Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reframe Your Life ~

I've decided that I won't let life just "happen" anymore. It takes an effort to LIVE life and not just be here. Sometimes we get tired and we just have to lay down and rest. That's ok. After all, we are human. There is a difference in resting and being passive. Right now, I'm resting but I'm not being passive. When I was sick, I had to rest a lot but I was not passive. During that time, I wanted to live more than ever because the threat of my life being taken away was real. I wanted to hang on to it with everything in me. Now that I'm over being sick, it is easy to fall back into that passive state where things just happen and that's that. But I'm not, I'm determined to live. And I want to share with you something that occurred to me this morning, after having a bad evening yesterday.
I have to change my way of thinking.
After living for years in a pattern, I realize that it is difficult to change your way of thinking. That's where the effort part comes in. Let me give you an example. This is the best example I have because it just happened to me. And is happening to me now.
I finished radiation treatments 5 weeks ago. I have complained endlessly because I can taste hardly anything. The things I can taste don't taste right, not even close. Anyone who knows me well has heard me beg them not to use artificial sweetener for the simple fact that it tastes terrible. Now, almost everything I eat leaves the same aftertaste to me. Also, anyone who knows me, knows that I make ends meet by baking and selling cakes and cupcakes. I also enjoy the creative outlet that baking affords me. I love to find new recipes and try them and change them up and make them my own. How easy or enjoyable do you think that is when everything tastes like crap??? It's not.
So last night I had a big ole pity party. I was on the Cancer Survivors Network website and reading what other people said. Some said they got their taste buds back after a year. Some of them never did. Some of them experienced difficulties swallowing some foods (as I do) and certain foods are painful to eat (such as black pepper or garlic or chips or bacon). I'm not going to gloss it over - I cried. It seems silly to you I know but read this amazing story about a chef who found out he had stage 4 tongue cancer and it will help you understand.
This morning I woke up and decided to start living and stop worrying. I can not change what goes on with my mouth or my taste buds. But I can look at it as a blessing instead of a problem. This is actually called "reframing" something I learned in school but have seldom applied to myself. I won't go into all the technical stuff regarding that term, I'll just tell you how I did it. I just did it in my head, you might have to pull out a piece of paper. I will probably actually pull out a piece of paper myself later, lest I forget the lesson I learned today.
First of all, write down what the problem is. DO NOT write down how to fix it because, frankly, there may not be a way to fix it. Next, write down what is good about the problem. Wait! Don't throw in the towel, hear me out! At least read and see what the good part about my problem is. Here's my list...
1. I will probably lose weight.
2. I will be much healthier.
3. I will have time to learn other skills.
4. I can inspire someone else.
5. I won't crave things because I can't taste them anyways!
6. When my taste buds return I will have learned how to control my habits.
You see, food has been a source of pleasure for me. Not only pleasure but also comfort. And a fix for boredom. And a source of confidence. And many things that it should not have been. So the fact that I can't taste it now has thrown a wrench into things. Where do I go now for pleasure? For comfort, for excitement, and for confidence? Do you see where I'm going with this? So losing my taste buds could quite possibly be a good thing, although a bit frustrating.
During this time (possibly a year or forever), I plan to learn some other skills. I can learn to build things. I can use the time I would have been baking to go to the gym. I can learn how to eat to live, rather than live to eat. The fact is, I HAVE to eat in order to live. Now I can choose what's healthy and make it a habit, quite easily. I've also found another side to not being able to taste. I don't eat sugar anymore and so my body has adjusted accordingly and I feel amazing! Well, not right this moment because I have a cold. But I have been feeling so good without all of that sugar making me sleepy. I can't taste sugar, so I don't drink sodas anymore, one of the most unnecessary and unhealthy products ever made.
Those are the good things about my problem. See how I "reframed" everything?
And that is how you do it. Pick out the good in any situation and build on it. Become an optimist. Let go of your ideas. CHANGE YOUR WAY OF THINKING! It takes practice and effort but it is definitely worth it in the end!

No comments:

Post a Comment