My husband and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary recently, which brought nostalgic thoughts of our wedding day. Within these memories came a reminder of a difficult decision and declaration I made during that time.
My father wanted to marry us in a faith that he dedicated his life to. Problem was, I didn’t connect to it, never really did. It was time to fess up. I couldn’t stand in front of friends and family and be something I was not.
I had to tell him.
That conversation was rough and got pretty heated. We spoke of religion, spirituality and childhood beliefs. Included within our exchange, he posed a serious question: If I’m not that. Then who am I?
I didn’t have an answer.
The remnants of that conversation brought up feelings of discontentment, disappointment and division between my father and I. It also stirred up a desire to find an answer to that unanswered question.
Who am I?
Ten months following our wedding day, I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis. In all the years of suffering through horribly painful periods, I had never even heard of this condition.
My world came crashing down, suffocated by pure pain and mental suffering. My life materialized with a dismal outlook and heartbreaking doubts about my ability to bear a child.
I spent the majority of time under the covers of my bed, clutching my heating pad, succumbed by beliefs that I would not get better, that I was destined for a life of agony.
Luckily, I heard a whisper deep inside. I could not give up hope. There had to be another way.
And there was.
It began with progressive changes to my diet. When I fed myself with nutritious foods I started to feel better. Feeling better physically translated to me feeling better mentally too.
I dug deeper into alternative Eastern healing modalities which helped me see that in order to heal I needed to address my entire system – mind, body, and spirit.
My pull to Eastern medicine and established love for yoga naturally translated to me digging deeper into the philosophies of the Buddha. What attracted me most was the Buddha’s foundational teaching within the first noble truth: life is suffering. To live, you must suffer.
I could definitely relate to that.
What followed were the Buddha’s noble truths to finding the cause of suffering, and the steps down a path to finding freedom from this suffering.
That sounded good to me.
These teachings brought me to practices of meditation and mindfulness. I practiced quieting my mind, sitting in silent wonder of the intuitive messages to unfold and became conditioned by this feeling of calm.
For the first time I really started to listen to that quiet voice inside. I realized that I’d silenced it along the way with self-medicated processes – alcohol, drugs, and sugar.
I recognized that much of my stress and anxiety came from thoughts of the past or worry for the future. I practiced living in the moment.
I paid attention.
These practices helped me re-connect with my breath, my life force. This pulled me through when times were rough, when pain rose and threatened to pull me under.
I learned that many of the answers along my healing journey came in signals from my body. I learned to acknowledge the sources of my pain and suffering and worked to adjust these factors so there was less pain, more love.
I learned that my natural state was one of joy and moved towards activities that stimulated this. I took a new job in web design. I wrote, colored and laughed at simple subtleties.
And I felt better.
When the pain reared its ugly head
, I took this as a reminder for self-care, to slow down. I learned to accept each moment as it was, even if it was painful. Surrender.
The path to wellness started with a key ingredient: love. Love for myself, when I really needed it the most.
Our bodies are the vehicles we’ve been given to experience this life and we deserve to have a beautiful one. We must take care of our vessel. It needs our self-care and kindness.
I move forward on my healing journey with a greater sense of calm in my heart for I found the answer to the question, who am I?
I am love. And so are you. And love is truly all you need.
I’ve written about the primary lessons I learned along the road to healing endometriosis in my book: From Pain to Peace With Endo available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and more.
To connect with me further please visit my blog at www.peacewithendo.com or connect on social media:
Aubree and I initially met online, and then found out we both live in Denver…so to Starbucks we went! I couldn’t have been more delighted to find a fellow EndoSister who’s path to healing was also Eastern/Alternative medicine.
Thank you for sharing your voice and your light!
Be sure to support Aubree’s work by purchasing her book here:
From Pain to Peace With Endo: Lessons Learned on the Road to Healing Endometriosis
and check out an overview I did of her book <<here>>