It's true. You're definitely not your symptoms. And as mentioned in the first part of this series, your symptoms are there to help you, not hurt you. So, there's nothing to be afraid of.
A symptom is a guiding light that shows you what isn't working for you and needs to be changed for you to feel your best. It's a temporary warning sign, not the source of the problem and not the end result. Don't hate it and certainly don't ignore it. Look at your life and ask, "How did I get here? What could have caused this?". Look for help instead of giving up.
This perspective can be a lot to take in. It's not an easy one to adopt, either. It may already be something you believe, but it's a little out of context. Think of it this way...if something's wrong with the plumbing in your home, you may be angry that there's a leak and your floor got wet, but you sure are happy it happened because it let you to discover there was a bigger, easily fixable, problem way back in the piping that caused this mess and if not fixed, could wreak havoc on your house and cost you thousands of dollars and a lot more stress.
Put this into context in your body. Our bodies give us signs of imbalance, yet we tend to let our symptoms persist and become bigger issues, like illness or disease, because we're too scared to trace it back to the source in fear of what we might find along the way. Maybe we're ashamed of our symptoms, or worse, we have no clue how to resolve them. Maybe we give up altogether, embracing the thought that this is just the way it's going to be from now on and, in turn, we become our symptoms or our diagnosis.
Have I hit the nail on the head? I know, because I speak from experience. I can't tell you how many times my symptoms, no matter how small, have completely freaked me out, made me cower and stopped me from getting them checked out or resolving them on my own. It still happens to me today, which is why I wanted to write this for you.
JUST SO YOU KNOW, YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
Ask my parents. I grew up a hypochondriac with no reason to be one. I would freak out that every little thing was wrong with me and I swear, they had to lie to me more often than not just to get me to shut up and stop worrying. And I used to worry A LOT. I'd worry that I'd contract a disease and die. No disease in particular, just a disease. That's how the mind of a child works. (Maybe adults too?)
Now I know better. I know better than to freak out over a simple symptom, but I also know better than to let fear stop me from getting rid of my symptoms if something really is wrong with me. I've come to adopt the idea that no matter what, there is always something you can do, which helps empower me when something goes wrong instead of making me run the other way, ignoring what's going on. This is the foundation of my practice.
HOW IT WORKS
As a holistic nutritionist, I believe in working preventatively. If signs and symptoms have time to set in without being cared for and corrected, larger issues may have a chance to take hold. This is the point where people usually ask for help, when their ailments are blindingly obvious. If problems are addressed initially they're easier to avoid.
We like to become our problems, but that doesn't have to be the case. Even if you've been diagnosed with an ailment there's always something you can do to offset the effects or help correct the imbalances that led you down the road to poor health. In essence, you're NOT your symptoms. You are temporarily off balance. Ask for help to commit to helping yourself feel like yourself again. That person is there inside, they're attainable. Don't forget about them!