"Be your strength" and "trust the journey."
Sometimes it takes something scary to happen to make a person realize that they need to rework their personal processes. Suffice it to say that my life hasn’t always been easy. There’s a lot of tragedy and therefore a lot of sorrow, some love, definitely some stupidity, and also, a lot of fun. My life is changing yet again.
One of the most wonderful life changes happened almost a year ago when I was able to virtually meet someone who would teach me valuable lessons, not just through her books, but through our conversations. Our conversations have impacted me so much that I have two of her lessons tattooed. One is on the inside of my left wrist, “Be your strength.” The other is on the outside of my right forearm, “Trust the journey.” Who is this impactful woman? None other than the incomparable Audrey Carlan. Okay, I know I’m getting off topic, but it’ll come together, I promise.
My life changed again. These past couple months have taught me that my journey will have a few more bumps. It has been determined that I now have an autoimmune and autoinflammatory disease. A lifetime of pain if treatments don’t work? The possibility of always being sick due to immune suppressants? The deterioration of my joints and possibility of a lifetime of disability? Yay. (<--- can you hear the sarcasm?) One more thing. One of my treatments increases my chances for cancer. Again. Being a cancer survivor, this scares me. I don’t need to go through and have to fight cancer again. I don’t want to live my life constantly sick and in pain. I don’t want to have to always be fighting something. It seems that I don’t have a choice. I went through my “why me” and “WTF” phase already. It took some serious thought and talking it out with some priceless friends, but I’m out of that phase now. I’m where I can say, “I’ll get through it” or “I’ll handle it.” This is where the lessons I’ve learned from Audrey come in.
I’m learning to be my strength. I’m learning to take care of me. I’m learning, again, to trust the journey. The reason for the placement of my “be your strength” tattoo is because it’s what I see when I’m sick and kneeling before the porcelain throne. It reminds me not to give up. With these new meds and the expected reactions, I know that I’ll continue to look at this tattoo, even when I'm not sick, and remind myself that I can be my strength. That I will be my strength. My “trust the journey” tattoo reminds me that there’s a reason I’m going through all of this. Maybe I’ll be able to help someone else going through what I am, though I hope and pray that no one has to. I just might be able to help someone. That’s one of my biggest dreams. Helping others is what I do. It's what I need to do.
So no matter what you’re going through, take my dear friend’s advice. “Be your strength” and “trust the journey.” You can do this.
Until later beautifuls…be safe and be kind to one another.