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Today’s guest post is written by Kristen from Living Loving Paleo! Not only is Kristen the creator of some seriously spectacular Paleo recipes, she’s a badass lady who has been finding her own Paleo way to kick Crohn’s disease in the pants.
I believe with all of my heart that everything happens for a reason. It was no accident that I got Crohn’s Disease, and no coincidence that I found my healing on my own.
Here I’ll share with you a few lessons that I’ve learned along my journey. In no way am I perfect, as I still need these reminders myself on occasion, and it takes serious practice. It’s much easier to be bummed out by life, but it’s SO much more rewarding to stay optimistic, no matter what life throws your way. I changed the way I looked at my world, and my world became more beautiful than I could have ever imagined!
Stop Worrying About What You Can’t Control
I was once the biggest worrier. I worried about everything, and it caused so much anxiety in my life. It wasn’t until my last surgery where I started to realize that worrying got me absolutely nowhere. It only added to my problems, as the stress of worrying so much was making me sick. Two months after my surgery, when I was readmitted to the hospital, I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I clearly remember the time when I felt like I just couldn’t keep fighting, as my body felt so weak. I was so worried that things wouldn’t get any better. At that very moment, a song started to play in my head – “Let It Be” by The Beatles. I hadn’t heard that song in forever, so I knew I was hearing it in my own mind for a reason. I don’t believe in coincidences. I realized that day that my worrying and anxiety were getting me absolutely nowhere. I’ve learned that we have a choice with how we respond to stress.
Looking For The Silver Lining…In EVERYTHING
Life will undoubtedly throw some obstacles your way; it’s how you handle them that makes all the difference. No matter what comes my way, I always try to see the good in every situation, and to see what I can learn. I’ve learned an incredible lesson from each trial I’ve faced. My last surgery was by far one of the most difficult times in my life. There were days during my recovery when I really had to take it one breath, and one moment, at a time. I believed that there was a bigger purpose to me having such a major operation, and that was my silver lining. It’s what I held onto for so long. Back then I had no idea what my future would hold, but I did know that I had a choice. I choose to see the bright side of things, and I still continue to make that choice today. Sometimes you have to really look for the silver lining, but I believe it will always be there.
Dust Yourself Off And Try Again
Learning how much control I actually had over my own life was one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned. No matter how many times I’ve fallen, I’ve always known that it was my choice to pick myself back up and try again. I’ve come across so many bumps along my journey, some of which seemed like gigantic mountains that felt impossible to climb. I’ve had more setbacks than I’ve had success, but it makes the times I’ve truly made it that much more amazing. Each time I fell, I knew there was a lesson to be learned. I took each lesson and applied it towards trying again.
Before I changed my diet to a paleo diet, I was nervous that yet again a diet change wouldn’t work. My husband was the one who told me, “what do you have to lose?” It’s true, if we stop trying to prove ourselves to others, and if we stop caring what others think, then we have absolutely nothing to lose! If I had given up and never taken another chance at changing my diet, I would have never gotten to where I am today. No matter where you are in life, you too can begin again! After all, you only really fail if you quit.
Focus On What You Do Have
I know for myself, I used to spend a lot of time focusing on what I didn’t have. When I was really sick, I often thought about how sick I was. Instead, I should have focused on the times that I did feel good. Maybe I would have had more of them! You know the saying “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” (Regina Brett) Isn’t that the truth? No matter how dark some of my days once were, there was always someone who had it worse, so for that I learned to see all the good in my life. I truly believe that what I put my focus on will become my reality, which is why I always try my best to not only watch what I say, but also watch my very own thoughts, as they are SO powerful.
Unfortunately it often takes losing something to realize just how much we have. I know that I wouldn’t be as grateful for my health, or for the simple pleasure of waking up feeling great, if it hadn’t been taken from me. My husband and I realized after my surgery what was truly important; we learned just how quickly life could change. As we sat in my hospital room all alone, it hit both of us just how little material objects matter. The nice clothes and money spent trying to impress others means nothing when you don’t have your health and the people you love. The difficult and painful times taught us who our true friends and family are, and who will be there for us no matter what. After my surgery it was painful just to take a single step. Through the incredibly tough times my husband and I have both learned to be grateful for all that we have, and each new day that we get to experience. I used to take so much of life for granted, and now I can see just how special it is. Just to be able to sit outside and work on my garden, or cook a delicious meal in my kitchen, is a true gift! Waking up every morning and being able to breathe because I no longer have constant sinus infections is amazing! When I slow down and really take the time to enjoy life, I can see how beautiful this world truly is!
What are some lessons that life has taught you?