Self Love and Growth

As you all know the last 8 years of my life have been fraught with infections, pain and lots of health challenges. I have and will always remain focused and thankful for the teachings that this journey has brought me however some days are tougher than others.

Today I want to focus on the growth I have experienced from the journey and ultimately the achievement I have made in putting myself and the best decisions for myself into the forefront.

In life we often feel we have something to prove. We need to do things as it is so important what other people think or because of what we “believe” other people think or need from us. However in reality the important thing is actually what we ourselves think and how we make decisions based on what is best for us individually regardless of what other people think.

The greatest blessing of being ill and having the luxury of good health taken away from me, is that it has taught me so much about gratitude for the simple things in life and for the amazing support I am blessed with in my life. While I may not have the blessing of good health and currently feel like I am under siege with pain, I am so utterly loved and held by so many special people.

This last week I travelled to Durban for the SA SUP Championships in hope of participating. I had my heart set on doing one race and taking part in a sport that has given me so much hope and has kept me moving. It was however not meant to be. However in saying that I did achieve one great victory. I simply showed up. I was there with an amazing group of people who are always there cheering me on and sharing their love and support.

I also made a grown up decision when considering my pain levels and the weather conditions to not take part. Believe me this was not an easy decision for me as I am pretty damn stubborn and in the past would’ve simply done it anyway and landed up compromising my heath further with my stubborn attitude.

Yesterday I had my latest check up and while there have been some improvements on one side there have been more complications on another side. My legs in particular are taking the most strain and therefore my SUPPING is going to be harder but I will continue to do it as at the moment it is keeping me moving and smiling.

Today I choose to celebrate my growth and understanding of how important it is to love yourself enough to not put yourself in harms way. I celebrate the support and love I have around me all the time and I celebrate that I am still able to get up and keep moving. That is a lot to celebrate.

I ask you today to look at all the blessings you have and be thankful for them as you will find that you have an abundance of them if you just stop and look. Step out of the space of what you don’t have and into the space of what you do. And then just celebrate this.

Embracing the Journey

One of the greatest teachings I have had while walking my journey with chronic pain and the plethora of infections and challenges that come with auto immune diseases, is the importance of embracing the journey.

I am now in the 15th week of what I would best describe as a tornado of infections and challenges. Every time I turn a corner another infection surfaces and another challenge pushing me further and makes me question if I can continue my journey and be thankful for what it teaches me.

The answer is always yes I can. Of course I can because I am so utterly blessed in so many ways that to give up and not be grateful is purely self indulgent and not really going to achieve anything.

It’s the simple things that make the difference and remind me of my blessings. It’s the phone call or message from a friend reminding me they are there. Its the daily conversations with my powerful, supportive mother who gets me like no one else. It’s the frank and deep conversations with my siblings who in their individual ways impart wisdom, support and courage in me.

It’s the moments with my nieces and nephews where I sit in awe of the people they have grown to be. The kindness and love they have in their hearts and the blessing thhat I get to have these beautiful souls in my life.

It’s in the bubbling laughter and complete trust of my godchildren who know that I love them to the moon and back and watching them each develop as human beings.

It’s the celebration of friendship and family with shared laughter and shared tears that sheds light on a dark space. And most importantly it’s understanding that each friend, family member and person you encounter on your journey has a message or contribution to your life in their own original way.

Embracing our journey and what is on each of our paths is why we are here. It is why we encounter challenges and meet people and there are no coincidences in life. Everything really does happen for a reason as cliche as it sounds. Everything brings growth and everything brings a greater sense of who you are as a person. That in itself is the greatest blessing of all.

So today when you start your day don’t start with an expectation of what it needs to be or who needs to do what, but just start it with a promise to embrace the journey for what it is in the moment.

Thank you to the family and friends who always have my back and love me unconditionally. I am a very blessed soul.