I can say with all honesty that the moments when life has thrown me a fast one, are the moments that have shaped me into the person I am today.
2015 was filled with a LOT of heartbreak and physical + emotional pain:
- A horribly gut-wrenching breakup
- Multiple hospital stays due to Crohn’s disease
- Major surgery to make my ileostomy permanent
When fit hits the shan, it can be hard to believe that you’ll ever be truly happy again, but we all have to hold onto the hope and belief that the best is truly yet to come. This is my mantra. I’d like to share eight realizations and musings that helped me to heal during difficult times.
1. Practice Yoga
Focus on hip openers — our hips are like the junk drawers of our bodies. All of the emotions that we don’t know what to do with are tossed into our hips. So work on those hip openers to release any negative emotions, any stale stuff that you don’t need to hold onto anymore.
2. Acknowledge Loneliness
Say to yourself, “I’m feelin’ lonely.” And then it becomes less dramatic. Try to figure out what triggered the feeling. If you’re going through a breakup or loss, then we know it most likely has to do with that — but sometimes it can be situational. Like, hey you haven’t stepped out of the house yet today! Get moving. Just move, move, move.
3. Do Something Nice For Someone Else
This is pretty self-explanatory. But, try it. Go out of your way to bless someone with your kindness. Donate your extra ostomy supplies, hold the door for people, send out random praise to other ostomates on social media… you get it.
4. Pain Can Be Trustworthy
“Remember that the pain is trustworthy,” my amazing spiritual director said this to me. We were talking about the fear that I had of ostomy surgery. I was afraid of the pain that we knew was inevitable. When times get tough, just remind yourself that pain is a part of growing. Allow this pain to change you – for the better.
5. Everything Is Temporary
Every scar heals. Every time it rains, the sun eventually comes out. If life is great at the moment — enjoy it, knowing that it won’t last forever. Just the same, if life is tough at the moment, don’t worry because this will pass as well. You are constantly getting a second chance. Take it.
6. Stop Complaining
This is huge. Be a beacon of light to those around you. There is no reason to share negativity with the world, especially on social media. Now, this doesn’t mean that we should go around being Polyanna. Express your sadness, but don’t blame it on others. True happiness arrives once we stop complaining about our problems and practice gratitude.
7. Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Scars
A scar means that the hurt has happened, and the wound is closed. It means that you are stronger. Don’t allow these scars to make you live your life in fear. Shift your perspective. See your scars as strength, not pain. Rumi once said, “the wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Wear your scars proudly.
8. The Best Is Yet To Come
Don’t be afraid to fall in love again, to live again, to dream big again. Find the strength to laugh each day. Fill your heart with what makes you happy. Release judgment on yourself and others. Speak the truth. Work hard. Eat healthy foods. Exercise every day. Sleep well. Keep your head up. This too shall pass.