I often hear people diagnosed with an illness say:

“But I’m not going to change my ___ (diet, lifestyle, etc.).”

I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why you wouldn’t want to feel better or do what you can now so you can live a healthier tomorrow.

But then I remembered the four letter F-word that often comes between what we really want and what we think we want: Fear.

We’re afraid of what a diagnosis will mean. We’re afraid of how it will change our lives. We’re afraid that we will never be illness-free ever again. The thought of how we will live our lives henceforth can be paralyzing. It can rob us of our desire to heal. It can take away our power to make positive changes in our lives.

We’re afraid of sacrificing the way we were in order to be who we need to be. But sacrifice isn’t necessary a bad thing. Poet and author Mark Nepo said on Super Soul Sunday that the original meaning of sacrifice is, “to give up what no longer works.”

To you, that could mean giving up the belief that your life will be the way it was, or the dream of who you thought you were. But through loss, trauma and other life challenges, a door opens. Through it, shift happens. We say goodbye to an outdated way of thinking. We say goodbye to what once was. And the life that now greets us may be unfamiliar, but often better than we ever imagined.

{Flickr photo from here.}

{Flickr photo from here.}

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