Thursday, November 17, 2016

Health Struggles Called the True Me Home

So last I wrote, I was giving myself permission to be myself again. The girl with less control and more fun, less discipline and more abandon. Well...

It's. Been. Amazing.

It started just before I threw this Halloween party. I'm an ewok, of course.



The party was looming and I was overwhelmed, afraid I'd run out of energy before the finish line.) My mom advised me to go "hog wild" in my party planning. I did and it made all the difference. Some of my energy must have been soaked up just by worrying about when I'd run out of energy. Trying to be too strategic and methodical is a drag for me. I'm all fits and starts and bursts of dazzling, but random, energy. It's not something I was ever meant to mete out. And I have to say, this free-for-all feels pretty damn good.

As with most of my earth-shattering discoveries, it can be found in a book. The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle talks about how we each move through life in a way that's best described by the four elements: earth, water, fire and air. She explains how valuable and purposeful each kind of person is and how as parents, we can support and honor our kids in their natural gifts. This safeguards us from trying to mold them into what we consider the ideal individual - or even to be like us, since we know how that works. Kind of. 

In looking to help my kids, I discovered my energy movement is air. I'm the person who's an idea factory and if you could see my ideas being made, pom poms and glitter and stars would shoot out from time to time. I'm always thinking about new stuff. New ways to do things, new ways to say things, new ways things could look. It's what I'm about. The perfect pairing for my ideas is my positive belief that they are possible. It's an incredible design. And do you know what my greatest need is? Wait for it...fun. 

In junior high, we went to church with a family of boys who lived in the country. They had a pool and they'd go exploring on their property. Once we went to eat lunch at their house after church and their mom came out of her bedroom in shorts and a t-shirt. "I had to get into my cookin' clothes!" I'd fantasize about being a part of their family. It looked like so much fun!

There's a lot more to it, but generally, I've learned that I'm okay. Not even just okay, I'm good. God made me as a gift to the world and he hasn't been wishing he'd done it different every time I get distracted by something pretty. Sometimes people get judgy and poor cold water on people who bubble with enthusiasm, but we don't have to mistake that for God's take on it. There are different ways of going about life. All of them are legitimate, even if someone can't understand why that works for us. 

I'd judged people like myself as vulnerable and that was the last thing I wanted to be. I was willing to betray myself because I didn't know how dangerous that is. My health has been the friend who called my true self home, but it didn't start out that way.

When someone first confirmed I was experiencing abnormal fatigue, I cranked down. I tracked symptoms, followed instructions, tried to be a very, very good student. I cranked down on spending too, feeling more and more stressed by the amounts spent on treatment. I put myself under a microscope and stared at it until my eyes wouldn't come uncrossed.

Six months after that discovery, I was having panic attacks and chest tightness and fits of crying. A year later, I would've given anything to "not know" I had a health problem because I'd felt so much better before.

In the face of a crisis and threat, I became exponentially more the person I thought it was safer to be. But being untrue to myself added a thick layer of stress to my already in stressed body. I had to do life differently. I needed my personality back.


So my health problem showed me the way. 

Yes, it broke me first, but then it showed me how to be whole again. 






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