I once heard someone say that there are 4 great aspects, or factors, of Motivation. They said that people are either motivated by FEAR, by HATE, out of DUTY, or out of LOVE. I have thought over these motivations and how they have helped me and pushed me to get better, be better and also, to help others be better. This is a break down of how each factor has effected me through my recovery:
a counselor so I could get some control over my thoughts of suicide as well as feelings of anxiety and depression. Fear motivated me to put aside my pride and tell my parents that Lyme treatment wasn't enough for me. That I couldn't stand or fight off one more harmful thought on my own. Fear is a powerful motivator. One shouldn't fear their own thoughts. But that fear probably saved my life.
I have had this as a motivator in such a conflicting way that I don't know if this will make sense, but I will attempt to explain this conflicting motivator of mine.
Hate... I had such an intense burning hatred for myself, for my body, my thoughts my unfair circumstances of being sick and coming home early. It was such a strong hatred that it eventually would lead up to me to have strong desires to end my life.
Believe it or not, hate also has been a postivite factor in my healing, I knew I wasn't supposed to have those thoughts, and that I should not have desires to harm myself simply because I felt ugly, useless, or like my world was falling completely apart. I had an innate and deep personal knowledge of my divine nature, it was just clouded by my hatred for myself, and depression and anxiety... The only problem was my hatred for myself and my self doubts had deeply clouded that knowledge to where I was giving into that hatred.
In those very rare but precious moments when I could fight that depression it was like a breath of fresh air, and I ended up developing a hatred for myself hatred. Does that make sense? I hated the fact that I hated myself. I loathed that I couldn't look in the mirror, that my self esteem depended strictly on how successful and happy I was in my life at that point, which was, to give it a random number -1.5 billion. I hated the person that stared back at me in the morning, but more than that, I hated that I couldn't love myself. That the loathing and rage I had inside me had drove me to harm myself.
As I attended the counseling sessions I shamefully admitted to hating myself, and I found myself crying while voicing this. It is very hard to humbly admit that you don't love a single ounce of yourself, that you don't have the desire to live because you feel like your existence is below anything else on earth. As I found myself crying my counselor asked me how it makes me feel when I hear myself admit those things. At first I voiced that I felt ashamed because I should know better than to hate myself. He pried me for more feelings, I eventually came to the conclusion that it made me mad that I hated myself, I should be nice to myself. I felt something deep inside of me want to come out, it was an intense burning anger at the hatred that I felt for myself. I recognized then that those thoughts, those feelings, and those desires that all added up to me hating myself, they weren't mine, they were all from a stupid tick.
I figured out then that I couldn't give in to the tick. By giving in, I mean, that I couldn't let what had happened and what I was feeling become me. I had these symptoms, but they weren't me. With this knowledge I took it and created a hatred for the tick, and the title of this blog "Blame the Tick", because if I blame the tick and channel my energy and hatred against it, I can separate myself from the symptoms easier and not give into the thoughts and desires and depression as easily as I was before.
It is scary how fast hatred can blind someone and lead them to forget things that they know. But hating the hatred has been a way that I have had to motivate myself to continue to fight. It is such a inner conflict and battle constantly though, and I am still working on it.
This factor of motivation is interesting... It causes me to ask the question: "What is my 'duty' with lyme?" I found myself asking the question right after being diagnosed... (after the relief set in that I wasn't crazy of course), sort of just asking myself: "Well... now what?" After 9 months of feeling not just crazy, but alone and completely without hope I had received my peace, but it didn't change the situation, and I had to figure out what to do next.
Duty for me has been a quiet motivator, but it is still strong. I knew enough about myself when I was diagnosed in September 2014 that I have a strong need to help people, that helping people, helps myself. I had learned that during the short 11 months I was out on my mission. I just needed to figure out how I could help others...
My idea of helping others was serving, giving, lifting, and being there for them. Literal physical work. That was my idea of helping someone. And with a fat diagnosis of lyme and undergoing rigorous antibiotic treatments towards the end of summer, I had no idea how unable I would be to render service to others according to my definition. But I had prayed so hard to God that I would be able to help someone, just one person, that was all I desired. As I started undergoing treatment I felt a constant need to still do something, but I couldn't, I was sick, in bed, or sleeping 14+ hours a day! I had no way of helping people.
