Disease: The Wisdom Giver

Blog, feature, Main Dishes



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.

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  1. Michelle

    I love this, it is what I needed to hear. I sent an email to your inbox. I hope you will read it. What you’re doing here with this site is so important for so many of us struggling alone with illness.


  2. Kim

    I so needed to read this! I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease last week. My mother had it until it morphed into thyroid cancer and had her thyroid removed. I have been overwhelmed trying to get my arms around my next steps. I have a wonderful Dr who guided me to Paleo but further research shows that rice, corn, etc.. are cross reactive and should not be eaten. I then found all the AIP sites but all they could tell me was what I can or not eat. This is the first site to include recipes and healing through positive thought for a total package. Thank you for sharing this gift to all of us. I will try to pay this forward and be awake to hear what I am supposed to.

    • Jessica

      Kim! Your comment really warmed my heart. Thank you so much. I was so happy to read about the ‘total package’ because yes! I think illness can be a journey of our hearts too. Not just supplements, medicine and recipes. You can do Hashimoto’s. I believe you can. I hope you will check back with me in a bit and let me know all the wisdom it is showing to you. xo- jessica

  3. Shealynn

    Namaste. I do recognize the light in you to be the same as the light in me. I felt a deep connection to you and I am also in tears because of the truth of your words and the path you have found, the same path I have found..through disease. Thank you, friend. You are doing great things, things that I will someday accomplish as well, so thank you for paving such a path.

    • Jessica

      Hi Shealynn..what a wonderful, loving sentiment from you. I am so glad to be walking this path with you. Sending much love to you. xx-jessica

  4. Natasha

    I wanted to thank you as I was in much dismay around my autoimmune condition this evening and was looking for some more guidance at this point. I have felt conflicted having past challenges with eating disorders and trying to implement healing ways for nourishment while not being perfect has been extremely challenging. I am very drawn towards your loving approach around nutrition and towards ourselves, and believe that the love inside ourselves is the most powerful healing tool and nutrition is very important as well. Thank you for what you have shared through your experience of facing your own challenges.

    • Jessica

      Natasha..I am so glad it was helpful to your journey. I am sending you many blessings. xx-jessica

  5. Lisa

    I so very much needed this tonight! I believe I was meant to happen onto your site… and I have found so much motivation and guidance from the few blog posts I have read. Thank you for what you have been doing for those of us in need. I definitely plan to visit your site often now!!

    • Jessica

      so so so glad this was helpful to you Lisa!! -jessica

  6. Nikki Crockett

    Thank you for your hope and for your words of inspiration. I’m on year 3 of battling RA with every intention of staying off of the killer drugs even if my fingers are permanent sausages, and I’m so grateful to have found your website!!

    • Jessica

      Sending love to you Nikki! xx-jessica

  7. Laura

    How awesome is this to wake up one’s heart center through the opportunity of having these illnesses!
    I know that probably sounds crazy but it’s like you said, LIFE is trying to wake you up through illness…..
    YOU can either take the road of being a victim, in denial, and blaming. Or you can surrender and get out of the way! What a blessing this has been for me! Tears are streaming down my face too as I write this. I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and my hormones are way out of balance. It has brought clarity and a light at the end of the tunnel for me, where as before I was just stumbling along trying to self diagnose and was getting sicker! It has also allowed me to just say, (like you mentioned) fine, I give up! Sometimes you need to feel worse before you feel better…..This has also brought me closer to God, talking to him more and listening. We just need to listen! Let go, Let God!

  8. Karen

    Do you have the nutritional information on these recipes? Being borderline diabetic, I need to know what the carbs are and would like all the other nutritional information. Thanks.

  9. Charity

    Will this diet work for someone with hypothyroidism?


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