Home » Nonfiction » Allyson Clayton » The Word Is Love-Lessons in Self-Acceptance, Relationships & Other Things That Really Matter

August 07 , 2008

The Word Is Love-Lessons in Self-Acceptance, Relationships & Other Things That Really Matter


In the summer of 1998, after feeling sick for so long, I got the diagnosis that changed my life changed forever. I the autoimmune disease lupus. With it came chronic pain, fatigue and a host of other frightening symptoms that took over every minute of my every day.

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For years I managed my life and responsibilities in the shadow of illness. I struggled to be happy. Anger consumed me. I grew tired as I mourned the former me.

After grappling with the realities of compromised health for well over ten years, and grieving the loss of a parent, I arrived at a place where I didn’t want to be angry, scared and sad anymore. I wanted to focus on what was good. I wanted to stop raging against my body for its perceived failures. I longed to revisit a long held dream: to be a writer. To start my journey to a better and more peaceful life, I needed to shift expectations, of myself, others and the world.

The Word Is Love-Lessons in Self-Acceptance, Relationships & Other Things That Really Matter explores the beginning of this long overdue journey, presented in a collection of essays about my experiences.

In a world filled with shiny, frivolous things and the constant pressure to be perfect and keep up, there is a joy that comes from being firmly in touch with what I value. As painful as it has been, illness and loss have had a hand in my evolution. They have put me on the road to what I am meant to do, and the person I am meant to be.

The path to fully appreciating all that is good in our lives never really ends. There will always be good, wonderful days when we are able to see things clearly; and there will always be challenging days when the negative get the best of us. I want to keep perspective so the good outweighs the bad.

Now that I am on my way, I know what I want to achieve.

I want to be well.

I always want to know love in my life and fully cherish my amazing family and friends.

I want to love what I see when I look in the mirror, honor my talents and like the person I am inside.

I want to embrace simplicity, focusing less on things and more on experiences, because moments feed my soul one million times more than things ever could.

And I want to know that aspirations are never beyond my reach.

I want all of these things for everyone.

The Word Is Love celebrates what is important. I hope you join me in the celebration, and it leads you to a place of happiness, self-acceptance, potential, and a love for what matters.

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