You’ve reached the edge. You’ve been sick for a long time. You’re staring down into the darkest, deepest abyss of your soul wondering…will you fall? Will you jump?
You’ve been fobbed off by doctors, ignored by your friends and misunderstood by your mother. The symptoms are getting worse, the meds aren’t working, and it’s all you can do to get out of bed.
What now? How do you go on with work? Your struggling relationships? Paying the bills and simply living your life?
So much pain. Confusion. Frustration. Disappointment.
But are you really ready to find true healing?
To heal and thrive with purpose?
What do I mean? How could you NOT want to be well?
Well, that’s where it gets a bit sticky.
Sometimes the truth is, deep down, we don’t want to be well. I know that sounds pretty disgusting, given how bad you feel right now. I’m not trolling. This is not provocation for the sake of reaction.
What I am saying, however, is that you need to ask yourself this very serious question in order to truly start healing. In order to see genuine, lasting results. In order to leave it all behind and move forward with your beautiful life.
Are You Really Ready to Get Healthy and Heal?
You might be surprised.
For many, the answer is no.
Getting raw and honest about this, most people will make excuses when it comes to healing. It sounds insane, I know. But how many times have you said:
I don’t have the money.
Maybe later, when I have time.
I have a lot to do right now.
Probably more than you’d like to admit.
It’s human, and it’s OK. But it probably means that, up till now, you haven’t really been ready to get well.
Illness is as much a state of mind as it is a physical condition. I am not suggesting you’re crazy. Not a bit. But what I am saying, is that your experience (and results) very much depend upon your mindset. It’s not the actual illness or remedy…it’s your perception and reaction to it.
Making Your Health a Priority
If you’re ready to find true healing, your wellbeing must be a priority. It can’t be something you only engage with when it’s convenient, or only take interest in when it feels good. It’s a commitment to yourself, right to the end.
It’s not what you want to hear, but making strategic sacrifices is the quickest way to navigate yourself to a state of thriving vitality. This means setting financial priorities to invest in a functional medical practitioner who will heal you from tip to toe, instead splurging on a name brand laptop. This means setting social priorities and postponing the Mexico trip so you can follow through with your healing protocol for the best possible results (and enjoy Mexico way more, as a result).
This means finding purpose through your journey. Giving up complaining and suffering, and taking up self-exploration and paths of progress instead. Sleeping more, eating better, and paying attention to your body with care and kindness.
I am not advocating orthorexia – an obsession with “healthy living” is harmful and destructive. I am calling for a commitment to self. Paying particular attention to detail for a period of time that will yield lasting results. After, you can focus on other amazing priorities in the future with hysterical vim and vigor.
Letting go of Excuses
It’s not fair. Why you? It’s too hard. You can’t stand it. Being ready to find true healing means letting go of excuses. Completely. Giving up the temptation to host a pity party and gossip with all the guests about how hard your life is.
It’s true: being sick sucks, 100%. A decade of parasites, SIBO, Candida, Chronic Fatigue and H. Pylori taught me that lesson good and proper. I blamed, complained, waled, and gnashed my teeth. But it didn’t do me a single favor. In fact, it only made me bitter and resentful (and sicker).
If you’re ready for this ship to sail, it doesn’t matter how tired you are. How much you love Diet Coke. How you love to get drunk and binge on doughnuts. This is not a moral judgement; as a human, I wish you blissful indulgence and enjoyment in every form. But right now, doughnuts are not your priority – and you need to be clear with yourself about that…otherwise you will give into that temptation every time it knocks on your door.
Kick out the excuses and replace them with actionable goals. Every time you feel an excuse rising to the surface, write it down. Tape it to the mirror. Stick it along side your health goals and see how it measures up: This is too hard verses an amazing hiking holiday with your partner in the Amazon. No excuses.
Getting Attention From Others
I say with this utmost love and respect, but some people do not want to find true healing for the simple fact that they adore the attention that being sick brings: Sympathy from friends. Get Well cards and beautiful flowers. A doting partner that waits on them, hand and foot. Concern when they tell others that they’re going in for another hospital appointment.
It’s a real trigger for some…but it’s also a formula that works. Instant results (that you can easily get from people you don’t even know!).
