluebirdy is my inspiration. many times when i go through hard times, i just need to think of her and she gives me the courage to push a little harder.
thank you sheila. i haven't told you enough. hugs. and God bless you and all your readers here.

Thank you Tuti & Mel! What a very touching things to say! Ir's nice to hear, then I give the Lord the praise because it was Him who gave me these trials as lessons, in this school called life.

Mel, no date yet on hubby's arrival. I guess I learned my lesson, not to share my good news and excitemnt with the world until I have a sure date, because everyone struggles with me, waiting for it to happen. I got a phonoe call from the gov't saying the latest it could happen is mid November, but I don't believe them anymore after their cruelly long delay. I sent in some paperwork that is supposed to speed up the whole process; so if all goes well, it would be before mid October. With 2 governments working together, especially if one is a third world country, it's another waiting game, just not as long his time. It's fne because I have so much to do before he comes, and I can do so little each day. I am looking for someone to hire to finish it all, but I took my own advice from my article and cut out unnecessary tasks, got rid of unneeded items that clutter my house and my time and my mind, so life can be less difficult.
Hugs & prayers to you both.

You are truly an inspiration to me I get on your blog and I feel so much peace and I really believe the Lord is with me every step of the way
Bless You
Mary Ann Asbury

Hi Sheila. Thank you for this wonderful post.

I used to be a person who worries a lot about the future. I even used to worry about what people might think of me. But all of that has change since I have my chronic illness. I learned to live just for today because indeed each day has enough trouble of its own. But it's not an easy process. There are still times that I would think of my future, of what will happen to me if my illness gets worst and I am alone.

Praying for you everyday my friend... Take care of yourself always. God bless you...


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