I have been struggling with chronic, critical anemia. It has landed me in the hospital once a year for the past three years where I was given a blood transfusion. Two bags each time to be precise. My situation requires me to be diligent with supplementation. However, I truly suck at being consistent. Truth. So, what has this traumatic experience taught me, if anything?

I dove deeper to find some semblance of a moral, of a lesson, of a sign. What did I come up with? Love.

Yup, cliche indeed, for a reason, because it is the truth, a truth. Let me break it down for you:

  1. My non-committal attitude toward maintaining a strict supplementation regiment is NOT an act of love or kindness toward myself. In fact, it is the opposite. It demonstrates neglect, indifference. Perhaps I am being to hard on myself, but someone needs to get serious.
  2. I ignore all the signs of anemia because I desperately try to avoid the hospital, the long wait, and the needles. I view it as an inconvenience in my life. A hiccup that I would rather not deal with. This action is clearly me refusing my right to get better.
  3. I refuse the help of professionals because I claim that I do not believe in their diagnosis or methods. You know what? It's okay to have your own opinion and beliefs, however, when we remain opened that is when we are able to learn new things. What a professional may tell me could lead to a new discovery, understanding or path. But, I won't know unless I try.

So, why have I created this outlook, these obstacles to my healing? Why am I cutting myself off from receiving assistance and ultimately love? I would love to say that I know why, but I'm still digging and learning in hopes of turning on a few light bulbs. But what I can say is this:

  • Change can be scary. We can be resistant to change at the detriment of our own expansion. However, change is inevitable, it's reliable, and the only constant in our life. It's the gentle or sometimes the not-so-gentle nudge that life gives us to move on and grow. Recognize when you are resisting and try to let go.
  • With change usually comes a shift in responsibilities. We tend to shy away from new challenges because it is unfamiliar. Yet, it's another way to add depth and experience to our life. We fear failure, yet it is a part of growth.
  • Change means we are being challenged to change too. We are being called to shift in perspective. We are being called to evaluate our relationship with our internal and external world. It also means that we have to let go of something so that we can fully be present.
  • Our story is never over. It's a journey and such is this event in my life.  

Life is not pretty all the time. In fact it's not meant to be. And so this is a snapshot of my current journey and my current learning. Truly it's my decision if I choose to take on this learning and allow it to expand into beautiful growth. Growth is not always easy. It comes with its obstacles and challenges and pains. But I guess what I'm trying to get at is that no matter what our experiences, no matter what our journey looks like, whether we feel we can close that chapter or we've grown and learned what we needed to, ultimately be kind to yourself. Be patient. Be willing and open. Be understanding. Be compassionate. Be loving.