Just as important as building a future for ourselves is building a good filter for ourselves. A filter that strengthens our ability to cope and survive in this world with illnesses and challenge. A filter that protects us from hurting even more from all the different forces in our lives.
If I had one tip to give a fellow fighter, or even a fellow human being, it would be to build a good filter for living.
During my lifetime I have encountered many different situations and many different people where I felt I listened to, and took onboard, the wrong information and messages. I was too willing to judge myself and my value based purely by their beliefs. I overlooked a lot of useful information and experiences simply by having an underdeveloped (or non existent) filter of my own. It has taken years to understand some of the damage caused by this and may take even longer to try and repair.
We come into this world with no filter and from each exchange, each experience, each lesson and each emotion we build ourselves a filter to move through our lives. We rely on people to show us how to do this and when we are young we are very vulnerable to their influence and instructions.
In my own case, the filter I had grown up with was not a healthy one and therefore a lot of painful and unhealthy events could simply pass through and damage the person growing inside. Back then I didn’t know any better. However we can’t live our lives blaming those forces we encountered when we are young, we have to take charge of building ourselves and repairing ourselves.
Oddly enough, when my illnesses started taking away a lot of my abilities and former life, my filter started growing exponentially!
I compare the filter concept to a broken leg that needs plaster, we have to take care of our broken bones and injuries to give them the best chance of healing and therefore carrying us through the rest of our lives. The plaster is a protection for our broken and mending bones. The filter we have for what we take in from the outside world, the messages we receive, the criticism we hear, the treatment we accept from others becomes so important when we already have so many difficult challenges and struggles in our health.
It seems when you become ill or incapacitated everyone will have advice, opinions, judgements, suggestions, comments and appraisals which they will tend to dispense, regardless of how much they understand our situation. I have often wondered why society seems to be comfortable with doing this but perhaps that is another topic in itself. It is vital that the filter we use is strong enough to protect us from unhealthy and damaging information.
It seems a lot to ask of someone who is already challenged and struggling at times, but that is the road we are given and that is the road we have to walk.
In the beginning I listened to far too many unfair, uninformed, biased, incorrect and misinformed information and opinions, but now it has been much improved. Although this has also meant that I have had to switch off a lot of sources of this type of information, it has meant a much better quality of life in the end.
It is not easy to switch off these sources and can mean letting go of people, habits and influences that have been in our lives for a long time but it can also mean allowing ourselves the chance to have a much better quality of life.