How do you find joy in the middle of a disease? Or a crippling accident or a painful loss like a divorce, death or job loss? We can call it autoimmune disease, or being laid off, or natural disaster, but I call it "Joy In Disguise."
Because what is joy after all? My definition of joy is: the propensity of something to cause an upliftment in your life. And disease is no exception to that definition. This may be a good time for an exercise. Take a few breaths and close your eyes for a minute. When you feel centered, ask your mind to let go of any definitions of good or bad for just a minute. That means you let go for just a minute of the idea that disease is bad. For that minute just see your disease as neutral. It is not destroying you, it is not healing you, it is just a benign blob in the corner of the room. Now, I want you to look at the blob, and ask it very seriously what gifts it has for you. Ask it what gifts it plans to give you. It may be a staring contest, but smile and be patient while you hold your turf and see what it has to say. If it gets snarky and says "none" tell it that you love it. Tell it you love it so much that you have the patience to sit and wait for 30 more seconds and give you an answer. See what happens. This is a great daily practice to remove the power you think disease holds over you and start redefining the relationship you have with it. This is an exercise of truly making peace with your difficulty.
That kind of exercise does two things. First it allows the mind to stop promoting the idea that your disease is something that is bad or the biggest baddest thorn in your side. It also allows you to open yourself to transformation disease into an ally that is on your side, promoting the best for yourself. Like the woman with MS who used it to write a book and change thousands of lives. Or the woman with fibromyalgia who finally got out of the unhealthy marriage. Or the celiac mother who used her knowledge to catch the same disease in her child and apply it to helping heal their autism. It goes on and on and on and I believe it is just a matter of finding the golden thread in your experience and pulling it to unravel its beauty to you. I have seen what happens when people find their golden thread and pull on it. Beauty comes forward. Healing comes forward. Acceptance comes forward. You come forward.
So I invite you to talk to the blob in the corner. I invite you to consider just for a moment you have been given the gift of Joy In Disguise and the messenger has been Autoimmune Disease.