What I Took Away from Kira Lynne's Aches, Pain, & Love

6:00:00 PM

If you read my post, "Book Review: Aches, Pains, and Love + Giveaway," then you know that I highly recommend Kira Lynne's debut novel! I also mentioned that it's a book full of great advice and helpful tips, which I have compiled into a list for you.

I really think that this book is a great read for anyone looking to build a better foundation for themselves, begin dating, or create. Even though the book does focus around chronic pain and illness, I truly believe that these words can help anyone willing to read them.

1. "Acceptance is a process, not my decision, and certainly not the same as giving up."
This really hit home for me! I've felt the symptoms of my illnesses for years, but I only received my diagnoses about a year ago. It has been incredibly difficult to accept that my life and my abilities are changing. Because of that, I haven't quite accepted my illnesses. I'm trying, but it's good to know that others understand exactly what I'm going through. The best part is, this statement doesn't just apply to Spoonies!

2. "Grant me the serenity to except the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
I'm sure you've all heard or read something along these lines before, but they never meant as much as they do now for me. As I've mentioned before, the last year has been really hard for me and the extra anxiety hasn't helped much either. So, this is exactly what I needed to hear recently. I know that I will always struggle with my anxiety and my physical limits, but I think this reminder will help me get through that.

3. "One needs to think creatively, accept uncertainty, and adapt to change."
This might just be my new life motto! I am a creative person, but whenever there's uncertainty or change, I tend to doubt myself and my abilities. It's part of the reason that it took me so long to not only make the decision to follow my dreams, but to actually work towards them as well. For the longest time, I based my future and my career on what was financially stable instead of what made me happy.  Now I will try to remember this quote when I'm struggling with uncertainty and/or change. And if I can't remember to do that, I'm sure I'll print it on something I look at every day!

4. "Transformation can be slow."
Don't I know it?! Although I hope and pray that things will change over night, they rarely do. Whether it is physical or mental, transformation is going to be a slow process and the sooner we accept this, the better. Everyone moves at their own pace and that is something that each of us has to learn on our own. Personally, I compare myself to others way too often, even though I know that I shouldn't. So, in an effort to stop doing that, I plan to reread this quote as often as I can!

5. "Congratulate yourself and celebrate the small victories."
I was happy to find these words in Kira's book, because I have actually written a blog post on this topic. It was sponsored for Self Care Catalysts and it was titled, "Daily Little Accomplishments + The Self-Care Movement." I am a firm believer in the importance of celebrating small victories. I may not congratulate myself as often as I should, but I do keep an accomplishments journal. It's a great way to keep myself motivated and keep track of my progress.

6. "We must accept that our pasts may have made us who we are, but they don't have to determine what we become."
I don't know about you, but just rereading that sentence makes me think. Personally, I've been through a lot in my past and I don't do the best job of letting it go. I find it hard to forgive myself, as well as others, for anything bad that has happened. There are a few people that I've been able to forgive and I know that it's made a huge difference in my life. However, that hasn't made it any easier to let go of everything else. I do believe though that it has affected who I have become, but I don't plan on letting it ruin who I can be.

7. "You are not your condition or your past."
This one piggybacks off of the last quote. However, it has a far greater emotional effect on me. During this last year of testing and diagnosing, I have struggled with accepting my illnesses and my new limitations. I've learned how easy it is to label yourself as your condition or past experiences, but that shouldn't be the case. I actually found a great movement recently that focuses on reminding others that they are more than their diagnosis and I wrote about it here. I think that it's incredibly important to remember that we are more than our medical charts, the things people say about us, or our past experiences. We have skills and dreams and we get to decide how we define ourselves!

8. "Proper preparation prevents poor performance." & "Failing to plan is planning to fail."
These are two of the quotes that I focus on the most! I have been known to overplan and this is exactly why. I've learned the hard way that not having a plan is far worse than overplanning. So, as a result, I might go a little overboard every once in a while. Honestly though, I think it keeps me sane. Everyday when I wake up, I ask my husband what his plan is for the day. He might get annoyed by it, but knowing his plan helps me devise a plan for myself. Of course, every once in a while, there are days that we just go with the flow and take a day off!

9. "You are good enough. You are smart enough. You are strong and you are remarkable. You are a survivor."
I didn't realize how badly I needed to hear these words, until I read them. I've been struggling a lot lately to make it through each day and my illnesses can easily make me feel weak, both mentally and physically. So, it is incredibly encouraging to be reminded that I am good enough, even with my limitations; that I am smart enough, even with my brain fog; that I am strong, even if I can't move; and I am a survivor, even if I feel like I'm losing my battle. Kira's words were just what I needed to hear, even now writing this post, I am being reminded of these things and it has made me feel the tiniest bit better tonight.

10. "Be present and enjoy the small moments."
Just as it's important to celebrate the small victories, it's also important to enjoy the small moments. I know that I can get caught up in a to-do list full of tasks and lose focus on the little things. So much, in fact, that my husband often has to remind me to take breaks to eat or just to relax for a minute. I'd like to say that I've figured out a happy medium between work and relaxation, but unfortunately I haven't. So for now, I'll just try to pay more attention to my cute fur babies and watch an extra episode of tv with my husband after we eat :)

Overall, this book was a great read and it definitely got me thinking about myself, the relationship that I'm in, and about my partner. I really hope that you are able to relate and learn something from these quotes as well!

If you've read Aches, Pains, and Love: A Guide to Dating and Relationships for Those with Chronic Pain and Illness, I'd love to know what you thought! Please comment below what you took away from this book and how you connect with the 10 quotes from above. 

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