Finding my purpose in life.
Some people know from a very early age what it is that they want to do with their life, whether it’s how they earn a living, pursuing a hobby or interest or developing a skill or talent. Others are not so lucky. For as long as I can remember I have felt passionate about wanting to be successful, achieve something great, make a difference and feel like I have a real purpose with my life. This is all great, but it wasn’t clear what my path was or how I could give back. What was my message? I never thought that my past struggles would be my future guiding light. I may never earn a living from telling my story, but I truly think that sharing what I have had to face will help someone, maybe someone like you!
Mental health; more than just mental health.
I believe that somehow the anxiety, self-doubt and self-loathing I have been carrying for so many years, manifested itself in my body as cancer. According to Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., research has shown that stress can change our body’s internal systems making it a more hospitable environment for cancer growth (see references). So if I want to reduce my chances of the cancer returning then I needed to sort my head out. When I voiced my mental and physical health challenges I started to feel free and accept who I really was. It was exhausting pretending that all was OK on the outside, when I was in turmoil on the inside. Recognising this and giving IT a voice took away the power these feelings had over me and so now that my body and mind are congruent I feel more at peace than ever before. I still have my bad days and wonder what on earth is going on, but I know that my particular brand of peace is all linked to my mindset and acceptance.
Variety is the spice of life
It has been a tough journey and at times some close to me have questioned my mental health on more than one occasion. But frankly, I think that is saying more about them, than me. I recently posted a quote which said “I am not weird, I am a limited edition”. While it is true that we are all different, everyone experiences doubt, or anxiety at some point in our lives. How your mind or body deal with this is unique only to you. But I reckon the key here is to accept and forgive yourself. I am not crazy, like most I just want to feel understood and loved. You cannot do it all, nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes and being different is a gift. So why not take your foot off the pedal and just relax a little. Ultimately be kind to yourself, you are the best version of yourself!
Accepting myself, accepting others
Maybe by being more accepting of our own mental anguish, we can be more empathetic of others as they face their struggles. Imagine if we all did this a little more often what could be the ripple effect? What prejudices are we harbouring now that could change? The public perception of cancer, HIV or the gay community has evolved but for some reason the stigma around mental health stubbornly persists. What if our kids could experience a world where they can be free to explore their mind roadmap with the community navigating beside them? Scrap that, why wait another few decades? What if we could accept people for who they are right now, all of them, not just the socially acceptable parts? Wouldn’t that be nice!
A problem shared is a problem halved
I believe one of the reasons I have been put on this planet is to help reduce the stigma around mental health. If I am bearing all, then I am giving you permission to share and lighten the burden of what you might be facing alone. Together we could change the perception the world has about mental health. I would love to hear from you, leave a comment…after all, this is a conversation!
Be Kind to Yourself! Remember you are Amazing!
Remember be kind to yourself, you are amazing!
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