No, It’s Not a Punishment; and this is why…
We all have those days. You know, those days.
The days in which you feel as though you can’t possibly lift your head off your pillow. The days in which the physical, mental and emotional effects of your condition seem to be conspiring to sabotage your once-normal life. The days that make you feel as though your body is your own personal jail cell.
We’ve all experienced those days when we think to ourselves, “I am being punished for something, right? This has to be punishment!”
I know that’s how it can feel. But as they say, when life gives you lemons, you make all-natural, organic, non-GMO lemonade. 🙂
I have to be honest, I considered it a life sentence when I was first told that I had Hashimoto’s. I was angry and depressed, and I thought that it would take over everything in my life for the rest of my life. It was frightening to think about the long-term impacts to my day-to-day responsibilities, my family, my friendships and even my career.
But then this happened… I wasn’t seeing results from traditional medicine, so I tried natural and alternative therapies to help me find relief. It was during this time that I met several alternative medicine practitioners who all gave me the same piece of wisdom. I finally decided to heed their advice: “Look for the gifts in this illness.”[bctt tweet=”Look for the gifts in this illness. #Hashimotos #Hypothyroid #Hyperthyroid @ThyroidLove”]
That’s when the clouds parted, and the sun began to shine down on me. It was my “a-ha moment.” I had been so focused on all the bad parts of Hashimoto’s that couldn’t even see the good parts. However, once I began looking, I started seeing the gifts of my disease everywhere.
I know what your thinking. It’s some woo-woo self-help jargon, right? But trust me, it’s not.
Like Mastin Kipp says, “The universe has shaken you to awaken you (It’s not punishment, it’s a lesson).” How we consider our conditions and our health can have power over our emotional state and mindset. If you think it, it will become the truth. And that’s especially relevant when you change your attitude toward your condition, when you begin to consider all the good that has come out of it.[bctt tweet=”The universe has shaken you to awaken you (It’s not punishment, it’s a lesson) @MastinKipp @ThyroidLove”]
If you think about it as though your thyroid has sentenced you to 50 years to life, you are setting yourself up for a lot of upset. When you begin to look at the benefits, the bright spots and the silver linings, you may just realize all the good that’s gonna come out of it.
Yes, Really, Your Diagnosis is a Gift!
Hang in there with me and tell me, how do you consider your diagnosis? Have you learned to see it as a benefit? Or is it a burden? Have you had opportunities that you wouldn’t have discovered if it weren’t for your condition? Or does it feel like you are carrying a huge load of symptoms, restrictions, emotional side effects, pain and lack of sleep around on your shoulders?
Is it something you endure? Or something you cherish?
Don’t get me wrong, having a health condition is difficult. This definitely isn’t a cakewalk. But you have a choice: Focus on your pain and suffering and soak in a big tub of “woe is me.” Or focus on the gifts and transform your mindset from down-in-the-dumps to the-sky-is-the-limit.
God’s Gifts to Women (With Thyroid Conditions)
It can be a challenge to shift your mindset about your condition. You probably won’t just flip a switch and everything turns to rainbows and puppies…sadly.
So, you ask, how do I shift my focus from lamenting to learning? That’s an amazing question. Here are the lessons I’ve learned from my diagnosis…have you seen this in your own life?
- My Body is Not in a Rush (Even If I Am). We live in a go-go-go world. It always seems like we are rushing from one place to another, texting, emailing and returning phone calls as we go. It never seems to stop, and because of the hustle and bustle, we never have time to wait for anything. We want everything and we want it now. But biology rushes for no one, and the natural world will not speed up just because you wish it so. Healing will run its course on its own timeline, and you gotta respect that. My personal healing story has given me an excessive amount of respect for nature and patience with my body. And maybe, just maybe, that patience leaks into other parts of your life. The added bonus is that learning that I’d have to slow down in order to heal has forced me to do just that. My diagnosis gives me the gift of an excuse (although we don’t really need one) to just slow down and be…it’s for my health after all!
- My Body and I Are Partners. The truth is that most people ignore their bodies. They ignore the signals their bodies send to them, they ignore the little movements, thirsts or discomforts that might be a sign of something bigger. It was a life-changing diagnosis and the subsequent healing process that helped me connect with my body. I can now read the signals my body is sending me, and I now know what’s normal and what not, what’s important and what’s not. I now trust my body and my intuition, and my body now knows I’m paying attention. My body knows that I will no longer ignore its signals. This is teamwork.
