Written September 6, 201
Today I am inspired to write about these 2 spiritual principles. As always, let’s start with a couple of definitions.
Gratitude means thanks and appreciation. Gratitude, which rhymes with “attitude,” comes from the Latin word gratus, which means “thankful, pleasing.” When you feel gratitude, you’re pleased by what someone did for you and also pleased by the results. Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance, an absence of pride and ego but knowing you’re not a bad or evil person.
As you can see, Gratitude is a feeling we get when we’re happy or pleased that we get when have help getting thru situation or a crisis. Humility, even tho it’s related to humiliation, it is a better feeling. You feel no better or less than anyone else. You understand and accept your part in the grand scheme of things.
I’ve had a problem with self esteem and self acceptance for as far back as I can remember. I’ve been gradually getting better at this over the last few years, more so the last couple years. When the shit fairy visited me in 2014 she decided to move in. I’ve been having some health issues that have been a mystery for a while now. When I finally told my circle of friends what I was going thru, they rallied around me. They told me things that I, at that time, either didn’t believe or want to hear. I used to say, “They’re just saying that stuff to either be nice or because they’re my friends.” I thought to myself. All I wanted to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head for a while. Then a couple days ago I ended up chatting with a small group of nurses about my issue and the crazy thoughts I was having. They too told me the same stuff that my friends did and I still didn’t like, but again, I still needed to hear.
For anyone who isn’t aware of this, people with self-esteem and low confidence issues have a little voice inside their heads saying stuff like “I’m to ugly, to fat(rarely to skinny), not smart enough, not lovable enough, not worthy enough, not…” and a whole bunch of other things. No matter what anyone may say to the contrary, that internal voice says is usually louder than the external voices of reason. Add this fact(the voice says “I’m so ugly right now. People must think that…”). On top of it all I was reading paperwork for some lab work I had done ruling out a couple of serious disorders, my mind was racing with all kinds of thoughts. It was one thing to THINK I had some horrible disease, but to see in black and white that I COULD have something worse than I thought.
Finally the day came after 2 grueling weeks of waiting for me to get my test results. The nurse that took care of me was awesome. Quite possibly one of the few times I’ve had a really good experience with a healthcare professional. When she told me my tests came back negative from illness, disease and any other anomaly, I tried to hold back the tears. I managed to do so for about 10 seconds then the floodgates opened. We discussed at length what the problem could be. She took more time with me than she probably should have. I guess there’s just something about finding out you’re not as sick as you think or that you’re going to die that makes you spill your guts out to your healthcare provider about things.. that you normally wouldn’t if you were healthy.
So with a clean PHYSICAL( 😉 ) bill of health and prescriptions to abandon conventional medicine and go back to the basics of organic and homeopathic treatment, I left the office feeling like a new person. A mountain of weight was lifted from my shoulders and I was, and still am, overflowing with gratitude that I’m not dying. I also am humble just thinking of all those who stood by me without judging or teasing me like those days in school. I am beyond grateful to those who rallied around and assured me that everything would work out. I was also humbled by the number of friends who came to my emotional aid. Some faces were different but they are the same people who have been my cheerleaders during other difficult times in my life.
Since then I’ve done a lot of reflecting. A lot of my self reflection has to do wit positive future changes that I either should or need to make as well as how I ended up where I’m at. I’m sure you all have seen those social media posts about those who love and care to much hurt the most or the ones about people struggle with battles that no one sees? That’s me, well, for the most part. I love and care for others sometimes to much that I forget myself. Plus I don’t talk much about what I struggle with. I’m not saying I struggle with life every day, but when am struggling I don’t usually ask for help let alone talk about it. Even when certain kinds of help is offered I have a hard time accepting it. It could be my heritage or how I grew up, who knows.
The problem with internalizing stress and stuffing feelings inside ourselves is that what we’re actually doing is ingesting poison. My parents and grandparents grew up in generations where you didn’t discuss your problems, let alone your feelings. Since then they’ve found that by not expressing our feelings in a healthy way and releasing stress it actually harms our bodies. Strokes, heart attacks, weakened immune systems and cancer are just a few of things that can happen. In my case the poison from stress, unexpressed feelings and unresolved issues affected my skin along with my insides(my heart, lungs, and stomach). What was normally a simple acne issue turned my face into what I felt was a hideous creature. And I complicated it further by using harsh chemicals on my skin and thinking bad thoughts of myself and my life.
I also reflect on how I can turn this into a learning tool for me and to turn this negative into a positive. First and foremost I can live a more healthy lifestyle. Not that I eat fast-food or junk but a few more fruits, veggies and grains won’t hurt. Neither will a bit of low impact exercise. Maybe a little less coffee and more water. Perhaps one of the best things I can do is share this with all of you or anyone else who’s “going thru it”. I know I’m not the only one who thinks and feels the way I’ve just written about. I know there are others who think and feel the crazy stuff I do. Maybe we haven’t lived the same lives but I know someone out there can identify with me. I know because some of my best friends are just as crazy as I am. I just talked to someone yesterday about a similar situation they are going thru. Even tho I’ve struggled with those kinds of feelings ever since my school days when kids can be so mean to each other, I’ve gotten better over time.
I share this to let you know that if you’re going thru what I fondly call the “shit storm” you can make it thru. Just know that we all are fighting different battles that no one knows about. Know that no matter what you’re going thru now will pass. I realize now that my Higher Power does have my back and does put or take away people or situations for good reasons. Sometimes it’s simply to be able to let others know that you are not alone and you can and WILL get thru it. If I can do it so can you!