I am writing this for those of you who feel like you are really at the end of your rope. Those of you who may be saying "I don't know how to do this...I can't go on....I don't know how much longer I can fight....I feel like there is no way out...I am desperate"
Because those are the emails that fill my inbox. End of the Roper's. I am writing this love note to all of you. I am here to tell you that you are in a special place. A sacred place of transformation. And love will get you through this.
When we come to a breaking point, we are on the cusp of transformation. And transformation is healing. Often transformation is a jolt of some kind. An abrupt push into a void where we have no answers about how to heal, what life means, why this is happening or how long we may be in the darkness. If you are in a dark place right now, transformation may be at hand. And that transformation is often making the decision that you can do this journey. Not about whether or not you will heal or how healing will happen. Transformation is claiming deep inside your soul that you are worth this whole crazy ride of life.
So curl up on the couch, make a cup of tea, and write these ditties down. Keep them close and repeat often. Because I know that you can do this journey. I really know you can.
1. You are never alone: never, ever. ever, ever.
2. There is wisdom building even if you don't see it right now: When my life fell apart after my husband and I split, I would not, could not, did not see any upsides. For well over a year I was in a place of utter desperation. Nothing seemed to help. The hardest part about that was knowing I was in a place with no answers. But I eventually gave myself permission to be in the place with no answers and that helped A LOT. Have you given yourself permission to be in the unknown place? I would give myself pep talks in the unknown place. After all, there are not many instruction booklets about how to survive while stumbling around in the dark. We are given so many messages that if you find yourself in unknown territory as a human, it is best to do everything you can to escape it. What if we didn't? What if we just allow ourselves to be lost for a little while? Could being lost for a little while actually be healing? I think it can.
I had made an investment that something bigger was as play that had my best interests in mind, so let the unknown be my home base for a while. I put trust to work, and turns out, it was one of the most transformational experiences of my life. Wisdom was building the whole time I was crying on the bathroom floor or wailing in the car. But I could not see the forest through the trees and decided to bet my odds that life was working in my favor. It definitely made things easier. I also think it draws abundance, love and grace into your life when you imagine the best outcome for yourself. And here is another thing. I don't care if The Placebo Effect is fake or not. If it works, nothing gained nothing lost. Placebo your way through to your bucket of wisdom. There is no side effect with that kind of medicine. Always, always imagine the best outcome for yourself. Always, always, imagine the best outcome for yourself. And I want you to go big. Go grand. Make it beyond your wildest dreams. Make it spectacular. And hold on to that. While you are in bed teary, trying to make this all add up to something manageable, pull out your spectacular vision card you created in your heart and pray on it. Pray the heck out of it.
3. Tenderness takes practice:
You: "Gosh darn it! I do everything right! I only have 10 foods I eat now, I take every single supplement to heal my gut. I am STILL not feeling better! Do I have to become more strict to heal? What am I doing wrong? I hate everything"
You with Tenderness: "Gosh darn it! I do everything right! I only have 10 foods I eat now, I take every single supplement to heal my gut. I am STILL not feeling better! Anyone normal person would be frustrated in this situation, right? Yes, they would. I know in my gut I am onto something bigger here but I don't know what. Seems like it has something to do with happiness and joy. I am going to just cut myself some slack here because I have no idea how to get to happiness and joy and I am really angry about this disease. I am going to admire my anger and frustration. I am just trying to get through this the best I can. I am doing a pretty great job actually"
4. You are never off the path: This place you are in right this very minute has purpose: This is a leap of trust. It may help to dig into whatever spiritual practice you have and use it to help you find an upside to taking this perspective. I take the perspective that God is pure love, and we are having this experience to love ourselves as much as God does. And we do that by having experiences with illness, loss, heartbreak and suffering. Never being off the path means everything your life means something. Everything counts. You count. Every piece of you counts. There is tremendous beauty there. Your very ugliest part counts and has as much voting power as your shiny places. We get to uncover this for ourselves and find the meaning of our path. The big path is called Can I Love All Of This. And on that big path we each have our own specially constructed journeys that are designed for maximum wisdom. Sort of a cool set up.
5. Everything you need is within arms reach this very second : How do we heal? What does healing look like to you? Would your definition of finding healing change if you knew that the destination you were looking for was already present and inside of you? Would healing look different if someone told you that all the tools for healing are already in your tool bag? That is the nature of Epigenetics, quantum mechanics, the placebo affect, miracles, radical healing and The Loving Diet. It may help to comfort you knowing everything you need is at hand, and not in the far off place called "Where My Healing Is". So you might still feel fatigue. You might still be in the wheelchair. You may still need the surgery or medication. But your attachment to surgery being a bad decision or a failure may shift and even dissapate. We are the cure to what ails us..that is the nature of Epigenetics. We have the ability to change our own DNA just by our thoughts. When we humans touch into the depth of the loving we may uncover a new way; that what we eat, supplements we take, lupus in remission is not the center of health. The center of our health is our hearts. We heal our lives first and then our body follows.
