Were you raised to trust your body or to doubt your body’s acceptability and appearance?
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, or another lifestyle-created illness, do you trust your body to heal?
Trusting your body in every circumstance, during sickness, and in health, may not have been taught to you as a child. You can learn to trust your body and use self-care as the foundation of your daily life.
As I grew up in Colorado in the 1960s, it felt like I had to hide many parts of my life, and certainly hide my body. I wanted everyone to see only the very best of my efforts, and I did not want to face my mistakes, my anger, or my vulnerabilities. So, as a child, I learned how to wear a mask and tried to perfect the performance called “Me.”
Fast forward many years and you can see me working full-time as a self-compassion and self-care coach to women and their beloved families throughout the U.S. How did I adopt a mindset of basic self-trust and make my transition away from self-doubt? What can you learn from my story to help in the wish to trust your body and choices?
Cynthia Wall writes in her book The Courage to Trust that the person we all need to trust is ourselves. We were all mostly raised by parents and a community of others on whom we were dependent in our childhood. As adults, we can make choices and take actions when we face challenges. We can survive situations, practice self-love, and our wise bodies can heal. The road is not always smooth, and perfectionism is an illusion. You and I can survive mistakes, try again with renewed enthusiasm, and pursue our best life!
Even when we’ve been diagnosed with something challenging like Prediabetes.
It may be easier to build the skill of self-trust when we are healthy and happy. My story of unmasking my self-doubt and vulnerabilities may well help those who are not now healthy and want to know what to do next in a self-reliant way. Here is my loving advice to you.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. When we doubt our abilities or feel more fear than courage, especially when we are ill, we can easily decide to put on a mask or hide at home. Even one supportive friend or family member can make all the difference at times like this. And you are that thoughtful person others may need today! Write down the name of three people you could call or visit this week and tell them about your prediabetes or other chronic condition.
When I learned to take this first step, I reached out to my dear friend Father Paul. He helped me talk through everything I was afraid of, as well as how stuck I felt. His calm attitude and gentle guidance helped me to feel secure. I started to feel more confident.
- Keep promises to yourself. In Erik Erikson’s eight stages of human development work, he teaches us that everyone’s first emotional stage is Mistrust – Trust, or basic trust. If we do not feel that our doctors or the healthcare community are trustworthy, we may ignore our diagnosis and decide to deny our illness. Perhaps this basic mistrust has another aspect to it? Perhaps we do not trust ourselves to deal with a chronic condition?
When I was a young mother, there were so many new circumstances that made me mistrust my instincts. Every day seemed like another demonstration of my poor mothering skills! Yet over time, I began each day with three promises to myself, and I kept them all the best I could. Instead of a motherly To-Do list, I wrote down a three-part “Promises for the Day” list. I often wrote down “Catch your children doing something right.” This was so much more effective than yelling at my kids when they did something I considered wrong. Perhaps now is a good day to make some promises to yourself that you can keep? Build up your self-trust and catch yourself doing something right before the end of the day!
- Decide what you believe. Everyone who is in a transition from illness to health can fuel their daily choices based on what they believe. They can believe in their doctor’s therapy recommendation. This may help them to follow their doctor’s orders. They can believe in their health coach’s support and guidance. This may help them to upgrade their food and stay active. They can believe in their own intuition and healing abilities.
What do you believe today about the chronic illness, pain, or problem you are experiencing? If you are like me, and always try to show the world your very best self, it can be a challenge when body challenges arise. The day that I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I believed this automatically made me an old woman. I was only in my early 40s at the time of this diagnosis, yet I imagined that thyroid issues meant my body was deteriorating. After speaking with a kind woman younger than me, who also had thyroid issues, I began to believe more energetic thoughts about my body. I urge you to reach out to others with the same challenge you face. Talk to them about their beliefs and what has worked well for them. Perhaps this can expand your thinking about your own body.
It has been a lifelong journey to develop faith in myself and to trust my body in sickness and in health. In my late teens I did not trust my body, and now, in my late 50s, I’m a strong and self-caring guide to others. I do make meaningful promises to myself every day and do my best to keep my promises. As a result, I take more chances, dance more dances, and embrace my mistakes with a belly laugh. Being diagnosed with a serious illness is shocking and life-changing. Along with parenting successes, a supportive community, and firm beliefs in living our best life, we sometimes have to experience things that go wrong.
Today is our opportunity to trust your body and remind others that our bravery and skills have a firm foundation. Our everyday choices, in health and in illness, do add up and account for our overall success!
Have you been diagnosed with Prediabetes?
The Solution Starter Program by Coach Georgianne has been designed to help you take action and solve this chronic illness using Homemade Health practices. There is a community of others within this program who also want to succeed as they make the transition from illness to health! Find out more today. Trust your body!