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. In 2015, my life was filled with A LOT of physical and emotional pain. A gut-wrenching breakup. Multiple hospital stays from 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 hope and belief that the best is truly yet to come. This is the mantra that helped me heal in difficult times.
“Remember that the pain is trustworthy,” my amazing spiritual teacher said this to me. We were talking about the fear I had of ostomy surgery. I was afraid of the pain that I knew was inevitable. When times get tough, just remind yourself that pain is part of growing. Don’t live your life in fear because of what has happened in the past. Shift your perspective. Allow the pain to change you for the better.
Everything is temporary. Every scar heals. Every time it rains, the sun eventually comes out. If your 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 too much because this will pass as well. We are constantly getting a second chance. Take it.
I'm not ashamed of my scars. I wear them proudly. A scar means the hurt has happened and the wound is closed. It means that I am stronger. See your scars as strength, not pain. Rumi famously said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Once I was able to fully love myself – ostomy bag and all – I gained the ability to be loved.
Don't be afraid to live again, to dream big again, to try everything. Being kind enough to give yourself a break. You've been through a lot in your life. Too much, sometimes. But you have to keep going. I have to. Because the best is truly yet to come.