My seasonal allergies have been terrible this year. I cough and sneeze, my nose runs and my eyes water; worst of all, my skin itches. It drives me bonkers! I’ve tried medicines, lotions, creams and natural oils; none of it helps for very long. A few minutes or hours later, the itching returns and the scratching resumes. The only way to find complete relief would be to eliminate the root cause, but I can’t get rid of nature, so I must simply endure. At times, I can’t even think about anything else. I scratch so much, that it often looks like I was attacked by an angry cat. I’m just utterly uncomfortable in my skin.
Struggling with this issue has made me think about other ways I can be uncomfortable in my own skin. Sometimes, I just don’t feel okay with who I am. I question my choices; things I do our say. I wonder about what other people think of my personality and appearance. I worry about whether I’m smart enough or have a quick enough sense of humor. I’m afraid of looking stupid or uninformed. And when someone tells me I’m smart or funny or beautiful I question the sincerity of the words. It is exhausting. It makes me feel sad and lonely, it makes me defensive, and I’m sick of it.
I’m not always aware of this discomfort and sometimes I don’t “itch” at all. I do have many moments where I am genuinely proud of an accomplishment or I feel really loved and appreciated by the people in my life. But it’s always there, under the surface, and it distorts the truth and reality. It’s a lot like the times I go to sleep and I don’t remember my legs itching during the night. I don’t recall scratching but, the fresh marks on my skin, make the truth evident. So, being ill at ease about who I am is a constant itch that I continually scratch, resulting in temporary wounds and over time, permanent scars.
I do things to try and treat this ailment. I tell myself, “If I get that job, then I’ll feel confident in my professional ability.”, “If I take that class, I won’t feel so stupid when I talk about _____.” “If I buy that new shirt, I won’t feel so unattractive.” and none of these things in and of themselves are bad. There are often very good reasons to make a career move, take a class, or buy a new shirt. It’s never bad to want to grow and improve, but using these things like I would use creams and lotions for my itchy skin, is a terrible idea. Just like with those allergy treatments, the relief is temporary, the “itch” returns and I’m left trying to find something else to soothe it and provide more temporary relief. It becomes this never-ending frustration and it robs me of the ability to be content and at peace.
I know that all of this sounds pretty dreary, but don’t feel bad for me. This is a story of hope. I have finally realized that I’ve been treating the symptoms and not the disease. And unlike the situation with my allergies, I can get to the root cause and eliminate it; just not alone. I need to go to my Source and learn how my skin is supposed to “fit”. I need to hear the truth in the words people speak to me. I have to drop my defenses and learn to just be me, however that looks to other people. I must stop giving the actions, opinions and viewpoints of other people power over my identity. I need to embrace my uniqueness and that I bring things to the table that no one else can.
I know that this won’t all happen overnight. There will be ongoing treatments and consultations with my Physician. I will probably have relapses that must be addressed, but I am hopeful because I know that there is a cure. The road to recovery is long. There will be rocks and other obstacles. At times, it may look over grown and I’ll have trouble finding my way. It will probably have steep hills that I will struggle to climb. But, despite all of that, I’m certain that the final destination will be worth the journey.
One last thought; I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I’m pretty sure this is an ailment of epidemic proportions. So, if like me, you have uncomfortable, itchy, ill-fitting skin; won’t you join me on this journey and find the cure that you’ve been looking for? I’m already imagining what a world, where this disease has been eradicated, would look like.