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Healing from Illness and other Life Challenges

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Rumi 

As someone who has experienced a fair share of challenges, these words by Rumi are very close to my heart. I have returned to them, again and again, during my journey with Vitiligo and they helped restore my faith when supplies were getting low.

These words gave me hope when I felt lost and strength when I felt helpless. They allowed me to shift my mindset from one of negativity and despair to one that felt positive and hopeful. They helped me heal – not just emotionally, but physically too.

There was a time during my journey with Vitiligo when I wondered, “why me?”. I saw it as being something “bad” in my life and I wished with all my might that I could turn back time and once again be the Nat who had the “perfect” skin and “perfect” life. But what Rumi’s words helped me realise is we have a choice. We can resist our wounds (whether they be a health condition, loss of a relationship or job, or a setback) and allow them to define us, or we can invite them to be a space where the light enters…

We can allow the situation we find ourselves in to gift us lessons.
We can try and turn whatever has happened into an opportunity for growth.
We can use what has unfolded as an offering to stop, press pause and take stock of what’s serving us in our life and what it’s time to let go of.

For me, my illness taught me a number of things about myself and my life…

  • I was disconnected from my body. So much of my attention and energy was focussed outwards and my inner landscape (physically and spiritually), was depleted. My health simply could not thrive in these conditions.
  • The body has a miraculous way of communicating with us through illness. When I was diagnosed with Vitiligo I knew that my body was trying to tell me something and that I had to figure out what that was if I wanted to heal (my diet, thoughts and lifestyle were just some of the things I had to explore!)
  • There’s no magic pill and there’s no fast cure. That’s just not how health works and once I accepted this, I felt far more at peace with the journey I knew lay ahead.
  • We need to move beyond just treating symptoms. For a long time, I wore makeup to even out my skin tone and while this helped in the moment, no long term benefits came from it. The same goes for doing things like drinking coffee when we are depleted or maintaining a fast paced life so we avoid the ‘crash’ – these ‘quick fixes’ don’t serve us in the long term and until we look at the root cause of what is happening to us and why, nothing will change.
  • It’s okay to ask for help and sometimes this is absolutely necessary. I couldn’t have gone through my journey and come out the other side the person I am today without the guidance and knowledge of the medical, fitness and nutritional experts I had by my side every step of the way.
  • In saying this, as essential as professional advice and support is, you are the best expert on you. When you learn to stop and listen, you begin to know what your body needs to thrive and be in full health. Once you get out its way, your physical, emotional and spiritual bodies have a beautiful way of healing themselves!
  • You need to be patient! Healing from a challenging life circumstance takes time. Be gentle with yourself and tread gently. Our emotions have a huge impact on our stress levels and wellbeing and the kinder we can be to ourselves, the quicker we will heal.
  • Love and gratitude are essential ingredients for good health. Being surrounded by people who light us up and being in reverence for the beauty that surrounds us in our daily lives are crucial to health and wellbeing.

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Rumi 

I encourage you to spend some time thinking about these words in relation to your own life …

Where do you feel ‘wounded’ at the moment? And, most importantly, how could you begin to see this situation with more light?

Sending love,
Nat X

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