Choosing to love your enemies
I was 26 when Mr. Diabetes showed up on my doorstep and I hated him! He interrupted my plans, demanded my attention, took away my sense of freedom, made me feel horrible, and was an overall buzz kill. It was a bitter irony that I had to feed this unwanted guest and take shots to keep him happy. We were enemies to the core in an ugly dance of manipulation and frustration. It was NOT fun! Over time I grew tired of trying and some days gave up the fight, some days ignored him, and some days played his game his way. I was consumed with wanting things to be something other than they were and I suffered. A lot! It was mentally and emotionally draining to have this much anger, resentment, and bitterness about this part of my life (all the while putting a smile on my face, so as not to worry anyone). Something had to change and it was me.
Finding a way to love diabetes
If you would have told me then I would love diabetes, I would have laughed in your face and thought you insane. But the hate was too much to carry for the rest of my life and I decided to do something about it. Two things happened: 1) I thought long and hard about a definition of love that I believed in and I came up with this: “Unfettered acceptance”. It is really what I want for myself, to be seen and accepted for who I am, warts and all. By that definition, I really can love anyone. I don’t even have to like them or agree with them, but I can see them as they are, accept them, and not try to change them. So I see diabetes for what it is, a condition that makes me matter greatly and come first (I likely prayed for that being from a very large family), a teacher who given me an appreciation for the gift that life is, a partner that I must dance with for the rest of my life and child that needs me to care for it. And that brings up my second thing – Mr. Diabetes turned into Little Patty who needs someone to love her, feed her, give her medicine and hold her hand when she is scared. And I choose to take care of her instead of abadoning her. Hard to hate that picture, even if she was an uninvited guest.
So on Valentines Day, the day of love, I invite you to make a choice to do something that will benefit you, release you from a lot of pain and bring you much hope.
Make peace with your enemies and love yourself. Diabetes and all.