Thursday, May 11, 2017

What Does Healing Truly Mean?

“It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility.” 
-Albert Einstein 

I've been sharing quite a bit lately about "healing" in reference to gastroparesis. It honestly feels like a double-edged sword at times, using these terms together. Your reaction may be one of hope and excitement. Or you might feel that healing is impossible and want to laugh at the idea of that word used with the awfulness of what you are dealing with. That's totally understandable. It's all very confusing, I know. So I'm going to shed some light on what healing truly means and how this has impacted my own life, when dealing with nearly a decade of living with a pretty severe case of gastroparesis and health challenges.

If you asked me what healing meant a couple years ago I would have immediately thought of finding a cure, a magic pill that took all the pain and suffering away, a slice of pizza and a glass of wine that could finally be enjoyed again without major consequences. I came to learn, however, that it can mean something quite different when expectations shift. Modern ways of thinking mostly view healing in terms of a cure, a complete recovery from the physical symptoms. If the problems return or never go away then no cure really ever happened. With healing, it goes deeper than this, taking place not only with the physical body but the mind and spirit as well, all working together as one. Before you roll your eyes and turn away, hear me out for just a moment.

The stories we share in the Healing GP Naturally book are significant turnarounds that people have experienced. It doesn't mean they put some essential oils on one day, think about being happy, do some breathing work and wake up free of stomach woes forever. They worked hard, on all levels, to re-establish a new way of being. Instead of trying so hard to be just like they were before GP (something I'm sure we all want desperately), they strived for finding what worked for them using the tools given to heal, creating a new connection with their bodies which have been through some serious trauma since illness took over.

I read somewhere once that healing isn't fixing, it's creating.
Creating routines that bring comfort and relief.
Thoughts that can physically change the structure of your cells.
Foods that nourish the body instead of depleting it further.
It's about creating a quality of life that allows the best chance for a fulfilling existence. 

For years I have carried around this guilt, a heavy burden that I'm not doing enough. Not enough of the right foods, not enough resting and relaxing, not breathing deep enough, not praying right or perhaps even overthinking it all. And eventually, I realize, again and again, how much my life has changed, not always for the worse but sometimes for the better. Despite the extreme challenges over the years (procedures, feeding tubes, IV nutrition) you think my body would be falling apart, that I would be a chronically sad, angry mess. But it continues to fight and believe and know it can get through the day. This medically war-torn body continues to persevere because of the things I do to manage it. It's my goal to really focus on this instead of the why's behind dealing with chronic illness and not being completely cured.

It's not always easy to be different, to have to need a "toolbox" of remedies to manage the challenges, but it's so much better than how I would be, and many others I've had the chance to get to know while working on the book, if the options weren't available. These include the Essential7 oils specifically made for GP and chronic disorders, taking time to rest, meditations and breathing techniques when tension, anxiety, and pain take over, nourishing foods that help the body to absorb and digest, dealing with emotions instead of burying them, and finding time for creativity and fun, no matter what that might look like for how we are feeling day to day.

Well, there's my spiel and I hope that helps to clarify what healing means, not only from my point of view but one that can help guide you on your own journey with all of this. I'll never get tired of saying do not give up hope. Maybe you are just starting out and only slightly sick at times, or maybe you have been extremely ill for years. Wherever you are on this path know that you are not alone. Our book is coming out this month and my wish is that it not only provides hope and inspiration but a new way of managing your challenges as naturally as possible, with some of the relief you have been so desperately seeking.

Update: The book is now available through our website and on Amazon!

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