The title hero is often bestowed but never accepted. When I suggest that one of my patients is a Hero, they always discount it; bestowed, but never accepted… In my mind, from the perspective of Functional Medicine a hero is a common person placed in an extraordinarily uncommon circumstance who manages to thrive. Many people survive their chronic dis–ease but few thrive.
So how do we thrive? Through forgiving.
Why should we forgive? Your enemy, your illness, may not deserve forgiveness, but you deserve to be free. Holding on to destructive emotions has no impact on your illness or your enemy. Yet, letting go of those emotions and replacing them with love, compassion and kindness will have a profoundly positive impact on you. Ancient wisdom tells us “where love meets adversity, compassion is born.”
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How do we forgive? Remember that the root of the word, forgive, means to “untie.” Untie yourself from the bond of destructive emotions surrounding your illness or circumstance. We forgive through wisdom. We must understand that the best antidote is to live a happy and successful life even with our limitations and disabilities. We must seek to find the “silver lining.” We should seek to learn and grow from the adversity. Seek allies on your journey to wellness: friends, family or healthcare givers. Be compassionate with yourself. So often our self-talk is destructive. Speak to yourself like you would speak to your best friend in your most compassionate voice. Do not be a victim but be the victor. Change the language you use to reflect a position of strength and not a position of weakness. In this way, retrain your thinking from that of a passive victim to an active victor, and maintain perspective. Each of us has an Everest to climb. Each Everest is unique but no less massive and foreboding. Yet climb it we must.