I have been on full-time medical leave from my career as a financial advisor with a Fortune 500 firm since August 29, 2013. To say that this “plot twist” has been an adjustment would be an understatement of the largest magnitude. Fortunately, my personality tends to look for silver linings and I have found several:
1) Deeper compassion – I always thought of myself as a compassionate person before my severe illness struck. Let me just say, I see now just how much growing I needed in this department. One thing I’ve learned, if you see someone who looks healthy or “just looks overweight” riding in one of those mechanized shopping carts heed the words, “Judge ye not.” Pain and physical problems are more invisible than I ever comprehended until I developed the invisible illness of fibromyalgia (FM) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
2) Greater appreciation of friends – Of course, we all value our friends, but until I was gently booted out of the work force and found myself home alone while everyone else was busy working, I didn’t realize how important it was to truly appreciate my friends which includes being able to reach out to them and know that they will share their time and attention with me to make me feel less alone.
3) Conviction to listen and trust my body and mind – If you believe in your heart that you have an illness and your doctor tells you that you’re fine or they decline to perform a lab test you request, either stand your ground until the physician changes his or her mind, or immediately find a new doctor who will listen to all of your story and not just a part of it.
4) Learning to heal through Mother Nature – I have always been interested in living more organically. Today, with the nudging of my illness, I have organic squash, cucumbers and watermelon plants growing in the garden. It hasn’t been easy, but it has given me tremendous satisfaction and can only imagine the thrill I’ll have when I get to walk out to my backyard and grocery shop! In addition, I have turned to dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils as a resource in healing my body naturally through their use. I have since made my own organic deep conditioner for my hair (that is now super, silky soft!) and my own pet shampoo which both kitties actually loved. I couldn’t believe how calm they were while I bathed them. I love using these oils so much that I became a consultant and now have my own website where my friends, family and fans can learn about these oils and purchase those that speak to them.
5) More sharing of self - I am extremely lucky to have friends and family in my life, but being forced to slow way, way, way, waaaaaay down has caused me to realize how busy everyone is with day to day living. I once was one of those people who would wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed, repeat. What I realize now is that during that time I have had seriously ill friends, retired coworkers, elderly relatives who were alone to whom – I am appalled to admit - I did not give more than the passing thought. Sure, I thought about these people, but did I pick up the phone to check in with them? Did I write a note just to say that I cared? Did I take time one Saturday to bake some cookies and drive them over to share? More times than I care to remember, I did not. Now, I take time to do that. I admit it has bothered me that not as many friends, former coworkers and family members as I liked have reached out to me, but in all honesty, I know why. They’re busy living life and haven’t had the same eye-opening experience as I.
I hope you’ll learn from my own experience to save yourself from possible later regret and to bring more joy to yourself and others. After all, isn’t that really what life is about???
Peace ☮ Love ♥ Light ☾ and Magic ✰
Cecilia Hanna, The Good Juju Goddess