Eczema: Our Yoda of the Skin
When facing such a rollercoaster, as eczema can be, we tend to lose sight of how it molds us for the better.
Now, an eczema diagnosis is not something I would wish on anyone, but we must embrace it when the diagnosis is there. Some grow out of it, some learn to manage it, and some gallop on valiantly into the unknown of their flares and fears. All I can say, with certainty, is that we are mightier for it.
What does eczema mean to me?
Like the wise Yoda, eczema gifts us with the education of the force - a soul that is forged to withstand any of the bad news or failed treatments.
"I am one with eczema, and eczema is with me."
And, if I had to choose three words to describe her - eczema most certainly is a 'she' - it would be challenging, enlightening, and unifying.
Without a doubt, eczema can be so trying. We spend so much time and money playing detective. It's not even a fair forensics review at times! The skin is the largest organ of the body and is connected to everything. We are whole beings, and our skin isn't just an 'outside' issue. Or it could be! The amount of possibilities that surround our inflammation, itch, and/or rashes is absolutely daunting.
What is the purpose?
Eczema is demanding and ferociously needy. She doesn't play fair. Eczema challenges us in ways we never thought possible. But, I invite us all to look at this challenge with a purpose. And I mean that - to look at it with purpose. I am a firm believer that "everything happens for a reason" is crap. Nothing happens for a reason. We give it a reason. Our energy, being, and way of looking at the world and what happens in it shapes our nature to find the reason. Eczema can occur the exact same way to two different people, and I guarantee they won't have the same journey.
So, accept the challenge. She will teach you far more when you take the challenge on instead of pushing her away.
Now that you have chosen your shield and weapon of choice, you are ready to start your journey. And on this journey, you will grow.
Eczema can be one of the most enlightening conditions. Like most chronic diseases, we are no longer the same person after a while. We learn to flex the little, soul-honeyed muscles that no one else has to flex. We come up with ways to turn our issues into foundations of prosperity. It isn't easy (remember, eczema is challenging), but it is worth it. You are worth it.
I have more compassion
The most enlightening thing, for me, is the compassion that is built. I am more open, accepting, and understanding of others' conditions, circumstances, and pain. I find myself sharing kindness more often and looking at someone for who they are, not what they look like or what status they hold. It is all about connection to the within, behind the dermis.
We are more than our skin.
We are not alone - the biggest takeaway.
There is something magical in this community. The beauty of not being okay is deep in our veins. When any of us are feeling unlovable, unworthy, or just downright exhausted from this condition, we have others there to ease the burden.
Lean into this beautiful family we have. We are all in this together and have all felt the same way at some point. Those of us at the top of the rollercoaster, enjoying the breeze, are able to remind those in the corkscrew and devilishly steep drops that life is absolutely worth living. You are not your itch. You are not your flare.
Eczema unifies us and dares us to live out our lives in a way that forms clarity to what matters. People matter. How we treat people matters. Our coming together makes us stronger and braver.
I'm still on my journey
I am still journeying down my own eczema path, learning new things, and finding my way. I stay grateful for each challenging moment because I know it will bring enlightenment. And when I feel lost, I know that others are wielding flashlights to point me in a better direction. But that's enough about me...
What does eczema mean to you?
Did you know October is eczema awareness month?