Ups and Downs

Life and diabetes will always have ups and downs. For me, I’m often searching for the right direction. I’m a person that exudes positivity and optimism, but lately I haven’t really been feeling as inspired or as inspiring as usual. Those of you who know me well, and maybe some of you who don’t, know that I’ve had a rough summer of trying to figure out who I am and how to make my life align with my beliefs. Trying to figure out how to be true to myself and find myself at the same time.  After taking some time off of social media and a lot of time for self-reflecting, I don’t have any answers. Haha. But I think I finally know the question: Is what I’m doing the right thing? This is probably something we all ask ourselves sometimes, maybe not overtly, but I think that question is a part of what makes life so confusing.. And so wonderful. Is what I’m doing the right thing? By ‘doing’ I mean is my job, my relationships, how I act in my relationships, how I treat myself, how I spend my time, how I spend my energy, how I’m living my life; is it the right thing? The right thing for me, for the world, for humanity, for personal fulfillment, for making a difference, for growth and for being challenged.

These are big, hard questions, but over the last few weeks I’ve grown not to fear them, but embrace them. After all, aren’t those desires what help people to grow and what makes the world move forward? People want to move.

I took a break from being online because I lost my way a little bit with what I want to share and why I want to be here. I lost my way in a lot of areas, feeling uncertainty surrounding me. A good friend of mine talked to me about this Sharpening the Axe theory. If you’re cutting down a tree with a dull axe, you will be less efficient and take a lot longer. If you take a break to sharpen your tool, that will be time you aren’t moving forwards, but when you take time for yourself, you can return polished and sharper and chop down the tree. You are, after all, the best thing you’ll ever invest in. Now that I’ve taken some time to not move to figure out why and where I want to move, I’m here again to move, and hopefully move you.

One of my favorite quotes by Mahatma Ghandi is “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” I really believe that we are all here for a reason and we are all connected.

Maybe me showing you that you can travel the world with diabetes will make a difference. Maybe me showing you that you’re not alone with diabetes will make a difference. Maybe me showing you the bad days too, will make a difference. I don’t want to have a presence online to show you that I’m awesome. I want to be here to inspire and pull people out of their fear of not doing what they dream to do. If one person is inspired to go out and experience something amazing that they once thought they couldn’t, then I’m doing the right thing.

I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I think listening to your heart and learning the question will help to choose a path of meaning and fulfillment. The right thing is different for everyone, and it may be different for the same person, depending on where they are in their life. And maybe there is no right thing, but the question moves you forward. Change and challenge is a part of life. Ups and downs, highs and lows, (high blood sugars and low blood sugars), it’s all part of it. I actually watched this really powerful video by Jay Shetty the other day that talked about being alive and the human experience in comparison to your heart rhythm, like this one:

A flat line in life would mean no change, no challenge, no low points, but you also wouldn’t be alive (we call that asystole in the medical field). So I’ll take the ups and downs. It’s how you know you’re alive. I’m happy to be alive, excited to move and can’t wait to see what life brings.

And if you’re feeling down or lost or frustrated with your diabetes today, I wrote this article on self-love and depression with diabetes a while back. It still rings true for me sometimes. The ultimate message is that it’s okay to not be okay, that you’re not alone and you’re stronger than you know. I think this is true no matter what you’re struggling with: diabetes, life, work, relationships. Ups and downs are part of life. Enjoy the beautiful moments and know that you’re not alone during the low ones.

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