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I used to not want to talk about my MCS — no surprise that when I first spoke out some people wore more fragrances, some people specifically targeted me… I figured the more I spoke of MCS — the more I was going to attract those attacks. It took me a really long time to live the difference between being kind/diplomatic/assertive (place of Love) instead of as a push over/victim/antagonistic (place of fear). Okay I’m still working on it.

I have found there is a vast difference between stating the facts about MCS (or any other issue) and standing up for my rights rather than being antagonistic or submissive.

Real change only happens when we leave the guilt and judgment out of it. 

Guilt can bring about faster results sometimes but it doesn’t last because it also carries with it resentment so the change will eventually fail.

In dealing with an issue that involves ignorance or hostility or apathy or in the case of MCS all three — kindness and forgiveness and patience are required. Those of us with MCS need to be what we want for ourselves. Our intention is to be healed so we need to raise our awareness to the level of healers.

This post came about from reading Stephanie’s question:  “How can we all work together to eliminate some of the chemicals in our world that negatively affect our health?” on her post about a letter written to Dear Heloise about a woman with COPD who was getting sick from air fresheners in stores. When I read Heloise’s response, I wondered if she had ever heard of MCS? (Sensitive to Chemicals Blog).

And a comment by Deborah on Linda’s Blog Seriously Sensitive to Chemicals. Deborah wanted help with how to deal with her grandson’s birthday where people refuse to stop wearing fragrances so she can attend. She wants to know what to tell her grandson?

First of all is there anyone with MCS who hasn’t faced the family gathering or party — who stays and who goes dilemma?I know I have.

What should you do? Speak the truth from a place of love and kindness. Each of these stories offer a chance to educate and heal multiple people. One may feel they can hide words from a child or even an adult but one can never hide the fear or the hurt or the anger behind the unspoken words or actions. Obviously, with a small child one doesn’t want to tell all our problems and woes. But if the child is bringing up the issue it is a PROBLEM. Healing needs to occur.

Without knowing the specific family dynamics I would not be able to begin to offer specific advice. I would suggest to start with a bunch of questions for those hosting the party and for those who used the toxic chemicals the last time.

Something like: “Can we problem solve together ways to have a safe environment so I can attend the party?” Maybe send out email reminders to everyone. Ask those who wore the fragrance what you could do to help them remember the importance of not wearing it that day? Maybe have the host/hostess ask those people if there is a specific reason they NEED to wear the fragrance? If they insist they must wear it maybe the host/hostess can suggest that for your health — those people can visit your grandson on a different day for his birthday so that you will not be ill (that way your need for toxic free air and their need to wear fragrance will both be met.) Form a plan ahead of time. If someone shows up with fragrance have some unscented sweats available and non-toxic soap to wash with.

If there are family members who absolutely refuse to accommodate you — my suggestion is to plan your own party with your grandson so that both you and he can celebrate in a toxic free environment. It may not work for this birthday but you can always offer to host the 6th birthday and then you’ll have control over who shows up.

No matter what you decide whether it is to write to Heloise or ask to have a fragrance-free birthday party — ask for help from a place of love — you will be healing yourself as well as others.

If you were hosting a party or head of meeting and you had a person who needed fragrance-free and a person who showed up wearing fragrance — one person HAS to go — which one is it going to be? And why? What would you say to the person leaving?

I hope all your issues get resolved with love today.