Welcome to motivation Monday, where we'll get your week started off right with a dose of positivity and motivation! Every Monday, I'll tackle issues that I've dealt with myself, that could be holding you back from being the best version of you possible. Sometimes I feel like I've lived ten lifetimes all rolled into one, and I'm here to share my personal experiences that may ring true to you as well, in order to help you let go of the past and move forward towards the life you've always dreamed of!
First up, let's talk about the power of forgiveness. This one is HUGE.
My good friend and functional medicine practitioner, Andrea, wrote a post the other day that really stuck with me. She said that in her practice, sometimes she finds that the root cause of disease is hiding in the inability to forgive.
I know this may sound a bit crazy to some, but from my own experience, nothing could be closer to the truth.
After my last and very major surgery in 2011, I was incredibly let down and very hurt by both friends and family members, who simply didn't live up to my expectations. Some of them were occasionally there, although not in the way I needed them, and only when it was convenient. Some turned the attention to their problems, while I was the one hooked up to machines and lying in a hospital bed, which left me completely drained. Some just straight up left my life completely, only to show up months later, thinking everything would be the same. My husband and I were very much alone during this time, although we had a few friends who were really there, keeping us sane.
The problem lies in the fact that I've always had expectations of others, and those expectations were often let down, even sometimes smashed and stomped into the ground. But here's the thing, no one could read my mind. No one knew what I wanted, because I never spoke up and asked for anything.
Feeling so completely alone left me feeling incredibly angry for far too long. For so long I hated my disease, and I was so angry with those that I felt didn't live up to my expectations. My thoughts began to consume me, and undoubtedly kept me sick. These thoughts were an inner stress that I carried around until I finally realized what it was actually doing to me. My anger was only affecting me, and no one else. My feelings didn't change anything about the past, they only kept me from living the life that I truly wanted.
It's only now that I look back on this time that I realize that being alone during such a difficult time was exactly what my husband and I both needed. It forced me to grow and to learn to stand up for myself, more than anything else ever could. Had everyone been waiting on my every last wish, I would simply not be the incredibly strong woman I am today. I also wouldn't have this lesson to share with you. I'm now so thankful to those that I was once so angry with.
Learning to love my disease, and learning to love each person whom I ever felt had done me wrong has improved my health more than I can put into words. In order to get to where I am today, I've had to let go and forgive so much. I made a conscious decision that I would no longer let my past affect my present, or my future. I would no longer let it hold me back. I've consciously let go of every negative feeling that I held onto, and in turn, my health improved greatly. I have no sadness and no anger left from any of the difficult times in my life, and it has completely set me free.
All it took was a simple shift in my mindset.
When you take a step back and realize that pain and suffering can be your greatest teachers, it can change the way you view your entire life. Instead of asking "why me," you can learn to appreciate the difficult times, because they will not last forever. These times can help you grow, and become a better and more compassionate version of yourself.
We're often taught to believe that forgiveness takes time, but I don't believe that has to always be the case. You can decide right now, at this very moment, to forgive your past, others, and most importantly, yourself. You can decide right now to move forward and recognize that your struggles have helped to make you into who you are, but they can no longer stop you from becoming who you want to be. It can really be as easy as a simple shift in your mindset.
Forgiveness can truly set you free.
I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my blog, and supporting my dream. I couldn't do this without you, and I am truly in debt to your kindness.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
Do you love or loathe Mondays?
Is forgiveness something you've ever struggled with?
Is it easy or hard for you to let go of the past?
Do you believe that negative thoughts can contribute to illness?