- I Am Awake and Mindful. I once took so much for granted. I did whatever I felt like: I rarely gave much thought to my diet and fitness habits. I ate what I wanted and exercised whenever I felt like it. But my condition changed all this. I was forced to become mindful of what I was putting into my body, how I moved my body, the stress that I take in and the emotions that I put out. I must be more deliberate and thoughtful, and this mindfulness makes my life so much sweeter. Because of this, I have stronger relationships, and I feel more spiritually connected and present.
- I Am Part of a Community. The first time you meet someone who shares your diagnosis, it’s strange and lovely and the beginning of something really wonderful. Thyroid and autoimmune conditions are life changing, and it’s often difficult for others to understand what you are going through. But then you find someone who gets it, who can sympathize with you, who can help you on your worst days and celebrate with you on your good days. And then you get to be that rock of support and understanding for them, which may be even more satisfying.
- I Don’t Know What Others Are Going Through. Let’s just admit it: We can all be a little judge-y. I’ll be the first to admit that before I was sick, I did my fair share of judging. But those days are long, long gone. And I love, love, love it. When you live with an invisible disease that decimates your life — but leaves no physical scars — you begin to overflow with compassion. When I look at a parent sitting instead of playing with his or her kids, I fill with compassion. I think about the battle I fought and about the hidden battles — physical, emotional, mental — that others are fighting each day. Because of this, I have such better relationships with the people around me. I’m more likely to ask someone if they need help or sympathize when a friend tells me they are too tired to hang out.
Of course, there are other gifts and other lessons learned: strength, resilience, determination, balance, stronger relationships with my loved ones, a healthier lifestyle.
I’ve learned to reduce stress, which you can also learn more about in my free thyroid quiz & coaching series. I’ve learned that I must tackle my problems head on and that I can’t ignore or procrastinate when it comes to my health. I’ve learned that I love my body — even when it feels like my body doesn’t love me.
The list goes on.
These are all the reasons why I am grateful for this health condition coming into my life. I am a kinder, wiser, happier person because of it. I now have a life that is nourishing, rich and vibrant. All it took was for me to change my perspective and my attitude toward my condition. It makes me think of a moment in The Wizard of Oz, when Glinda the Good Witch floats down in a pink bubble and tells Dorothy, “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”[bctt tweet=”“You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.” -Glinda The Good Witch @ThyroidLove on healing…”]
Those are wise words from a wise woman. Positive thinking is not something you are given or you acquire. You have the ability right now to change how you think about your sickness, about the healing process, about the nastiest symptoms and the worst days. You have the ability to see this as a gift, as an opportunity to learn and connect with yourself, your body and others around you.
When you considering your diagnosis a punishment, you’re telling yourself: I’m stuck. Nothing will change, nothing will improve. I am trapped in my disease.
But when you see it as an education and an opportunity, you give yourself a future. You give yourself a chance to discover the person you want to become and how you can be better fulfilled in your life.
What I truly learned, was that thyroid disease doesn’t define me. I am so much more than that…and so are you!
If you are ready to discover more about how you can heal your thyroid from a place of power and positivity, I provide a ton of resources on healing your thyroid, including:
- Our totally free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Report and Coaching Sessions
- Right here on my blog, where I talk about what’s worked best for me and my clients, as well as the latest research and resources I come across. You can subscribe to get new blog posts delivered right to your email by signing up on the righthand side of the page.
- My book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally — part memoir, part instruction manual for how I personally healed my Hashimoto’s disease.
- My exclusive free 6 Thyroid Myths That Can Keep You From Healing workshop — with info on the comprehensive Thyroid Fix in 6 program, which walks you through, step-by-step, the exact actions you need to take to heal your thyroid and get your life back! We’ve seen hundreds of participants in the Thyroid Fix in 6 avoid, decrease, or even eliminate the need need for thyroid medications.
- The incredible Your Best Thyroid Life Video Bundle, in which I personally invited 27 of the world’s top health experts to share their best tips for living with and healing thyroid disease.
Remember, no matter what diagnosis you’re facing, you always have a choice. Keep your chin up and take small daily action and you can heal and have a normal life again!
Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.
Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.