Here is the bottom, bottom line. Your life is trying to wake you up to something through illness.
It just is. So go there. I promise there is no downside to taking that positioning in life. Only wisdom.
I live life in that place. That place of trust that life is waking me up to something. You are doing it though illness. I am doing it through the relationship to my heart. Eventually, we all intersect at love. But I struggle with the ‘what is it waking me up to’ and you may too once you start letting this idea sink in. That is where trust, patience, instincts and peace are useful. And once you decide this path, things like blaming others or being a victim and arguing against what is present in life, quickly are lost as coping options. Your biggest coping options become love and acceptance. “How will I love and accept this event?” This is difficult however, because denial, victim and blame are socially accepted tools in the healing world. They are easier at first, but ultimately they don’t work.
So often when I am knocked by some event, I spend a good amount of time asking “what is this waking me up to?” But I get it..that is not the thought we naturally have when hard things happen. When you are in a wheelchair, or losing your hair or can’t get out of bed from crying, it seems like nothing but static is coming your way. But I will say that when you are questioning everything; your life, health, diet or even how to take the next step, often there can be tremendous value in investing that there may be an upside to your troubles. I think taking that route just feels better. Then, even if the sky is falling on us, there is a reason besides being punished or bad luck.
Here is an example. Say you started AIP 8 months ago. You feel much, much better. You have your supplements dialed, you have a good rhythm in the kitchen, you love your AIP themed IG account, you go to the AIP potlucks….and then ________strikes. (insert your scenario). Examples might be you get a flare. You get a new autoimmune disease diagnosis. Your husband dies. You get the flu and all your joint pain comes back. Of course you may hum along in life without another care in the world too. But if something knocks you, what then? Then you are walking around asking the REALLY big questions like “Where is God in all of this?” “Will I ever know happiness?” “I have no hope.” What next?
I write about these topics because these are the questions my clients are asking. My group is past relaxation exercises, yoga and stress reduction. They are in the fire. They are on the search for the blessings. They have moved past most resources of dealing with stress and into finding how to make sense of their lives through illness. And when you search for the blessings of what ails you, that search provides you with a bigger, deeper and more profound resource than any other; support from the universe. Then it can seem easier to trust yourself to look at the relationship to the very thing that knocked you. And when and if you decide to consider that perspective, you don’t have to move, go or try. You just have to be willing. I cannot stop my heartache. But I do have the option of what kind of relationship I want to have with my heartache. I choose tender, loving and cooperation. You can do the same with your IBS or Hashimoto’s or Lupus. A complete inside job that builds wisdom.
You can sit down, right now. At this very moment and decide you will take a loving approach to the very thing mucking everything up. Put down the weapons. Come out of warrior pose. Come have tea with what is ailing you. Cook it dinner. Write a note to it. It has important things to say to you. It could be the quickest route to making sense out of your disasters. And in the most heartfelt way, I say these things to you because I too, ask them. Constantly.
Here is how I do it. (and it is so hard to type because I am crying while doing this because I also suffer and it is so hard to face hard things) I walk around my house and say:
Fine I give up. Show me.
Show me which way to go
I am open to the blessings in this experience
I am in full cooperation with my life
I trust this
And then I just let it rip. I feel sad if I need to. I sit in the tub and cry. I play my music really loud. I write in my journal. I make an appointment with one of my mentors, teachers or therapist. I walk around my house in the sadness. I drive in the car with the confusion. I take the pain to the grocery store. I pull it closer so I can get a really, really good look at it. And then I wait and see what happens. And doubt creeps in. And it might for you too. That is okay. Keep going. Keep reinvesting in yourself to know the answers when they arrive. Trust the timing. If you are really, really struggling and you get no answers to what you are supposed to wake up to, sometimes that is a sign that patience is what you need to wake up to. Answers to the ‘whats’ of the hard things my life come in odd forms. It is ah-ha moments. The big bits of wisdom for me in life so far: I am worthy. Choose the most loving path for myself. I am in charge of my happiness. Self-doubt is limiting.
Often this path feels like constant prayer. Prayer that I sit in for myself to help me make sense of the things I don’t understand. My very dear, dear friend told me about life “You paid full price for this ticket.” Seriously, I sure as heck did. And then some. Often, continual prayer for my own wisdom is what brings the most relief when my mind won’t quit asking questions. But prayer, writing, saying, intending, wishing, dreaming, commanding, singing….just ask. Ask for more loving. Ask for the love. Ask for the wisdom. Ask for the healing. Ask for the peace. Let the struggle take over and trust you will be transformed by it. Invest in trust for yourself.
Life is going to happen to us one way or another. I would rather use the very hardest moments for the best pieces of wisdom. Then I have a reason to include everything I experience as a shower of wisdom. Then hard things add up to mean something. Everything gets to be included for showing me the wisdom my life.