“It seemed as if the longer she lived, the more was taken from her. Not gradually, as old age fell into the inevitable, but lobbed off in great chunks, the healthy branches sacrificed along with the frail.” Shelly Noble, Beach Colors
I look down at the great chunks of my life that have lobbed off and lie scattered all around me. However, I stand tall as a warrior. I stand tall knowing that God knows what’s going on and that I can make the most of the small luscious moments I DO have, or I can fall into fragility. Falling to me is losing my faith. Losing my faith in my savior is not a possibility. I wake up every day with renewed hope, and I am thankful for the gifts he’s given me.
As you know from following my blog, I have my good days and my bad days. Always will, because I’m not in heaven yet, lol. But we ALL have our good days and our bad days, right? It’s called being human. My question is, “what happens when you’re battling something that you have no control over?” Because we ALL are, you know? There is something that we are holding onto for dear life. For me it’s my memories, what is it for you? A spouse, a partner, a career, a home, a child? What situation are you going through right now? And, what would happen if you gave up all control? Would you lose everything? Would you go into a deep depression? Would you have a breakdown? Or are you the type of person who would make the most of the situation? A Pollyanna? A person who sees the good in all things? I’ve been both, trust me. Some of us have lived through some seriously traumatic events in our lifetime.
But are we still here? Are we still breathing, eating? Here’s my point… there’s a REASON we are still here. How can we use the trauma in our life to not only heal, but to help other people? And, can I just say right here right now that YOU matter? You are important!
People have been known to say that “The past is in the past, it doesn’t matter anymore.” Have you ever heard that? Did that wisdom give you validation? I’m giggling right now, because I already know the answer to that question. As a LifeCoach I have found that if we are living in the past… if we can’t let-go of it… then it’s because we haven’t accomplished our mission yet. (I’m talking about old grief, not current grief… everyone needs time to heal and grieve.)
Part of our mission is helping others who are battling the same kind of trauma. God WANTS us to use what happened to us for the greater good. The Devil wants us to feel hopeless, turn to drugs, turn to hate. But, God wants us to teach/reach out to others. Write a book about our situation and how we overcame/or are overcoming it. Start an advocacy group, become an advocate, start a support group, teach meditation, or yoga! Do something for good. Take our tragic situation and turn it around. Become the warrior we were meant to be! There is a reason we went through what we did. There is a reason we are still here. And usually it’s not because of our day job.
YOUR NUGGET FOR TODAY:
Every morning when our feet hit the floor we must become the warrior of our own life. WE MUST learn to love ourselves enough to put ourselves first. Not in a narcissistic way, because that is plain evil. But in a way that sets personal boundaries. A way that shows self-love.
- “I will pray upon waking and glorify my maker.”
- “I will pick this ________ essential oil today because I’m feeling ________.”
- “I will meditate for 15 minutes before work.”
- “I will spend one hour today toward my _________ (your goal, your dream),
- “I will write down 5 things that I’m grateful for before going to bed tonight.”
- “I will purchase a journal that speaks to my heart, and I will write my blessings down daily.”
- “I will take an Epsom salt and lavender bath before bed tonight, to ease my sore/sick body.”
- “If someone hurts my feelings today, I will pray about it instead of getting mad.”
Etc., you get my point. Think of self-love as a time for just you and our Maker. A time for reflection, a time for dreams, a time for renewal. Give yourself permission to love yourself. You can’t nurture others if you don’t nurture yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have. Women were born to help, to love, to understand, to heal. We must celebrate who we are and reach out (with healthy boundaries) to others who are in need or going through what we’ve been through.
At the end of my blog post, I write about my health journey. For those of you who are interested, please continue reading. For everyone else? God bless you, and I’m praying healing, health and happiness for you all!
The photo above shows a description of how I’ve been feeling. A lady who admins one of my Lupus support groups posted it today, and when I saw it I had to click the WOW emoji, lol. I’m laughing because it fits my lifestyle to a tee right now. For the life of me I can’t figure out why my poor body WON’T go into remission? I have to admit, it’s scaring me a tad. But enough with fear, I relinquished it to God. It is what it is. I don’t have the energy for the “what if’s” that try turning me toward fear instead of faith and hope. I choose hope. It reminds me of what Emily Dickinson wrote,
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson
I will never stop hoping, dreaming and having faith. It gives me reason to live!
So, the truth is that I’ve been pretty weak, and I’ve been sleeping more than I ever have in my life. My biggest fear is Alzheimer’s. But, I’ve concluded that if I don’t go into remission, and that Lupus continues destroying my brain… then there’s a reason God is “allowing” me to go through this. But each day that I have left (thinking, remembering), I’m going to continue counting my blessings, and setting new goals. Because God isn’t done with me yet! Halleluiah? Halleluiah!
Sometimes I have to change my goals, because there are limits as to what I can physically/mentally handle. An example of that is that I’m in my home 98% of the time. I no longer drive unless I absolutely HAVE to (Dr.’s), and there will come a day when driving will be totally off-limits to me unless things change. As for now, no driving in the mornings.