As I started to undergo all this people kept asking about Lyme and suggested I start a blog. And I at one point voiced to my counselor how I felt guilty for not having a desire or motivation to write in my journal anymore because I felt too depressed and that I shouldn't write about how depressed I was because I was afraid it would make me worse. He suggested I try starting a blog also. I was completely turned off. I was not one to start something like that, to put my feelings out on the internet for everyone to see. But I kept feeling that gentle but persistently annoying nudge to get going and start a blog. You could say it was a sense of duty motivating me.
As I started this, almost begrudgingly I found it helpful, and freeing to me, in a way to express myself through writing. And I started having people contact me through various social medias telling me their stories... It gave me strength to know that I was making a difference, but all those people that contacted me, and still contact me today, they all help me as much as I help them. It is not human nature to feel alone. It is not normal in anyway, and I had felt that way for too long. And at that point of starting this blog I felt a huge sense of relief but also a sense of duty. I felt if I needed to feel better I needed to post and write, and I had already seen evidence of my past posts helping others, so every post I publish I send off with a prayer that it will help someone as much as writing it helped me, or even more. At that point it is in Gods hands, but I can know that I have done all I can. This is how Duty has helped motivate me and heal me as well.
Love in my opinion, should be a stronger motivator in my life than it really is.
There are 4 words from the ancient Greek people that they used to describe love:
1) Eros, which simply put is romantic and infatuated love
2) Agape, Charity or unconditional love would be the best way to describe this love
3) Storge, Natural effusion, empathy, and kindness is this kind of love.
4) Philla, is a love for a friend, sisterly or brotherly love, a deep personal friendship where both are sharing of the deep emotions.
The Greeks would combine these words of love and I want to combine just 2 and talk about it.
Philla-Agape: An undying loyalty full of charity and brotherly love in a deep personal friendship... this love, "Philla-Agape", has been a great motivator in me to get better. Since I've been sick, I have been able to make friends and connections in a "Philly-Agape" level that I have never, or would never have been able to make had I not gone through what I have. Love for my family and friends and people I don't even know that reach out to me either, seeking words of encouragement because they have struggles that I can now empathize with. And I love them all. A lot of the time it has been people reaching out to help me, most of them don't even know. And those people that I love so much have given me hope to keep going on.
Someone once asked me if they thought the saying was true that states: "We can't begin to love others unless we love ourselves..." My immediate response was to answer that it was false, because I loved my family even when I was going through a period of self hatred and loathing. But then I thought if I truly loved those people, if I had that sense of Philly-Agape, or even just Agape, for any of the people that were in my life at that point. And the answer was no, I couldn't. My inability to love and accept myself as I really was had limited my ability to love others, it wasn't even love, it was just me comparing how crappy my life was to everyone else. So when I think of the quote I think that it is true, because it is referring to a true love, a charity love. A love that boosts yourself even more as you have charity for them as well. So it should say something like "you can't TRULY or FULLY love others until you love yourself."
Love is the great motivator for me. Because the more I learn to love myself I realize that it is because I am fighting to become that person. It is my belief that we aren't human beings, we are human becomings. We can't stay stagnant, though some of us do. Love is what helps us become more. As I realize the love I need to have for myself I am able to then love others more. And help them become more. It is a huge circle that gets bigger and bigger as we learn to truly love ourselves, and then others. I tried to do it the opposite, and I couldn't love people to their full potential because I was just comparing myself to them and putting them on a pedestal above me, and that isn't loving someone. Loving someone is being there with them, and for them. It's not tearing yourself down while complimenting and comparing. That is why you can't truly love someone until you love yourself. It's not a sustaining true everlasting love, it's not a Philly-Agape love. It is empty and hallow, even shallow. Where as love is freeing, filling, and full.
There are many other types of motivators out there but these 4 motivators have helped me to be better. They have helped me keep going when I didn't think I could. And even when I wasn't thinking I was moving on they still were there in the background pushing me on. Fear, Hate, Duty and Love, are still ongoing and still motivating me.
-The Lyme Warrior