6. Judging how well or not well you are coping right now doesn't work: Suffering often comes from us judging us. Because we live in a world that places priority on glamour, there are big messages telling us how to handle things and if we handle things a certain way (be as graceful, low maintenance and achieving as possible) then we are successful. Impossible standards abound. When we have to compare, defend or deny our way into healing, it won't work. And while we see the commercialization of this in social media, hashtags, selfies, the perfectly staged "I am healthy pic".. it almost always starts with the judgement of ourselves. We stop growing when we judge. We don't heal when we judge.
7. The only way out is through: I often find solace knowing that every human on the planet is placed here to accomplish loving themselves. We are truly all in this together. No one will be spared. Life loves us too much not to collaborate with the unfolding of our hearts.
8. Minute by minute works: Take a deep breath. Then move on to the next breath. One breath coming after another is one of the only things we can truly count on as humans. After one breath comes the next. You can count on that. Focus on that steadiness. When you are in the very hardest place, lean into your breath.
How did I come to these? I have tested every single one of these little gems. A lot. In my suffering, I constantly search for ways to lessen the blows of life and bargain my way out of suffering. But it never works. Life will throw us curve balls no matter what. We are having a glorious experience in the human form gaining wisdom and growing our heart so my guess is that curve balls keep us on our toes, test us and help develop our center. But my attitude toward difficulty is completely in my control and that is a powerful place. Every single time (I swear..for real...every.single.time) life hands me a free fall event, I do not feel prepared. Now I just embrace my inability to be prepared. I perpetually stay in an ignorant place about how may life unfold, how to deal with uncertainty, heartache and the dark valleys of life. When god put out a shingle on the street "Stumblers Welcome" usually there is a spotlight following me around putting me in first place for that destination. Now I just assume I will stumble and be somewhat stupid about the whole human thing. I will say that there is some pretty great upsides to not 'getting life right' which may resonate in a similar fashion with you to include 'not knowing how to heal or not knowing how to find health' and I think one of the most powerful things we can do is come clean about this. When I did, it was like a thousand pound weight was lifted. Essentially I stay in the place of child like wonder about this whole human condition and accept that I fumble a whole heck of a lot. I have found this place quite sacred. When I remain humble about how to handle things, I tend to be less rigid about how to handle life. That sets me up to move through things faster because I am not trying to control them as much. This is essentially a place of trusting my life. And when we trust what is present in the unfoldment of our life, it can usher in transformation. And often transformation is extremely healing. Less doing and more "being" is not a common healing modality however, and most people including health care practitioners have not made the connection with this kind of thinking and healing. I consider it to be the next big step medicine will take. So you are truly the pioneers in this regard.
In fact, I find an incredible amount of dogma about healing in the healing supermarket world. This dogma is found equally in both alternative health and modern medicine. You may be surprised to know that I think there is as much dogma about How To Do Health Right in the Paleo world as anywhere else. It is subtle however, and much of it is unconscious. Many of the people who find me are in sad, hopeless places. They do AIP 100%. They are truly health-finding superstars. 100% compliance. They do all the supplements. They meditate. You could go through their life with a fine tooth comb and find nothing amiss. Best doctors, perfect diet, supportive family..the list goes on. I call this crowd the Game Changers. Because if you are reading this right now and you are a Fine Tooth Comber and not getting better, you are part of the bunch that will truly change the nature of how we do healthcare in this country. And I encourage you to not give up. It may be darkest before the dawn. Everything you need to heal is within arms reach. Life is asking you to get bigger in your approach to healing by loving yourself from a different place than you are used to. Life is asking you to take a risk and love the entirety of your being and let go of anything not serving you. That may include beliefs you have about safety, love, security, deserving, power and abundance. Autoimmunity may be related to your life in a way you had not thought of, and there is a gift in uncovering that idea. That kind of thinking has the ability to expand your life.
Everything you need to heal is within arms reach
Consider starting by making a decision to believe you are worth this journey. Then practice trusting what shows up. When you wake up, see how it feels to love the you doing this journey. And if you waking up is clunky, love that part. And if you waking up is crabby, love that part. Make a decision that no matter what comes out of your mouth or what emotion erupts from you, it has value and voice. And, if it is not happening fast enough, embrace the part of you that is excited about change and may be impatient. You are enough. There is no magic formula beyond your magnificence. The formula is your magnificence.