This post is dedicated to my friend and mentor, Virginia.
My daughter is currently on the other side of the country. She’s there to participate in the Occupy Wall Street protests. When she learned that these protests were going to happen, she dropped everything to participate…. she quit her job, she sold off a bunch of her stuff, found someone to take care of her cat, and she went. She went because it was important to her.
Think about that for a minute.
She did not go because she thought she should. She did not go because her friends were going. She did not go because it sounded like fun. She went because she said that the issues were important to her, and because she chose to stand in those words. She could just as easily have said that the issues were important to her and then chosen to do nothing. But she didn’t. She showed integrity, authenticity and honesty, to herself and to those around her. I am one very proud father.
“What does this have to do with Crohn’s or SCD?”, you ask. Nothing, really. And everything. We say we want to be healthy. We say we want to achieve and maintain remission. We say we want to not cheat on our diets. We say this, we say that.
Talk is cheap, my friends.
Every day I read blogs written by folks with IBD. I read about how they knew they shouldn’t have eaten something but they did, and now they regret it. I read about how they let themselves get stressed out and it started a flare. I read about about how they try to control their IBD but they just can’t quit smoking. I see a lot of words saying one thing, and actions saying another.
My sense is that they are asking themselves the wrong questions. Instead of asking, “Should I cheat and have some Doritos?”, or “Haven’t I earned the right to cheat?”, ask yourself, “Is this what I said I wanted? Is this what I said was important to me?”. Ask yourself how the action you’re about to take reflects honesty and integrity in your word. Ask yourself if you don’t deserve to have what you said you wanted. I think you’ll often find that you get a very different answer.
Did you *say* you wanted to be healthy? That you want to maintain or achieve your remission? Awesome! You totally deserve that!! Now *act* like you deserve it. Stand behind those words with actions that support them. Eat foods that you know are healthy and supportive for you, and relish in what they do for you. Take time to de-stress each day, and bathe in the peace that it brings both your soul and your gut. Rather than thinking about what you’re denying yourself, focus on what your *giving* yourself.
And teach others to respect your word by respecting it yourself.
I promise, if you start approaching your choices this way, SCD will seem easy. It will be a treat, because you can eat each meal knowing that it is an example, however small, of your integrity. Each meal will bring you closer to that which you say you most desire.
Every choice we make is another opportunity to stand in our word. So speak carefully, and choose accordingly.