That saying “have an attitude of gratitude” is sometimes annoying to hear but there’s no denying there’s truth in it. Living with personal health issues and then having family issues on top of that makes it challenging to stay positive. Trust me, their are many times, one of those being right this minute that I want to scream and point out all the faults in everyone around me and remind people of how much I actually do despite how crappy I feel. I actually used to do that, but all that did was make everything worse. Words cannot be taken back once they fall out of our mouths. Words can be like water, nurturing and refreshing, or like fire, destroying everything in it’s path. I’ve even heard that if complaining is all we do, we can become addicted to it. It becomes our new norm and our default system. If that is true then trying to break that cycle will be tough but doable. If complaining can become addicting, then the opposite must be true, saying words of gratitude and positive things must therefore also be addicting.
Have you ever seen that study where a Japaneses man speaks to water, freezes the water then looks at it under a microscope? It’s on YouTube and very fascinating. In one study he screams hateful things at one glass of water, the other glass he says kind words to. He even wrote hate on a piece of tape and taped it to a glass of water then got a different glass and wrote love. After freezing the water he looks at it to see what the water crystals look like. It’s incredible to see how beautiful the positive words make crystals and how ugly the negative words make crystals. We are mostly made up of water, and are obviously more complex then water, therefore wouldn’t we also be just as effected if not more with negative and positive words we say to ourselves, to others and what others are saying to us? Even our thoughts have an impact on our health. We see this same type of study with plants. Play classical music or say nice things to plants and they grow, do the opposite and they just survive. Why would we be any different?
I used to be super negative, so bad that people would tell me how toxic I was. It took me forever to change because I thought I was just being real about life. But then I started noticing a pattern in various “Pain” groups I was in, all they talked about was the pain. How they couldn’t do one thing or another, how this doctor was a jerk, how much pain they where in all day everyday. It actually started to wear me down and I think that’s about the time I came across that water study by the Japanese scientist. I thought if words can effect us like it does the water then I need to work on changing pronto! I don’t want to always be in pain and I don’t always want to be an energy vampire with my complaining. I found a few online classes that help people to deal with chronic illness, past abuse, narcissism, and so on. This class is taught by Dr. Miriam Adahan, http://www.miriamadahan.com a Ph.D Clinical Psychotherapist. It’s a live-interactive class held online once a week. This class and the tools she teaches have been a huge game changer in how I deal with pain, negativity, people in my life that lack empathy, self-esteem, nutrition, and so much more. She teaches us how to calm ourselves, especially when we are having a flare up and not receiving care or empathy from loved ones or doctors. She has given me and so many of us tools to strengthen our souls, to be positive and stand up for ourselves, to not feel like a burden and so on. I love her to death, and she truly wants to help.
Often times, those with a chronic illness will have problems in the home. Many relationships will suffer due to frustration, feeling helpless, feeling like a burden, not knowing how to properly communicate, not feeling appreciated and whatever else. I know my family was a bit sick and tired of hearing me talk about my back pain, and other alignments. I was tired of feeling like I was dragging everyone down, being a burden and having people not understand how one day I can be fine and the next not able to get out of bed, so I joined a class that’s just for women. It’s is for married women or soon to be married women because of the focus on our specific needs and the different ways a husband and wife communicate. It’s a Torah based class so if a person doesn’t believe in Torah it probably won’t work for them. Even though it’s for marriage, I found it to help me in all area’s of relationships. We learn how many times there is a miscommunication, how to properly communicate without making the other person defensive, how to really listen and to not misjudge someone’s actions or words because most people aren’t that great at expressing their thoughts or emotions. She taught us that our past effects how we communicate today and how to look at people in a positive way, not in a way that makes us a doormat or anything like that, but giving people the benefit of the doubt. Or even if an issue is not really that big of a deal to just stop arguing. We may be right but if it’s just going to cause a long drawn out argument just to prove we are right, and it’s not a big deal, then let the other person win. The stress of an argument and damage in any type of relationship is more important than being right. I have found that when I am right and I let the other person think they are right so the situation will be diffused they will somehow, someday see who was really right. This is so hard for me. I am 1-a woman and 2-a double Leo with a Taurus rising, which translated means I am stubborn as hell, but I also have the strength to convert that stubbornness to something good.
I wasn’t perfect throughout the entire process, I yelled at people I cared about, then apologized and learned how to deal with stress better. I knew that stress was a huge contributor of my illness. I learned that stress will mess up cortisol and other hormones. I learned that stress causes inflammation. No matter what kind of food I ate or exercise I did, if I didn’t manage my thoughts which also manages my emotions I wouldn’t get through anything, so managing my thoughts became my priority.
So what’s the point I am trying to make here? Simply that we are in control of what we think and say and also how we react to whatever is coming at us. Everything we think, say, do and how we react has a direct impact on our health, our brain, our energy and our life. If we are always complaining and focusing on what is wrong, we are probably going to feel like crap and not get better. It’s like food, you are what you eat, well we are also what we think, say and do. I have read so much about neuro-plasticity and epigenetics lately that I just had to try it out. I stopped logging into the “pain” groups so I wouldn’t be tempted to complain. I started keeping a journal where I would just simply write down 5 things I did that day and then say out loud what I did and “good for me”. I started visualizing myself with past memories, of how I used to be when I was competing in martial arts and at the peak of my physical health. I wasn’t reckless, I didn’t start jogging or anything, but I did stop thinking like a victim in my own body and I kid you not, things started to change for the better. Maybe not physically at first, but I was happier and more positive about life. I stopped complaining and talking about my health all the time to anyone who would listen. It lifted a huge load off me, my family and my friends. I was no longer an energy vampire, and I felt good.
All I want to do is share my story and encourage others. My way may not be the way for you, but maybe if you are struggling it will encourage you to find whatever way works for you?
Anyway, thanks for reading and stay strong,