There are many psychological theories that explore this behavior, but the point is, you may have some needy subconscious programming that is keeping you ill. Your mindset may be working against your best efforts to truly achieve your wellness goals.
There’s no need to wallow in shame or judgement if this is you; recognize, accept, change. You may need to dig deeper than supplements and detox plans to get to the heart (or brain) of this situation; your subconscious mind may need some tending. Hypnotherapy and meditation are great places to start (today, for free, at home!); Emotional Freedom Technique, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and personal counselling may also help you to come to terms with this blocker.
Focusing on the Negative
It’s so difficult to reign in the resentment when you’re down and out with chronic illness. I mean, what a waste of life. And what a shed ton of money I’ve already spent. And this is just stupid, stupid, stupid, I give up.
There are two parts to being a successful Negative Nancy: one focuses on everything that’s wrong, and the other zeros in on everything you don’t want in life.
Noticing what’s wrong with your body (and subsequently, your life) is easy. Enjoyable, even. It seems cathartic to hate on every pebble and thread that does you wrong. But all it really does is draw your attention to how much hurt there is in the world – giving you very little encouragement to come up and out of your illness. Why leave your cave if the outside is hostile and horrible?
Secondly, we tend to spend a great deal of energy thinking about what we don’t want, rather than what we do: I don’t want to be sick. I don’t want to feel bad. I don’t want to be tired. These thoughts only reinforce a negative mindset.
Instead, practice gratitude. Notice and be thankful for everything that’s going well for you right now – even if it’s only tiny things: I’m thankful for fresh air, that the sun is shining, and I am able to afford my medication.
Re-framing your thoughts into positive affirmations can help curtail the negative feedback loop of the don’t want mindset; I’m healing every day. I’m so grateful that my body is carrying me through this trial. I’m want to move toward a state of energy and vitality.
Both practices will take effort – you are rewiring circuitry that has been functioning in a set way for a long time – but stick with it. The rewards will extend well beyond your health.
Existing Without Illness
Seems like a no-brainer, right? But the reality of living without illness can be a little heavy; counter-intuitive as it seems, it can even be straight up daunting and scary.
It boils down to two things: change and responsibility.
As a species, humans are wired to fear change, and are therefore creatures of habit. We create habit and ritual around everything we do, often without noticing. So, if you’ve been sick for months, years or even decades, you will have created a lifestyle around your condition that eventually becomes familiar and safe (even if it also feels unpleasant). Taking pills, going to appointments, avoiding social engagements, feeling sick when you eat bread, etc. You come to expect it.
By getting your health in order, the sudden prospect of not having these comforting patterns to lean on can upset the rhythm you may have (unconsciously) come to rely on. You may have more time, less structure, or more obligations. What do you do with yourself? How do you transition out of these patterns? What if you can’t cope?
This leads us to the second part: responsibility. Being ill often absolves you of having to take responsibility for your life: how you feel, what you do, why you can’t eat birthday cake, why you leave parties early, why you didn’t get a promotion. It gives you an almighty excuse for just about everything (and a heavy crutch to lean on when you feel hard done by).
However, being well opens up a whole cavern of responsibility you must now take upon yourself; deciding to set goals (and achieve them), accepting that you didn’t get the job, following your (big, scary) dreams, letting go of limiting beliefs and old relationships that no longer serve you.
Both of these things will challenge you, inside and out. Make you want to hide. Send you scurrying back to old (unhelpful) ways. You must prepare yourself for the changes that will come, and own your life without fear. These are both crucial aspects to creating a beautiful mindset and taking back your brain, body, and beauty forever.
A Final Word on Health and Healing
Maybe you’re not ready to find true healing yet. And you know what, that’s fine. It’s an important distinction to make. True healing will never come from a place of force or resentment. You’re not a bad person or a failure if you’re not ready to go all in.
Give yourself as much time and space as you need, so when you are ready, you can come at this thing with pistols drawn.
In the mean time, start cultivating your beautiful mindset. Explore who you are a little. Find out what you really want and where you want to go. From there, who knows?
And when you get there, when you decide it’s time to tame the beast, I’ll be here.
Just get better.