I rely on social media to stay in touch with friends, thankfully I exist at an age where that is possible. I can’t imagine how lonely it was for people going through this in the days of no technology. It must have been very hard on them.
Another limit? My short-term memory has gotten worse, and I daze off at times without realizing it. I’m so thankful for my husband. He has such gentle patience with me. Listening to the same questions I ask him over and over and over because I’m unable to retain his answers. Patiently listening to me as I try to get my words out correctly while explaining something. It’s exasperating! One of the traits I love most about hubs is he NEVER makes me feel stupid, because he knows I’m not. I may sound stupid, but my brain knows what it wants to say. It just can’t correlate the words correctly when I’m speaking (sometimes). Hey, there are times the neurons click, and other times they just won’t cooperate, lol. It’s embarrassing.
Anyway, you get the gist of what’s going on.
Medicine: I’m still on all meds, including Chemo once a week.
I’ve been devoting a lot of my time to researchIng foods that will help my brain. For the most part, my entire way of eating has changed. The only problem I’m having is that I can no longer stomach meat, and I LOVED MEAT. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m sick or if it’s my medicine, but meat taste awful to me. Which means I get my protein from other food sources. I will eat meat once in a while, but extremely limited amounts. Ick.
If you are having issues with your Central Nervous System or are living with someone who has problems in this area, I would like to suggest a book called Genius Foods by Max Lugavere. Maybe some of you saw him recently on TV? Here’s a link, if you’d like to check it out. https://www.geniusfoodsbook.com/
Above are some of my favorite foods. I look forward to them every day. I fast daily 16:8. Which means I eat between 8am and I quit eating after 4PM. Intermittent fasting is healthy for my body and my brain. Doing this regularly helps me reduce insulin, and it enables autophagy. So, I fast 16 hours, and leave 8 hours between my first and last meal. My meals have changed DRASTICALLY. I eat for my brain, period. Get the book if you need more info, it’s well worth it.
I just want to share some goodies on the food above:
You can’t see the bowl very well, and I already mixed up my salad. However, it’s
- SPINACH. I eat it every day. Gobs of it. Any dark leafy greens actually (spinach, kale, arugula). Mix it all up, and yummo! They are rich in magnesium, folate, fiber and phytonutrients, dark leafy greens boost gut health and CURB INFLAMATION. (Right now my inflammation is so bad I’m having a hard time typing, errrrr). If you look closely you can see that my greens are glistening. That’s because I pour:
- EVOO on top of them. Yes, I use a lot of EVOO. Why? Because it contains “oleocanthal, a phenol with STRONG anti-inflammatory effects that has potential to help the brain clear itself of the amyloid plaques linked with Alzheimer’s disease.”
- AVOCADO: (Not pictured, because I already ate it (yup I ate the entire huge avocado). Why? Because it has lots of fiber, twice as much potassium as a banana, vitamin E, and for me LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN (“carotenoids that protect the brain integrity and function and enhances neural processing speed.”)
- I drink a shot glass of cherry juice concentrate daily (I could seriously guzzle a glass of it, yummm). It is stocked full of vitamins and antioxidants! I need the antioxidants terribly. Especially Anthocyanins which is also anti-inflammatory.
- I’m addicted to kalamata olives. I take the pits out, throw the olives in my food processor and add my EVOO! I sprinkle in some Pink Himalayan salt and presto: my favorite salad dressing right now. Kalamata olives have polyphenols which protect against disease.
- PINK HIMALAYAN SALT: Helps my adrenal function, and aids in hormonal balance. It’s believed to have 84 trace minerals. It’s really good for you, and I like it better than regular salt now.
- BLUEBERRIES: Again, antioxidants. Blueberries antioxidant properties are high in anthocyanins, “which has been shown to enhance signaling in the brain regions that deal with memory.”
- CHIA SEEDS: I eat this daily as part of my protein requirements. It’s important I find ways to get my protein count since I can’t stomach meat. Most of the carbs found in chia seeds are fiber. They are loaded with antioxidants, high in Omega-3 Fatty acids, and is thought to help lower heart disease (which I really need to keep an eye on with Lupus) and Diabetes. I sprinkle them on everything. My favorite way to eat them is on top of my daily spinach salads.
- QUINOA: Another favorite way to add to my protein intake! I cook it, drizzle the batch with EVOO, and Himalayan salt, and stick it in the fridge. I take a little bite whenever I feel hungry (within my 8 hour timeframe) , and it fills me right up. I also plop a spoonful on my daily spinach salad. Google quinoa when you get a chance. You’ll be shocked at all of its health benefits!
I never thought I’d get to the point where I actually enjoy eating for my health. But my taste buds have definitely changed.
God keeps leading me toward health, I just need to continue following him.
I’m praying today that we all start and end our day being the warriors God created us to be. I pray we give ourselves some daily self-love and are able to set healthy boundaries for ourselves.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19
God bless each and every one of you!