Chronic Illness and Politics

Chronic Illness and Politics

Our current political climate is giving me a powerful refresher course in the chronic illness experience. It’s been a few years since I was last dealing with the experience of chronic illness. I’ve had a bump in the road here and there, but that week in week out, month in month out crawl through the days has faded from my everyday memories. Sometimes I can revisit part of the experience, but it’s brief. I remember that as I made my way through illness I had begun to understand that the hardest part of it all was the emotions, that ultimately the lessons were about myself, my beliefs, my way of being. And I uncovered an ever present peace.

But I am reliving it now, the emotional stuff, albeit with a different awareness. But it’s basically the same. Where before I was finding myself thinking about illness all day and any moment I was awake during the night, I am now thinking about our administration and our country, all day and at any moment I am awake during the night. It’s heavy, it’s uncomfortable, it’s upsetting, it’s depressing. It occurred to me the other day that it felt the same as when I was ill, this obsessing over every detail, living inside one topic the majority of the time.

I found during illness that when I was heart-centered and identified with Source or Self, there was much less drama in my thoughts. There was still a body expressing illness to address every day, but the context had shifted. It was an illness experience arising within me, but was not the whole of me. There was just something to embrace (not to be confused with liking) and to surrender to (not to be confused with giving in to). I have the opportunity to embrace and surrender again, this time it’s to the experience of political chaos and not illness.

When we stop resisting what ‘already is’ our energy stops being drained into the fight. We are able to see so much more, discover so much about ourselves, and in that non-chaotic space, new pathways are revealed and solutions arise. We also become clear about who we are, truly are (and it’s not a political party) and our matching self-expression becomes effortless. We begin to take actions that are FOR something and not just against something else. The ‘for’ actions, when fueled by love are stimulating, nourishing and sustainable. The ‘against’ actions tend to be about right/wrong, better than/worse than and are depleting. Certainly there are times in life when we jump into ‘against’, but we have the power to choose where we come from the majority of the time.

This morning I gave myself a time-out. I sat outside in the chilly air and closed my eyes. Although there were thoughts running through my head, I kept my attention on my actual experience. I noticed the sensation of my body, the feel of the chair, and the sounds of the birds. I noticed that there was no separation between the sensations and sounds and the field of awareness they arose in. It was all just one and it was peaceful. And I allowed it. I thought of all the political unrest and was aware of the feelings that arose, and it felt like my heart was breaking, and I allowed it, and it was peaceful.

A little later I took Thandi for a walk on the beach. It felt better than days prior when we walked as I thought, and thought, and thought. There were a lot of people out this morning, about 6 of them, all with dogs. Everyone was mellow, all the dogs were happy and getting along well, the conversations were casual and comfortable, and the people were playing with each others dogs. Thandi was feeling pretty fluffed up and loved with all the attention she got because she was lying down for a rest.

Back in the parking lot I noticed the empty cars of the other dog owners. There were stickers on a few of them that revealed a little about the different owners: NRA, religion, Republican, Democratic…and some others. We can get along. Yes we can…


Published by Jenny

Jenny Rush resides in Maine, offering free resources for dealing with Lyme disease. Author and host of teleconference calls, guest speaker, retreat leader, personal coach - dealing with emotional/spiritual challenges of chronic illness.


  • Paula Johnston

    January 30, 2017 at 8:09 pm Reply

    Very helpful, well written article, and relevant to the times! For myself, personally, I am recently more aware of the moments I am experiencing Lyme herxing and sensing a correlation with my stress levels. Pain for me seems to multiply along with anxiety and political frustration levels most frequently. We already know that stress is not good for anyone, but for those of us with Chronic Lyme it is essential that we control our stress levels! Time to unplug the computer , turn off the news, and take a walk…..

    • Jenny

      January 31, 2017 at 5:37 pm Reply

      Yes, alleviating stress is vitally important to all areas of our lives. Wishing you peaceful times.

  • Mary Wentworth

    January 31, 2017 at 9:00 pm Reply

    Beautiful piece, Jenny. Thank you and I love you!

    • Jenny

      February 1, 2017 at 3:55 pm Reply

      Love you too Mary. xoxo

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