I was conditioned as a child, growing into a young woman, to go to the doctor when illness arose. Most of the time they handed me a prescription of some sort.
I’d pop the pills and move on.
Looking back, I recognize that I was relying on the doctor to help me get better. I went to them, told them my symptoms, and took what was prescribed, with little question.
The problem, or symptom would go away, for awhile, until it sprung up again. It was like trimming off leaves of a dying plant, without addressing the roots, the soil.
These trips to the doctor and expectations of a prescription conditioned me to continue to seek out something to numb the pain. Most of the time this meant pills, alcohol, sugar, chocolate.
And when the symptoms came back — I numbed them again.
I was conditioned….
Pain …. Numb.
In retrospect, I think this decision was based on a subconscious fear. I didn’t want to face the pain. I didn’t want to feel bad. I didn’t want to take responsibility for anything that could be causing the pain.
I just wanted it to go away. NOW.
This conditioning wore thin once the pain stopped going away, or those pills started to cause different pains, usually in my stomach. The toss up then became which type of pain I could tolerate.
Something Was Missing…
Then it all came crashing down. A storm that collided with a painful surgery and confirmation of endometriosis: a chronic condition that I couldn’t numb. It was too big. All-consuming.
I wasn’t keen on the choices of treatment from the doctor: Hormones. Surgery.
No. I was not going to go that way.
That decision was the first of many on a new road to self-healing and it was carried by a strong belief that I could feel better with endometriosis.
This was fueled by stories I read about other women with endometriosis finding success through natural methods (and paid forward with me sharing my own story of healing).
As I got into this world of wellness and nutrition, however, I soon got confused. There were so many things to try. So many suggestions.
I updated my food and since I’d been accustomed to taking a pill from the doctor, I shifted to buying cabinets full of supplements, powders, shakes and whatever.
Soon I was overwhelmed… and broke 🙂
I was caught up a continued quest to stop the pain. I was impatient. I just wanted to feel better.
I was rushing, trying everything, and in turn, I wasn’t sure what was working.
That’s because I missed a vital step to self-healing: awareness.
How Do I Feel?
So, I stopped, stepped back and asked the most important question on the journey to healing….“How do I feel?”
How often did I check in after I ate a meal? Or even while I ate the meal? When I woke up in the morning? When I introduced a new supplement?
“How do I feel?”
After spending time with someone? Being in different environments? When I didn’t sleep enough?
“How do I feel?”
When I ate too much sugar? Or drank alcohol? Or hot wings? Or a home cooked meal? And a superfood drink?
“How do I feel?”
This check-in with myself helped build awareness and was pretty revolutionary.
I wasn’t used to asking myself how I feel.
All I recognized was pain and that I wanted to make it stop. Again, I didn’t put the connection to the cause, because I wasn’t connected to myself.
It was time to feel it all
I stopped running away from the pain and finally acknowledged it. I started to listen to the messages of my body.
I felt bloated and tired after eating gluten or dairy. I felt light headed or foggy when I ate too much sugar.
I felt energized after walking my dogs, or having a glass of Vitamineral Green. I felt energized, inspired, and creative after a trip to the mountains. I felt calm after meditation or from taking a series of long, conscious breaths.
Once I broke free from the fear and faced the pain, I crossed the path to liberation.
Instead of numbness, I brought forth compassion. I rested when I was tired. I drew a warm bath when my muscles ached.
I screamed and cried when the pain got really bad.
I felt it.
(And found out just how strong I truly am).
I discovered what choices impacted me. What made me feel good, and what triggered pain.
Tap into Self-Awareness
As my journey to wellness continued, I learned other ways to tap into this powerful stage of self-awareness.
The practice of meditation really helped me to build a distinctive separation between the thoughts that popped in my head (my ego) and my true self (pure love).
I learned to silence myself and tap into this place of love and acceptance. Meditation helped train me to live in the moment, to acknowledge my thoughts and push them away for later.
Once my mind space was clear, intuitive messages were easier to hear. I tapped into my essence – my inner guide that knows the path to wholeness and what is needed to get better.
This meditation practice started out with five minutes a day and built up to 40 minutes a day, today.
It wasn’t easy at first, but as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. This practice has significantly improved my life.
Who knew? All I needed to do was… nothing 🙂
Another activity that’s helped build awareness is morning pages. I’ve been doing these again for the past couple of weeks and have found them very helpful.
Morning pages include a conscious stream of writing that can be very revealing about what’s going on inside your head, and your heart. It’s another medium to tap into your inner voice that will help guide you to self-healing.
On the Positive Side?
Awareness empowered my path. I learned to listen to my self and to my body, even in the painful times. I took it in, and set out to learn as much as I can about the amazing human body.
I stopped running to numb, or phone up my doctor to help me figure out every pain and problem. They didn’t know my body like I did.
I became aware of both pleasure and pain and I opted to make conscious choices to steer clear of that which causes me pain.
I slowed down.
And eventually I learned what helped me to feel better.
Once I became aware, I was able to more easily course correct. I figured out what worked for me.
This question, “How do I feel?” is a powerful one.
I encourage you to stop and ask yourself it today, and to listen.
A good question to follow up is, “What do I really need now?”
Once I became aware, things changed for the better and this continues to carry me forward.
I hope that this inspires you to do the same.
If you want to put self-awareness into action and start to feel better with endometriosis, I invite you to join my free course, Endo Diet Jump-start. Find out more and register here.