Over the past few years, one simple question has changed my life. Following on the heels of Valentine’s Day, I’ll have to clarify quickly that it was not “Will you marry me?” though that certainly was one that made a huge difference, too. The question that changed my life is “What can I learn from this?”
It’s a really simple question, and one that most would not suspect to be life-changing. But for me, it has been. In the past, I struggled greatly with my illness. I asked myself often what I had done to deserve this. I jokingly said I must have been a Nazi in my past life because I hadn’t done anything in this life to deserve so much pain and suffering. (Now that I have seen details about my most recent past life, I was close but not quite on that one!) So why would I possibly have to endure all that I and my family were going through as a result of one silly bug bite?
Once I switched my view of the Universe to see pain and illness as lessons rather than torture, my suffering became much easier to bear. I began to ask, “What can I learn from this?” With that simple question, I began to understand that my illness was a means of teaching me a great deal. From my years of dis-ease, I’ve learned compassion. I’ve learned a phenomenal amount about the human body and complementary medicine. I’ve learned how to live a natural life. I’ve learned how to prioritize what is truly important in life.
Most importantly, I’ve learned how to help others who are suffering. If it weren’t for my Lyme and chemical sensitivities, I never would have contemplated a career change. I would never have walked down this road, and I would never be where I am now, in an amazing place to be able to help others in a deep and meaningful way. My illness is a gift that has put me back in touch with my metaphysical abilities and has brought me to a place where I can be truly honest about whom I am.
Don’t get me wrong: I would never wish suffering on anyone. I wish we could learn these lessons without the pain and suffering. Knowing myself, though, there are some things that wouldn’t get through my hard head any other way.
This simple question doesn’t need to be applied just to the big things in life, though it’s when it most often jumps to mind. It’s just as easily applied to the jerk who just cut you off rudely and dangerously in traffic. What can I learn from this? Drive safely and alertly, always. Respect that not everyone is a safe driver and I need to be on the defense on Mopac (a local highway). Remember that not everyone is going to treat me the way I want them to.
I’ve been amazed at how much my life has changed because of this question, and I’m so grateful for it. It has let me shift my vision in a way that is much more positive, living in a place of love and gratitude rather than fear and anger. I am no longer a victim but instead am a student of life and the Universe.
© 2014 Green Heart Guidance
Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D.
Holistic Life Coach and