I am not my body.

digital painting by a rainbow at night, based off the original photography of Heather Bybee

And yet, I am.

I am not my body because I am not the sickness, the weakness, the pain, or systemic dysfunction that prevents me from doing what I attempt on any given day. I am not my body’s shortcomings. I am not what my disease does, whether physical or mental, and I will not feel guilty because my body is sick. It is not my fault that it cannot function like that of the next able-bodied individual.

But I am my body because this is the vessel through which Life is expressing itself, and we have one very important thing in common:

No matter what is going on, it always functions to the best of its ability. Each and every moment it aims to support and accommodate me in all that I–and disease–attempt to do. You’re never going to wake up one morning and have it go, “No, don’t feel like giving my all today, sorry.” It may feel like it sometimes, but it never slacks off. It’s always calculating priorities and options and will always do everything within its power to run as smoothly as is possible for the situation.

“Your body didn’t betray you. It just compensated and compensated until it couldn’t anymore.” *

Have truer words been spoken?

This morning I woke up with a rash on my neck; it’s always been a telltale sign that my immune system is strained. My first instinct was to berate my immune system for not working properly–don’t I go through enough?–but wait a minute…

Did it purposely fail me? Did it not try hard enough to function properly? Did it just get lazy and decide to rash me up? No, not at all. It’s actually trying its best to support me.

Sometimes what our body is able to do isn’t enough to give us the outcome we desire. Sometimes it might even attack itself out of confusion, causing us more suffering. But our body–like you and I–will always do what’s perceived to be right, will constantly accommodate changing circumstances, and always aims to do the very best.

Repeat after me:

My body is doing the best it can to support me.
My body is doing what it thinks is right.
My body is not my enemy.


a rainbow at night

* This profound statement was shared by the doctor of one of our fellow Lymies.

6 thoughts on “I am not my body.

  1. Such wise words. I have great faith that our bodies are always trying to heal us. Sometimes they just meet a particularly tricky challenge. Our bodies contain such healing wisdom and have so many finely balanced systems all working together. When it truley gets knocked out of balance its hard to retune. I believe its possible though, and if we can help it along a bit, one day it will find its equilibrium again.


  2. Excellent!

    You’ve hit on a point I have seldom seen addressed, the sense of betrayal by the body. Wise. True.

    Recently I heard someone speak “We are wonderfully made!” and go on to include every age, all infirmity, all disease, all accidents and still insist “We are wonderfully made!”

    We are indeed, and you’ve given us valuable food for reflection, thank you!



  3. I love this! A great way with words, my dear. I was trying to explain to a young lyme friend that perhaps our body’s response to our actions isn’t “pay back” (as in evil revenge). I was telling her that I look at it this way… my body is asking me to replenish what I have taken and used, that it has given so freely. She didn’t agree. It didn’t make sense to her. Maybe if I had said this first instead then she would have gotten it. Or maybe she still has to move through the anger and sense of betrayal before she will understand that her body really IS always there for her doing it’s best to accomodate. I just love the way you put this though. I am going to pass it around!


    1. Thanks, Donna. :) I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to this, but I assure you I did read it when you posted! I’m so flattered that you wanted to pass it around–I do appreciate that, because I wish it were a message someone had told me several years back when I was constantly feeling betrayed by my body’s inability to do what I thought it should.


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