“A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. Peace will enable a sustainable environment to take shape and a sustainable environment will help promote peace.” United Nations
I couldn’t let today go by without a piece about this wonderful day.
It’s ironic that a day of peace is something every woman with an invisible illness prays for, but on this day many will not receive that respite. I strongly believe that unless we choose to combine our stories, our experiences, even our empathy that we will inevitably go unheard for many years to come. It only takes one person to start a war; it takes many voices to bring peace.
“One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Peace starts at home through kindness of thought. Allowing yourself to be happy with who you are no matter what your situation may be. This didn’t come naturally to me, I struggled to be at peace with my situation for the longest time. It wasn’t until I had no choice but to accept that I needed to be patient, that I started to consider my self-care not just physically but mentally. I journaled every morning and even tried meditation. I changed my environment from within.
Our environments mould us into who we think we should be. We grow up to believe there is only one way, only one path we are destined to walk due to the environment we are accustomed to.
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” – Peace Pilgrim
As women with chronic illnesses we can become bitter, angry and sad due to our environment. We didn’t choose these diseases or conditions, they chose us. We feel like we were delt a shit hand. This is due to the comparisons we make between ourselves and the healthy. If we decide that no, we are not worse off just different, we can make peace with our environment. Manage our experiences in the best way for us and not measure them by the standards of others.
“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve witnessed many women berate each other due to their varying needs, get angry at those who don’t understand their conditions and isolate themselves to avoid the inevitable conversations about their way of living. They know of only one way to make a change and that’s to raise their voice, be heard and march until somebody listens.
There is another way. Especially for those of us unable to march.
The many will always outweigh the few, and when those many choose to peacefully come together in large numbers it’s hard to ignore them.
On the day of peace I ask you to come together, not through anger or bitterness, but through kindness and joy; become the people you wish you could meet. If you wouldn’t want to meet you then what needs to change? You cannot change your health but you can change your environment.
The women on Project Patchwork know what you are going through, they understand. Now all that is needed is peaceful connections to build an empire of women with invisible illnesses who are ready to make a change in this world.
Be the change you want to see.