Do you ever have a conversation that completely changes your day? Or really, your whole week/ year/ life?!
Mid-conversation, a boy I’m currently dating stopped me and said. . .
“You talk like you were once great, like you had money, a better life, more fun, extravagant things, parties, events, and trips. Sometimes you make it seem like your life sucks and is boring and dull at times now. You don’t have to prove anything or defend yourself. You’re amazing today. I don’t care what you had yesterday.”
His comment really made me stop and think. Wow, he was SO right.
When people ask me what I do for a living, I always tell them what I USED to do.
When people ask me where I live, I always tell them where I USED to live.
The more I thought about it, the more I started finding it hard to find answers to questions which I don’t point out something that USED to happen or that I USED to do.
Here I am, always preaching how different doesn’t mean bad, and how we can still live awesome lives despite a chronic diagnosis . . . and I subconsciously still cling on to who I ‘used’ to be.
Thinking about conversations I’ve had from my whole match.com experience (Read my Dating On Disability post), I identified many many many many many times where I referred to what I did in the past and how I used to be…
The past is in the past, the future is in the future, all we have is the present moment.
So, why do we cling onto our past so much?
Why do we dwell on our lives pre-diagnosis?
My life is very different today than it was 5 years ago. Back then, I truly thought the trajectory of my future was in the opposite direction than where I’ve ended up today.
Whenever I studied abroad, one of the first things the head of our program told us was to keep an open mind. That just because things are done differently than how we did them at home didn’t mean it was wrong. It didn’t mean one way was more right. It didn’t mean anything except for the fact that it was
It didn’t mean one way was more right. It didn’t mean anything except for the fact that it was
It didn’t mean anything except for the fact that it was DIFFERENT. He told us we should approach the situation with respect and have
He told us we should approach the situation with respect and have an appreciation for it.
To trust the process and to live in the moment. To trust the process and believe that things will turn out the way it should be.
He always said that he hoped we got on the wrong train, heading the wrong direction, by ourselves, with no sense of direction. Because that’s when the real learning would begin.
This was 2007 and, although it wasn’t THAT long ago, we didn’t have iPhones and gps/Internet at our fingertips.
I feel like since then I’ve always said it’s not “right” or “wrong”, it’s just different. Different doesn’t mean bad or good. And I always joke and say trust the process! So, why if I always preach these things, why aren’t they engrained in my brain sooooo well?
I’ll tell you why… Because our ego tricks us into believing it knows the right way. And my ego believes that I’m living a much duller and boring life. BUT when I tap into my true inner self I KNOW that’s not true. I know that I live a more fulfilling and grateful life.
And my ego believes that I’m living a much duller and boring life. BUT, when I tap into my true inner self I KNOW that’s not true. I know that I live a more fulfilling and grateful life.
One of the first steps to making a change in your life is by identifying the act you want to change. Having this conversation with my friend definitely helped me realize I need to become more aware of what I’m saying. Because sure, I miss all the fun things I did before I went out on disability, but I still do such fun things now!
Since this conversation, I’ve become very cognizant on what I’m saying. When I start to hear myself going to say something about what I used to do, I stop, switch gears, and focus in on the present.
People don’t care that I used to be an IT Consultant … why do I feel like I need to justify my new career path? I’m a Holistic a Health Coach helping chronically fabulous patients to manage their symptoms and live their best life.
Sure, in a prior life I traveled and did IT, but not at this moment.
Sure, I’m on disability, but the majority of my day I’m focused on health coaching and helping others, therefore disability doesn’t need to be the first thing people know about me.
Sure, I used to love to go out to the bars and have a good time and that’s something I don’t necessarily do as much now. People don’t need to know that disclaimer. It doesn’t make me any less fun or interesting.
It’s interesting to me to hear someone who has only known me for a short while talk about how my life is still great. It’s funny because this same person texted me one day and asked,
“Do anything exciting today? Every time I talk to you I’m expecting you to say, oh… Just climbed Everest this morning, lunch with the president… Then throwing out the first pitch at the bucs game.”
It’s funny how different perspectives can make you look at your situation differently. He’s right! I do like to keep life interesting and as long as I’m feeling well I like to keep moving.
Someone else I’ve encountered since going out on disability told me that I’m full of surprises! And I am!
Another one told me I’m so busy that he didn’t think I had time for him in my schedule. HAHA!
All these people keep telling me these things, yet I still feel Ike I need to justify my current situation. Why?
Ego! Our ego truly runs ramped.
Gabby Bernstein teaches a kundalini ego eradicator meditation that can help bring us back to ourselves. This is a great exercise to do when you start to realize your ego is starting to get a little out of control!
For my free guided meditations visit http://gabbyb.tv/
So the moral of the story?
We’re all human. We can try to live as we want to, but we all trip up. Life is hard! It’s hard to stay positive ALL the time. It’s hard to live as we want to ALL the time! We’re going to get tripped up. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to think things we know we shouldn’t.
So what do we do?
We try out best! We pull out tools in our toolbox and use them when we need them. This ego eradicator meditation is a great one to use.
Also, becoming mindful of when we do this is such a big positive step. Just identifying the action really is helpful. Every time I identify myself going down this path, I remind myself that I’m still worthy enough to have an awesome life and that I still am amazing!
Being mindful and trying to choose your inner self over your ego is what we all need to do . . . but also remember to be kind to yourself! Change doesn’t happen over night. I was the way I am for 20+ years, I can’t expect to become different over night. And even 2 years of dedicated work is a small time frame compared to how long I’ve been living the way I had been.
So who am I?
I’m Julie. I’m a holistic health coach who lives in Pittsburgh, Pa. I love life, I have an awesome life and can’t wait to see what my future holds.
THAT’S who I am. THAT’S how I want to portray myself.
Who are you?
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!