I strongly believe we can will ourselves well but we have to want to be well. It’s very easy to become the illness, to be caught up in it, and to wallow in the symptoms. It’s equally easy to use it as an excuse and to hide from the world. At a certain point, it can, sometimes, be more about fear than it is about the original condition. Returning to the world seems daunting and a faraway fantasy. That’s where purpose and meaning comes in because it ignites your soul. It gives you the kick up the ass, the fire in your belly, the wings to fly and all these clichés. Passion gives you the drive and reason to become well. Passion gives you a reason to be healthy, because you have a reason to live.
Often those that get chronically sick, are those that have a global mission, a real purpose to help others, and they’ve gone so far off course, that the illness is a wake-up call to come back to the right path.
I've struggled finding my purpose.
I’ve gone down paths that helped me to pass the time, but the fire quickly faded on each project or venture or job. A recurring theme that cropped up along the way was helping others by offering advice and insight, and writing about it. I always felt empty in my previous jobs because I didn’t feel I was making a difference. The industries weren’t important to me and didn’t seem to me, to be the right way to spend my short time on this planet. I needed a way to connect to people, to help change lives. As I’ve moved in this direction, doors have opened for me at every step and the path is clear. I still don’t know exactly what is up ahead, and that is okay, because I’m enjoying where I am right here, right now.
However I didn’t always feel that way and even now sometimes I can catch myself in a spiral of self-doubt. Is my opinion worth reading? Do I have knowledge and insights worth sharing? Is this the path to fulfilling my destiny? Can I express what needs to be told? Can I move, engage, ignite people? Can I show others the way through the darkness to the light?
We all have questions that we ask ourselves. We all doubt and fear the worst. We’re predisposed to the negativity-bias because it works as a survival technique. But it doesn’t work in your favor if it paralyses you, and prevents you from taking action, moving on, starting afresh, healing, releasing all the past crap and learning. We can be our own worst enemies and even when we tell ourselves over and over how to be more, the doubt can smack us in the face unexpectedly and we withdraw stung and even more fragile and twice as gun-shy. Our modern society programs us with fear. We’re conditioned into particular beliefs, opinions and societal measures.
The real question I need to ask myself though, and you do too, is:
Will I let my ego take-over and convince me that my fears are real?
And of course the answer is a clear and resounding NO!
Instead there needs to be that glimmer of hope. A tiny voice inside us, and that faintest of nudges willing us to dream big, to succeed, to achieve - to face our fears and take action anyway. We need to have the hope and belief that we can all truly be happy and healthy. Our souls want us to be happy and healthy so why do we hold back? Part of the reason is because we get confused about what is the truth and what isn’t. The ego is very convincing!
The ego will try to confuse you and dissuade you out of misguided protection. Sometimes the knots and butterflies will start but you feel at peace – and that’s when you know you’ve hit the mark. The ego is scared you’ll go out of your comfort zone into the unknown and that’s exactly what your soul wants you to do! That’s where your truth resides. Even as I write this my ego is judging me, yet my fingers keep typing and the words keep flowing because I know it needs to be said. It’s my truth, and I must share it with you, so that you understand.
How do we know what is truth?
Well truth isn’t fear, anger, paranoia, worry, nor negative in connotation.
The truth, your truth, just feels right. It feels right in your heart, in your gut, in your mind, in your deepest core. It’s just a knowing. Truth simply just ‘is’. That’s how you can distinguish between ego and soul: between fear and love.
So know that you are not your illness. It is not all powerful, it is just a state of imbalance and dis-ease and you have the power to bring your body back to wellness, to homeostasis. So use the time you have now to reflect and learn, and find out what is truly important to you. Use your illness as an opportunity to re-prioritize your life, and work out what really matters. Your body stopped your fast-paced lifestyle for a reason. Your body malfunctioned to tell you the path you were heading down was detrimental to your well-being. Your body wants to be well, it wants to function optimally, and symptoms of illness are just signs telling you that all is not well right now. So what can you do to make things right? Contemplate what has lead you here, feel the emotions of the illness, of your situation, and of the past, then let them go. Focus on what you want to achieve and experience and will your body well so that you can succeed with this. Knowing where you want to go is the first step. If you felt sick every week day morning and dreaded going to work – then why was that? The environment, or the job role? This dread shows you that something wasn’t right and you needed to make a change. So what was it about the situation that didn’t work for you, and what aspects did? What is it that inspires you? What gets the fire burning in your belly? Your ego might have just told you that nothing inspires you, and that’s okay. Tell your ego, that you had inspiration once, and you want it back, and tell it to work ‘with’ you to find out what it is. Then ask again. What inspires me? What do I love and enjoy doing? Let the ego babble for a bit and soon it’ll fade away and you’ll hear a clear voice, or you’ll feel a strong feeling and you will receive an answer. Right down everything that comes to mind. Check out the article on “Finding your Purpose” for more help with this.
But in the meantime, realize this: There is more to life than this chronic condition. You deserve to be well. You deserve to be happy and healthy. You have the power to will yourself well. It will take effort and commitment on your part, but in time, you will be ready to face the world again, with drive, passion and enthusiasm.