Thoughts On Autoimmunity

“THIN LINE”, 11x11x4″,m/m


It is a sure bet this post will meet with numerous nay sayers

However, I am an authority on my own body, mind and spirit

So I can speak freely about how I hold this health challenge of Multiple Sclerosis for myself.

Every moment of my life I’m not lazy I use for fodder to BECOME;

Become more than I was yesterday.

By ‘more’ I mean closer to God, I suppose.

I want more of that glowey thing I noticed behind the eyes of Christopher Reeve, actor and Roger Ebert, the film critic.

They both are mentioned here because I was pretty familiar with both of them before they faced the monumental health challenges they did.

Before their deaths the presence of light made itself known behind their eyes and in their being.

How did that happen?

I believe I know something about this phenomenon.

Three times as many women as men are diagnosed with autoimmune related illnesses.

Essentially, autoimmunity signifies our own body attacking its’ self; working without the ability to distinguish ‘safe’ from ‘enemy’.

In my case my body does not recognize the insulating covering of my nerves as ‘me’ and attacks it.

Self attacking self.

Genetic disposition aside I am very interested in this physical ‘self vs. self’ idea manifesting in me.

If you haven’t noticed..we women are pretty hard on ourselves in our culture. It is an ancestral wheel of being seen as ‘less than’, paid as ‘less than, spoken to as ‘less than for so long that we now are so sure of that fact that our bodies no longer recognize us as US. We aren’t a safety zone even for ourselves.

If I was God and wanted to give Cathy Aten some way of healing her propensity to beat up on herself, self-flagellate till blood drips down her back (metaphorically) live in shame most of her life because she had this fucking old mother tape running which said she was not quite good enough the way she was

I would visit MS on her!

If I were God, I’d give Cathy this gift because it would be such a big wallop she couldn’t NOT deal with it. (Or she could succumb but how interesting is that?)

And by dealing with it she would have the chance to see who she really is away from her mother’s ideas of her.

Cathy would know her courage under pressure, creativity against all odds, humility in the face of one ego death after the next.

She would watch her compassionate self replace a frustrated and armored soul.

She would see what’s left after having to give up most of what she thought made her HER….and like what was left.

Her leadership capacities and authentic voice could be heard, sacred connections to the natural world uncovered.

A new devotion to kindness and recognition of forgotten souls opened her.

Through her relationship with this ‘self attacking self’ Cathy would burn all the parts of her that kept her separate from people and instead take the chance when it felt safe to show her ‘real’ self which feels very vulnerable but is her best chance at LIFE with a capitol ‘L’.

I have lived with this ‘teaching challenge’ 16 years now.

I love myself.

I didn’t before.

I am grateful…

Really, really tired but grateful.


9 Responses to “Thoughts On Autoimmunity”

  1. Karen on August 26th, 2016

    . . . .how is it that you know on any given day to say what I need to hear. Thank you.

  2. Adele on August 26th, 2016


  3. edward francis keller on August 26th, 2016

    Touching thoughts and viewpoint…I am impressed by you commitment to healing and sharing your journey. Please keep going women!

  4. Barry on August 27th, 2016


  5. Dennis Chamberlain on August 27th, 2016

    This wonderful piece not only helps me understand Cathy’s strength and spirit, but it allows me (for the first time) to get inside the heads of Christopher Reeve and Roger Ebert, two people whom I admired beyond words. I too had always noticed the glow in their eyes and I wondered how that could be possible. Thank you Cathy. Now I finally get it.

  6. gerry harty on August 27th, 2016

    Cathy you are the finest example of a truly evolved soul and I cherish every word you write! xoxoxo

  7. Alexandra on August 27th, 2016

    You have said it all this time. Thank you letting us see this astounding blossoming. It is wonderful to behold.

  8. Michelle on August 29th, 2016

    I’m very inspired by your blog, and by your approach to healing through art. Your art and writing are both beautiful! Thank you!

  9. Laura Hegfield on August 30th, 2016

    I hear you… this makes so much sense to me.

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