I'M ANGRY - My greatest health lesson
Since I was 16 years old I have had reoccurring digestive issues and eczema. Lucky ol’ me has had the great fortune of experiencing cracked, itchy, red, and irritated skin in all sorts of places including but not limited to my lips, hands, chest, and back. My eczema has the common effect of waking me up in the middle of the night with extreme hand itching to the more rare and equally frustrating experience of needing to leave work due to severe skin irritation, leading to a round of antibiotics and steroidal cream. Digestively, I’ve been gifted with frequent bloating and abdominal discomfort -woo hoo!
Having tried numerous different approaches to my health, the prevailing tendency is for at one point or another my skin and digestion to hit the default button to internal chaos. And this means many calls to my lucky Mother (yes I still call her like a big baby) complaining about my symptoms and wailing “why me!”
This experience with my health is what initially led me to study in the area of nutrition. Having always had an interest in holistic healing, I wanted to be able to learn more about prevention and the opportunity for healing using the natural resources that are at our disposal. Through my education and personal trials, what I discovered was that as positively impactful as utilizing these tools are, they do not make me invincible to my genetic make up and environmental surroundings.
Over the years, my health challenges have gotten me really frustrated and hopeless. WHAT IS THE POINT? has not been an uncommon sentiment in my life. But, after a few days of self-pity, I would pick myself back up, smother some cream on my hands, drink some aloe vera gel and the symptoms would start to fade away for what could be a few days, weeks and sometimes months of pure relief.
Through all the years of discouragement, coupled with my enthusiasm and hopefulness for healing, it has been in the last year that I discovered my greatest health lesson. As helpful as eating well and exercise has been in my life, nothing has compared with stopping being angry at my body. Historically, my first reaction when my skin breaks out or I get a bloated belly bump, has been to go full fledge pissed off at it, thinking that somehow that will teach my body a lesson not to get eczema again or to digest better. Well, I can confidently tell you that strategy has not and does not work. What I have discovered, is that when my body decides to “act up” my best and most healing tool is to be compassionate to it. To not get upset but rather be even more understanding and appreciative. I have utilized strategies such as visualization of how I hope my body will respond to what I eat, and I thank my body for all the functions it is doing to serve me despite the red rash around my lips (not my most attractive look.) And as far out as it may sound, the kinder I am to my body through my thoughts, the quicker I heal and the better I feel about it.
My eczema and digestion may be your acne, it may be your back pain, or weight gain, or muscle loss or grey hair. Whatever it may be for you, I hope you too can employ that very difficult yet ultra important tool of self-acceptance and body appreciation no matter what cards you are being dealt today.