I just read an article about healing. Is illness a manifestation of all of our negative thoughts and energies? If we meditate more, pray more, will we become "healed?" Buddhist principals say that: life is suffering. Am I sick to remind me I'm alive? Maybe I'm sick to remind others how lucky they are to be alive? Maybe I'm not sick for any single reason, maybe I just am.
I used to joke that me being sick the first time was just further proof that my parents divorce was the best thing possible because their genes clearly don't mesh well together. I think the question becomes, why do I need to know why? Most likely, there isn't a why. I do get frustrated and think, if this is just a luck of the draw scenario, then why me FOUR TIMES? Why couldn't I have won the lottery FOUR times? Luck is not on my side. So, if there is no reason, is it really so wrong to create reasons for myself to make myself feel better?
To Remind People Life Is Short
Your life could be taken at any second. Think Regina George in Mean Girls being hit by a bus, dude that could be you. But seriously, you never know. I used to count down the days to things, concerts/ birthdays/ holidays/ etc, but I think that is the wrong way to approach life. You shouldn't be wasting those days, wishing them away, just to get somewhere in the future quicker, because you're going to look back and wish you could have those days back. I ask myself, what about today was fabulous? What made today a special day? Because realistically, each day is a gift.
My mom got a 250/250 on her end of semester assignment that was worth the majority of her grade for one of her courses, and I helped her with it! She was so excited. Jumping around like a little kid who just brought home their first report card with an A. It was amazing to see her so happy, and feeling so accomplished, and yes knowing I contributed to that happiness.
I also went to the DMV with my sister (haha I know that doesn't sound like it will have a happy ending but hang in there). I didn't want to go, I wanted to lay around and be lazy. I was bored. I had nothing else, to do and was like why not, go spend time with your sister. We had a blast. The DMV guy was flirting with me, and even pulled the
"Are you even old enough to be a bartender line."It was amazing. I felt giddy like a little school girl and one of the seniors just winked at me. As we were pulling out I said,
"OMG Nat, that was so much fun. DMV's are not like that in Canada."To which she replied in a mocking voice,
"I had so much fun at the DMV'-said no one ever."I laughed and legit love how funny my sister is. She compliments me in her weird ways-
"You're so smart but you sound SO dumb when you talk like an ACTUAL blonde."Uh thanks. She drove by the insane asylum, just because I wanted to see it. We bonded in our weird "we have nothing in common" way but it was time I wouldn't trade for anything. It was a good day. I didn't win a Nobel prize or deliver a baby, or save a cat from a tree, but I had some meaningful moments, that I may not remember in twenty years, but today was not a waste. Today just added blocks to the foundations of the relationships with those two people who are important to me. As cliche as it sounds... live every day as if it were your last.
Appreciate The People In Your Life
Appreciate the people in your life, all of them. Even the ones that have hurt you. I guarantee if you look closely enough at the situation, you learned something from it. Don't hold grudges, what does that get you. A little extra weight on your shoulders? Awkward run ins, tension and just really nothing worth while. My new thing is asking myself
"What do you hope to accomplish by this?"I ask myself this before everything. Good things, bad things, any decisions. Especially when I'm mad, before I say something, I ask myself this. It prevents me from throwing low blows which inevitably leads nowhere good. It makes me think my decisions through way more thoroughly.
The smallest things, anything that shows that you were being thought about, or were thinking about someone else, are so important. I had someone recently tell me, that they were having a conversation with other people and social media came up. They were talking about who their favorite person was to follow, and I came up as their answer, even before I had gotten sick. This was a huge compliment over something so small. They relayed it to me, and honestly I was glowing, it made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Tell people how you feel, because they may not know. Even if its something small. How do you feel when someone you've never met compliments you, pretty damn good. So we need to focus on more positive feedback in life. Lets start telling people what they're doing right more often instead of whats wrong.
Appreciate and Take Care of You
I think this is a really important one. As you get older, your body grows weaker, you grow wiser. When you are sick, things your body used to be able to do, things you used to take for granted get taken from you. I miss my trainer A, every day. I would bitch and moan and complain about going to the gym, but she was giving me the greatest gift of all. A healthier body, and even more so a healthier mind. Yes I was exhausted because I had to work 3 extra days a week to afford it, but it was worth it. I forgot that if I don't take care of my body, I don't have a way to live my life. Your body encases your soul, so no matter how strong your will to live, and your soul may be, with out your body you don't have a life. With that being said, you could have the best body on the planet, but if you are not content with yourself, your body is just an empty case. I finally feel as if my mindset is the best its ever been, and now my body, my home, is failing me.
Now that my body is being taken from me, I wish I had taken better care of it. I never smoked, I didn't tan in tanning beds and most of the time I wear sunscreen. I don't do drugs but I definitely drink. What can I say, I have a weakness for extra dirty Kettle One martinis and Caesars. (Americans: think blood mary but 100x better) I like to think I played by the rules and I'm still suffering. However, I did what I could I guess. Could I have been better, absolutely. I was a pudgy munchkin last year and still have a little extra love pudding to lose. BUT I like me. I know who I am, and I'm not ashamed nor sorry for it. It took me a long time to figure out who that was. It also took me a long time to figure out that not everyone will like that person but as long as I do, that's all that matters. So as much as I'm saying take care of you "as in your body" I'm saying take care of you the person inside. It has to balance out.
People are going to judge you and bring you down. But I've learned two things about that... It doesn't matter if people judge me. I. Like. Me. You can't change what people think, you can just know that as long as you were you, and the best version of you, that their judgements are not worth your energy. This also goes to say though... Who are you to judge anyone?
Realistically, life is to short for me to waste time and energy trying to get them to stop judging me. Just be you.
This is all hard to explain. I mean, I feel like I am preaching but as I laid here today trying to think what I wanted to write about, I kept thinking about who I was and why this was important to me. The things that are most important to me are my relationships with my family and my friends. With people whom I've never met who have reached out to me, because they are inspired or offering support. You think about your legacy, how you want to be remembered. Not because you think that being remembered is the only thing people will have left of you soon, (Sorry, I'm going to win this fight and be here a hell of a lot longer) but because its a legacy that you want to cultivate while you still have time. It puts the "why me" into perspective of why its ok that this happened to me, and how I'll be ok. Not only will I be ok, but I will learn, and grow from this and be better because of it. Its not going to bring me down, and its just going to reinforce who I am. This is my reminder of who I am and why I am that way and really as much as it sucks, why I'm grateful. I could have taken years to figure this out, and I'm sure there is still a lot more for me to learn about myself but for right now, this is good, I'm ok. I don't like it, but I'm ok.
Your bruises will disappear and your illnesses will come and go. They suck, but they're a reminder that you're human. Illness reduces you to the most basic of human physical weakness, and connects us all because it affects us all. It serves as a reminder to:
Live, not because you have too, but because you have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity too.
*Would like to send a shout out to pinterest for all the pins. I went on a bit of a rampage lol*