Recently I have been very immersed in the work related to the connection of emotions, personality and interaction with others towards illness. This is especially after I developed early onset rhemautoid arthritis in which the inflammation stopped after I saw the connection between my personality and emotional states and changed it.
Today, I will write about lupus, which is also another auto immune disease. If you or your loved one is affiliated with lupus, please read to see if there are similarities between what the observations below and the characteristics of a person with lupus.
First, what is lupus?
In layman terms, lupus is an auto immune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body like the organs.
Why nice, accomodating and kind people gets lupus
Mind body connection states that our mind are not separated with the body. How you react towards others in life would result in our body to react the same way.
If often in our lives should have just said no but we did not, and we just let people take the lead, dictate our lives or walk all over us, us may invariably confuses the heck out of to our immune system.
Lupus occurs where the immune system mistakenly attack healthy tissues in our body. In this instance, we can see that the immune system cease to be able to discriminate who is on the same team and who is the enemy.
Character and personality traits of people with lupus:
1. They are very nice and accommodating people. They may have the tendency to live for others instead of themselves
2. Generally, in their lives, they tend to ‘go along’ with the plans of others possibly due to:
– they do not wish to offend the other person, and/or
-they are unclear of their goals and objectives in life or if they have a vague idea they are not sure if they could accomplish it
– even though halfway they realized it is not what they wanted, it does not take a lot to convince them otherwise and they are back to ‘going along’. They may then suppress the sadness, regret and even anger
But most important of all, I have observed there is a boundary issue… ie the inability to know what they want and say no firmly to what they do not want.
I would like to share with you a real life case of a person who developed lupus. I did not draw my conclusions only from the real life case study below but also of another lady whom I personally known and interviewed. But today, I would share a case below.
Let’s, call him Bob. I do not know Bob well but I know his wife, Shelly. One day, years ago Shelly told me about the story between her, Bob and another girl, Ally.
You see, Ally and Shelly were best friends. Ally was in love with Bob and Bob also loved her too. But Ally did not confess because she was too proud and was brought up in the culture that it is inappropriate for a girl to make the first move and confesses her love.
Bob on the other hand, was a very easy going guy who deep down lacked self confidence. Deep down, he did not think that a girl like Ally would love him.
Ally waited for Bob to confess and when i did not happen, she agreed to her parents to matchmake and get her engaged to another man. I believe her intention was to ‘push’ and pressure Bob to make the first move. Ally did tell Shelly, their mutual friend that she in fact loved Bob.
But Ally made Shelly promise that she would keep it a secret. To be honest, if I am Shelly and I see two people who are in love but one is too proud and another is too shy, I would just to heck with the promise and go knock both their heads together. I would just told Bob. Coz this is what a real friend would do.
However, Shelly had a different agenda. You see, she was also in love with Bob. So she kept her promise of not telling Bob. And I have a feeling Shelly may also tried to downplay any possibility suspicions that Bob may had had about Shelly recuperating his feelings.
After engagement, a date was fixed for Ally’s wedding. Ally was devastated that Bob still did not make the first move. In a rush of anger, she decided to go ahead and marry the man of her parents’ choice. Both Bob and Shelly were invited to the wedding.
Bob was devastated and sad. He could not bear to go along and requested Shelly to accompany him to the wedding.
And guess who was there to console Bob of his heartbreak?
It was Shelly. And not long after, they got married and had a kid.
I know Shelly’s character- she takes advantage of people and would not hesitate to persist and ask for favors even though she knew the other person is reluctant to help. I had that experience with her. She like to make assumptions and gossip about those assumptions resulting in misunderstanding between other people.
Towards his 40s, Bob started developing lupus. Initially his condition was still manageable and he sought conventional treatment. However after a few years he had to stop working after his condition deteriorated. His immune system was attacking his organ, namely his liver.
Sadly, he passed away from the disease.
This case happened years ago before I developed interest in mind body connection to illness. Looking back, I could see some correlation between Bob’s lack of confidence, easy going and accommodating character and its eventual result in his immune system’s inability to differentiate.
What could have been done?
When one is diagnosed with lupus or SLE, one need to seek the medical treatment for lupus. Treatment and doctor’s appointments need to go on.
However what I wish to cover in this post is changing one’s perspective in life could help in preventing the body from further deterioration.
The key is to enable to immune system to differentiate who is friend, and who is foe. In order to do this, one may need to have that clear distinction with regards to the choices and people in one’s life.
Stop leading life being dictated by others. Take a break, discover activities and interest that spark our happiness and make us feel alive. Pursue them.
Before we could stop allowing ourselves to be easily influenced and swayed by others, we must first identify our values, goals and priorities. It is going to take time to discover these important aspects… Relax and have fun doing it.
We can accept ‘suggestions’ but refrain from being pulled by other’s strong justification and logical reasoning. Please understand that each person is different. What works for others may not be applicable to us.
Learn to tune in to our own self. Develop a little boundary in our life. Learn to say no when we feel some people are intruding too much into our private space and/or time. For example the friend or family member that always make demands of our time, borrowing money and tells you what to do.
There are times in life we need to just follow our gut feelings. And not merely listen and be lead by what others had said. It is okay to take a little risk and risk rejection. Sometimes we can ask to get answer..the worst thing the other person can say is ‘no’ but it will mean we could move on.
Such diagnosis can be really a wake up call. It is the same as how my rheumatoid arthritis was a wake up call for me that propelled me to change.
In the case of Bob, if he could have the courage to express his feelings directly to Ally instead of asking and following misguided advice of others who may have hidden agenda, his life could have turned out differently. If he had chosen a profession that he liked instead of what others advice is ‘good for him’ then he would be happy and not stuck in an unfulfilling job and living other people’s dreams instead of his own.
I have a feeling that he would have found out the truth… That the woman he had loved did love him back but it was too late as both were married to different spouses with kids. The feelings of regret and anger (as he would have known that Ally had confided in his wife but why Shelly did nothing) would be overwhelming.
It could explain why eventually he passed away from complications of liver failure as the result of the lupus and all forms of treatments had failed. In traditional Chinese medicine, weakness in the liver is related to the emotions of anger, either directed to the self or others.
The above is a tragic example of what happened when we failed to set clear boundaries and live life dictated by others.
This does not mean we should go ballistic and rebellious as this would be another extreme that would eventually isolate ourselves from others.
In the end, learn to always be true to ourselves. There are inevitably conditions in life that we cannot change, as the result of our past decisions and actions. But start with smaller aspects of life that we can…such as saying no to that friend who always borrow money and our stuff without returning or the gossip monger who would drop by uninvited and fusing us with negativity. Start small am eventually, we learn to deal with uncomfortable situations and are no longer susceptible to being swayed by guilt or seemingly ‘logical’ justifications.