The other day in my yoga class, my teacher started off by having us complete a simple breathing exercise and read the following quote.
“As you start to walk on the way,
the way appears.” – Rumi
The quote really hit me. I quickly switched my focus from my breath, to my life! I started having so much appreciation for everything that I have gone through.
A few years back, as I was working as an IT consultant, I enjoyed my life. I was happy, I had a lot of great things, had great friends and relationships, but I knew that my purpose in life had not been revealed to me yet. I knew what I was doing was preparing me for something, but I wasn’t exactly sure what that road would look like.
I laughed and talked about opening a jewelry store, or perhaps doing something with social media, or working on my own – I always had different life plans because I didn’t have a set purpose for my life. I’ve always been motivated, and I’ve always been inspired to live my best possible life, but I knew there was something that I still wasn’t aware of. In my mid 20s, I thought this thing was a family. I so desperately wanted to get married and have a family. I thought that by obtaining these things, I would be happy and feel like my life was fulfilled.
If you follow my blog, then it’s needless to say that I am not married and have not had that family yet. . . and now I am 30. I always thought I needed to do something differently, or I needed to seek out something differently, or I needed to be doing something different, and I was always trying to better myself. When I got sick, it became even more clear to me that I had to spend time bettering myself inside, and out, to regain my health. I spent so many nights unhappy, so many nights upset, so many nights in pain, and I didn’t understand why all of this was happening to me. I was supposed to be living a full vibrant life, working towards my family, working towards my career. . . and everything had come to a halt.
What was this life I was living? It was not the life that I wanted or the life that I had envisioned myself leading. But it was the life that I had been given and I had no other choice but to accept it, move forward and try to make the best of it.
I started on my way. As I began down this “way”, opportunities started to fall into my lap that I don’t believe would have otherwise. I started my blog, speaking engagements came to be, I started lending my voice on panels, taking surveys, helping push the patient voice forward, joined different organizations and volunteered so much of my time. All of these wonderful things started helping me find a reason to wake up every day.
I would have never chosen to get sick. If this was a “choose your own adventure” story, I would have bypassed that option and gone straight for the others. Absolutely, positively, no doubt about that. But, through my dark hours, through really tough painful moments, and through the heartache, the pills and the injections – I found my strength. Drawing on my strength, I then found my purpose and passion in life.
The thing is, we can try to seek out our purpose, but our purpose is only revealed to us in time. In that perfect moment when we are ready. When we truly start on our path, that’s when our purpose will be revealed to us.
By quieting the mind and working on our inner selves,
By drawing on our strengths, intuition and faith,
By believing in ourselves and the fact that everything we’re going through is for a higher purpose,
EVENTUALLY our purpose will be revealed to us.
Specially, with chronic illness, it’s hard to think that we are going through all of this for something.
Notions like. . .
“I have this illness because I deserve it”
“I need to go through this because I need to learn compassion”
“I got this because I need to learn what pain feels like”
It can be extremely overwhelming and extremely frustrating, and completely unmotivating, to look at these illnesses in this light.
But, if you look for the lessons in each challenge that comes your way, it can in time be easier to swallow.
It can be hard to identify in the moment, but over time the lesson is always revealed to us.
For instance. . .
When you learned you had an autoimmune disease that would be with you for the rest of your life, how small did you feel? How angry were you that your body was attacking it’s self instead of loving it’s self. How upset were you that your future would always be dependent on how you felt and would have to be modified to accommodate your needs. But how has that diagnosis help to you?
Has it made you more compassionate?
Has it made you more grateful.
Has it strengthen relationships or perhaps gotten rid of relationships in your life that were superficial and weren’t serving you?
When were in the heat of the moment, it can be very hard to see the positives and lessons to be learned in each challenge that we come across in life. But, in time, they are revealed to us and over time we begin to understand.
Just like this quote, “As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”
Once we start treating ourselves inside and out with love, respect and kindness. Once we really start taking a look at things with a positive spin. Once we open our mind and our hearts to the lessons life has to offer, then will things start to fall into place and make more sense.
When you first start becoming more mindful, it can be a very overwhelming task, but in time, the positives start to shine through the negatives and make it easier to identify. Use these positives to help propel you forward from whatever situation you are in.
So the next time that you encounter a tough situation, I challenge you to remember this quote. Remember that once we start going down the way, the way is revealed.
We may not know where we’re going, or why we’re going through something, but in time all is always revealed.
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!