Recently I heard someone say that when we choose to not address our “truths” - the things that we need to improve upon to be the best version of ourselves - that the universe will present our “truths” or lessons to us again in a new way later in life. For those of us who are extra stubborn and continue to avoid and hide from our truths, life has a way of saying, “…ok, well, you didn’t really learn that lesson, so how about we present the same lesson in a new way (louder, harder, longer, etc)...”. My point is that we can only put our lives on autopilot and avoid looking INWARD for so long until it catches up with us in some way shape or form.
For me, it came in the form of a life threatening, chronic illness – a very long and hard lesson since softer nudges from the universe apparently had not worked on me. Yep, I was one of those people that stuffed her truths in tiny boxes, and then placed those boxes under lock and key and hid them away. When they would try to pop out, I would put a little band aid on them and then stuff them back away. I recognized the things that needed to change within me on some level and vowed they would. I made small changes (band aides really) but unfortunately it is not enough to just recognize our truths, we have to take action to change.
Right now I’m in my fourth month of treatment for Late Stage Chronic Lyme Disease. For those of you who have battled a serious and/or chronic illness or have a loved one who has, you know that it tends to put life into perspective really fast. So while Lyme has taken the last few years of my life from me, it has also changed my life forever for the better in so many ways. It has forced me to SLOW DOWN, take a serious look at my own “truths”, and to really embrace the idea that wellness and true joy in life come from within. I've learned that real change and progress within ourselves comes from the hard stuff. I’m no psychologist, but based on my journey thus far, here is how I’m currently defining “the hard stuff”:
1. Remembering that small changes have drastic affects
Most of us need a lesson in patience, am I right? We are a society driven by immediate gratification. But when it comes to wellness (physical, emotional, & spiritual), it’s really the small changes that have the most drastic effects on our lives. We may not see big results immediately but the affects made from small changes accumulate over time instead of in the moment. When we change something dramatically overnight, these tend to be changes that do not last. This is because a real change was not made. When we make a change to our environment and fit ourselves into that change, we haven’t actually changed ourselves. Diets are an excellent example of this – there are so many diets that offer you fast, quick fixes, "...lose weight and feel great!..." But really, maintaining a healthy weight comes from making small changes one at a time in our diet and lifestyle as well understanding our relationship with food and how it may need to change.
2. Being ok with being in the “uncomfortable zone”
Real change, real personal growth comes from within – it comes from being really honest with yourself, putting yourself out there, asking for help when you need it, and doing the things that make you the most uncomfortable. You have to look your own truths in the eye and stay in the uncomfortable zone –the place where you do the things that you fear the most. Then you stay in the uncomfortable zone until it doesn't feel uncomfortable anymore but rather empowering.
3. Trusting in the process of life
This is the toughest one for me, but apparently I can’t plan every moment of my life! In fact when you try to do this, you will miss the REAL life experiences. For me, a very type A personality, this is insanely difficult but “life” is teaching me this lesson each day right now as I go through treatment– patience and trust:) While planning and follow through are essential keys to successful people, those that are most successful and lead the most fulfilling lives have also mastered being ok with the unknown and trusting themselves, their community, and in the process of life.
Right now every day I have to just trust in life and be in the moment – whatever that moment is – uncomfortable, fearful, happy, joyful, humorous, sad, anxious, or scared. This proves to be difficult for me still sometimes, but I’m staying in the “uncomfortable zone” until it gets easier and easier. In order to do this, I've learned that you have to treat yourself with the same level of love, kindness, respect, and patience as you would the person you love most in this world. And when you do this, you will bust through the uncomfortable zone and the universe will bring you acceptance, love, and joy even in the toughest of circumstances.
p.s. – If this blog post resonated with you at all or if you just liked reading about my wellness journey, give me some love with a comment, like, share, pin, or tweet. I’d like to continue to share some of my wellness experiences as I go through treatment and kick Lyme disease to the curb!:)
Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
If you'd like to heal from the root cause(s) of your chronic symptoms, try starting with a complimentary 15-minute consultation. Click here to request your free session.