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Helena Önneby

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Four Things I Wish I Would Have Known When I Was Sick

I am a person who chooses to believe that things happen for a reason and I’ve practiced my ability to let go of things that have happened, there’s no point resenting. But the question still came to me the other day and it feels interesting to explore.

8 years ago I was in the middle of my own health journey. I was still very ill but I had begun a huge lifestyle change that would eventually lead to a symptom-free and healthy life. But I didn’t know that then.

So, what would I say to this 30-year-old, who was struggling with her health, her career and in finding herself in the middle of a life crisis?

1. There is no there there. You will never get to a place where everything is peace and joy on the outside and your body or your lifestyle will make you completely happy. You will come to the place you now long for and you will realize that life goes on here too. And that’s a good thing. Live your life today with the conditions you have now. Make the most of this day, that’s the most important thing.

2. No one outside of yourself knows what is best for you. You have just started listening to your inner guidance and you have already received some evidence that it is leading you right. Trust it. You don’t need to seek outside confirmation or as much advice as you think. When you stop and listen inwards, the next step comes when it’s time, I promise. Follow inspiration and joy, they are excellent guides.

3. Your relationship with yourself is more important than any other relationship. You need so much love right now. Practice giving it to yourself. Hold space for yourself when you worry, hold the little child when it gets scared, put a hand on your heart often and say to yourself: I am here for you, I am not going anywhere.

4. You do not have to be strong all the time. It’s okay to show weakness, both in front of yourself and others. It’s okay to ask for help. Not being so good all the time. Not to take things so seriously. Let go a little and live your life here too, not just in a dream of the future.

Maybe you who are reading this in a similar situation as I was in 8 years ago. But regardless, I think these reminders apply to all of us. Health is not the absence of disease. And health is not just about the body. It starts from the inside and is an ongoing process. It moves naturally with the shifts of life and it is not about calming the water, but about learning to surf the waves.

This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.

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