I meet wonderful people at book signings and speaking engagements. They come up to talk, openly, about the details of their lives. It's such a privilege to bear witness to their stories.
Recently, a woman, let's call her Nan, told me the story of how a chronic, problem awakened her passion. "I had diabetes from the time I was a small child. As I got older, it became more challenging. Most medications didn't seem to help. Those that did came with major side effects that were as debilitating as the disease."
Nan went on say, "I was so sick and limited. One day, it occurred to me that maybe I could do something about it. I just had to figure out what and how. So, I began talking to everyone I met, and doing research, about alternative treatments and cures for diabetes. And, I healed myself. I no longer have diabetes.”
She looked delighted and pleased. Who wouldn’t be? An ailment like diabetes is an albatross; one she had successfully thrown off. She's been free of the disease for more than fifteen years.
Now, here's the really good part of her story: Nan shares her knowledge with others. She helps people who have chronic diseases learn how to manage their ailment with a combination of nutrition, exercise and spiritual practice.
"A special joy for me is helping parents help their children. So many of the ailments children experience can be managed, if not cured, with the right combination of nutrition, exercise and spiritual practice. Things like asthma, ADHD, respiratory ailments, and so on, all respond to natural remedies. We don't have to drug our kids." Her eye contact was intense. I could feel how deeply committed she is to her message.
She took a couple of steps to begin walking away, but turned back to me. "You know, for so long I resented having diabetes. Then, one day it occurred to me that without diabetes, I wouldn't have come to discover my passion and my life's work. I'm so grateful for what I thought was a problem. It was just hiding my real purpose." She smiled a walked away.
Perhaps more of us have a purpose and passion masquerading as a problem. Survey your life. What's the gift in whatever it is you're complaining about, annoyed about, angry about, resentful of, tired of? There, in that nagging problem, perhaps even scary problem, may lay the pathway to your purpose. Your so-called problem may be covering a hidden passion. Look within and listen to the alternative, wise take on what you’ve called a problem. Your internal Wisdom will help you see, as soon as you open your mind and heart to a different take on an old story.
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