A Letter to My Eczema
At National Eczema Association (NEA) Eczema Expo in Arizona, I lead a group of young men and women through an exercise that gave them permission to write to their eczema as if it were a real person with a real personality.
An open letter to eczema
The result? Transformational. Within a couple of minutes, all one could hear was sniffling across the room. People deep into their writing while streams of tears flowed down their faces. "Acceptance, release, surrender, and compassion were taking place.
Even to this day, I have people who message me letting me know how that one simple exercise changed their perspective on how they viewed their eczema.
The power of writing
I truly believe writing is a form of medicine that allows any individual to become conscious of how they’re feeling towards a given person or event. It also gives them the ability to choose how they want to feel versus how they don’t want to feel or have been feeling. Writing will give any person the opportunity to choose acceptance over resistance, love over hate, joy over anger, compassion over resentment, and healing over pain.
This opportunity to become conscious, choose, and shift my perspective is why writing has been a regular practice for me over the past two years. I have stacks of journals documenting various events of my life – the good, the struggles, and the overcoming of those struggles - many including my journey with eczema.
So, to inspire and empower you to take action in writing about your eczema, I have decided to vulnerably share with you a letter I wrote that day at NEA’s Expo.
Boy oh boy have you caused me a whole sh*t ton of stress, tears, pain, and depression.
But over the past three years, you have also brought me a significant amount of joy, gratitude, and love. I never knew I could turn something that caused me so much pain and headache, into something that is so beautiful and purposeful.
Through you, I have learned how to embrace my true self. The one “behind” the eczema. You have taught me to love myself in the deepest way possible. To see everything and everyone as an extension of God. To see other people’s imperfections and flaws as a sign of uniqueness and beauty.
Now I know the true meaning of beauty. It was never about how clear my skin looked, how big my hair was, whether I had the perfect body or had a lot of money. No. Beauty was about me and the ability to see all things as a form of love and light, including you.
Because of you, my life has changed for the better. I am able to inspire others from my story and show others that healing is possible. I am able to give hope to others who have lost all hope. Give glimpses of freedom to all of those who feel enslaved.
I am FOREVER grateful for you. Although I couldn’t see it then, I get it now. I get why you came into my life and why you caused me pain - it was the only way you could get my attention. I get why you caused me to be insecure - although not your intention, you were just guiding me to self-love and showing me what REALLY matters in this world.
Thank you for being there for me through everything. Whether I wanted you there or not, you were dedicated and committed to being there. The most anyone has ever been for me. You are my best friend, confidant, sister, and annoying brother. The shoulder I need to cry on. And the reminder of who I am.
We are one.
May I never forget all that you’ve done for me and will continue to do as a result. May I show you gratitude even though you don’t tend to come around as often. And may I love you for the rest of my life because you, too, are worthy of being loved.
I honor you. I thank you. I give you praise. Because of you, I am who I am. God bless you for coming into my life and using our experience together to inspire millions.
Your Bestest friend,
Ashley Ann Lora
You try it!
I challenge you to write a letter to your eczema and see what comes up for you. No hesitation or judgment on yourself; just let your pen or pencil flow on a piece of paper.
Questions to keep in mind when complete: How did you describe your eczema? What emotions came up for you? Is the story your narrating around your eczema benefiting you, your healing, and the people around you? If not, are you open to changing your dialogue and relationship with your eczema?
Question: Do you journal about your eczema? Share with me below!
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?