Being an ostomate for 25 years taught me that life means feeling fully alive

Let your life teach you what you need to know.
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Photo credit: Cynthia Graham Photography

Photo credit: Cynthia Graham Photography

Even though it's been 25 years since my ileostomy surgery, I still can't forget how much time I spent not wanting to live with it. For nearly ten years I thought that somehow I was being punished. At 21, it was so hard, almost impossible, to see past all of the physical and emotional pain. The days ahead seemed unbearable, decades felt impossible.

And then one day… I FINALLY GOT IT.

My life has never been about me, it’s been about you! Every part of it. Every pain, every fear, every dark place, every struggle, every lesson, every setback … everything … has been about you. If being an ostomate taught me anything, it’s how much I want to live and help others live too — not just survive, not merely exist, but to feel FULLY ALIVE. Knowing the purpose of my existence and spending every waking moment doing it, that’s exactly what I want from this life.

Mark Twain famously said: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

It's important to remind yourself that once upon a time, what you wanted to do more than anything was try everything. Let your life teach you what you need to know.