Evy McDonald was diagnosed with terminal ALS in 1980. The doctors gave her 6 months to live. Her body was, as she described it, a jiggling jello mess in a wheelchair. She decided to do her best to feel unconditional love before she passed on. She wrote down all the things she didn’t like about herself. It was a long list. She had had polio as a child and always carried extra weight. She didnt like her body. She undressed and sat naked in front of a mirror for 20 minutes, three times a day. She explored her deepest darkest thoughts and allowed herself to feel the pain and anguish. She then gave that to God. She looked at her body and found places that were acceptable. She wrote it down. Her list of things she liked and loved about herself grew. Finally that list was as long as her list of negatives. Then, it surpassed it.
As she did this day after day, her body grew stronger, until she was diagnosed as 100% cured of ALS. Evy was a first! A medical miracle.
She went on to become a minister in New York. She is still alive and vibrant.
I decided to try the “Naked Mirror” experiment. What have I got to lose? Everything to gain.
I am keeping a detailed journal. I will keep you all posted as to what happens.
It was hard, the 2o minutes sitting staring at myself. I have decades of buried shame, anger, rage, sorrow.
My baseline is this today:
Bone pain. Horrible. Muscle aches, tightness. Fingers are twisted and painful. Arms are tired, painful, heavy. Legs burn, tingle. Femur pain is very bad. Hip bones feel like they are being rotated, pushed inward, and they burn and tingle. My ankles hurt so much walking is painful. Bottom of feet burn, tingle. Nerve pain in my big toe. Knees are tender and sore. Stomach is tight. Chest is very tight, hard to breathe as times. It tingles and burns. Biceps feel as if they are in a vice. Wrists are very painful. I am growing a ganglion cyst on my right thumb joint. right shoulder and neck muscles very tight. Back of head sore, tingling, and a tight band around my head. Ears ring loudly every day. Buttocks tense, painful. Top of thighs tight, painful. Jaw pain, tooth pain. Pressure, pain in my right eye. I have been having ocular migraines that distort my vision. When I lay down I feel as if I am moving up and down. My whole body feels as if I am being stung by bees. Feeling like I am being pulled down when I walk. Flashing white lights in the side of my eyes at night. Black and white tiny spots in my total field of vision in the dark. Extreme fatigue. Very little motivation to do anything. Spine burns and tingles and throbs. Back muscles tense up and cause pain. The mental symptoms are the worst. Obsessional thoughts, severe depression, anxiety and a hopelessness that permeates everything. Very little joy.
I want to run and get away from this, but there is no place for me to run. I have to stand here, or rather sit here, naked in front of the mirror and face myself. And learn to love myself. Learn to accept life on lifes terms. Learn to lean on God. Whatever God may be.
I will keep you posted as to how I do learning how to love myself fully and to accept that my brain and body are damaged and healing.
I will learn how to forgive. I will learn to forgive Dr. Rick Robinson who put me on this horrid drug decades ago and told me I had a broken brain. I didnt have one then, but I sure have one now. He is top on my list of people I want to forgive and let go. All the men in my life who have abused me are next. And the person I know I need to forgive the most? Myself. Working on it.
If you decide to try the “Naked Mirror” experiment, I would love to know how it goes for you. Remember this is not a quick fix. It is not like swallowing a pill or booze to change our feelings. It is an ongoing practice.
Best to you all in your healing journey.