The Perfect Diet for your Soul
I guess this is what I have been searching for of late. This is nothing to do with food or nutrition, but what feeds your soul and brings joy to your life. What brings meaning to your life. I have struggled with this for many years, and especially since my diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer. In the six years that I have lived with this many friends have died who had so much more to live for – spouse, children, grandbabies… I feel ‘survivor guilt’ that I am still here, while they are not. I can’t change this and so I have to let them go free and get on with my own existence.
I have had depression since I was 14 years old, and for most of that time it was not treated in any way. No therapy. No medication. Just the ability to keep plodding on in life with the vague hope that things would get better. That ain’t gonna happen now, so I have to find the Perfect Diet for my Soul. But where to start.
It is difficult to change the way you think about yourself when it is so ingrained to be negative. Sometimes it works, but then at other times it doesn’t and things start to crash down around myself. I have never thought I was worthy of anything good, and my father told me that I was nothing as a child and I believed all this negativity. Even the idea of going out and enjoying myself for a day is a foreign concept. I did everything as perfectly as possible, but inevitably I failed and I just ended up feeling more of a failure. But was I? Why have I spent my life worrying what others would think, and trying to make them feel that I might be worthy when their opinion doesn’t really matter a damn. I know that I have done everything as well as I could at that time. I know that I have succeeded in the things I have done but my emphasis has been on pleasing others when it should have been on pleasing myself, and that ultimately that is what we should all be doing. It doesn’t matter if you have children or a partner, if you are not doing things to please yourself; if you are not actively searching for the Perfect Diet for your own Soul then how can you truly pass on to others what they need to find their Perfect Diet? Even if they are your family their Perfect Soul Diet might be quite different from yours, though they will join together in places.
I am currently doing an e-course through the Oprah Winfrey Network with Brene Brown called the Gifts of Imperfection. I haven’t really started the art journaling side of it, but I am slowly getting all the things I need together to make a real start on it. Imperfection … or should that read that I’m Perfection, or at least enough for myself.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Wouldn’t it be great if there was, but there isn’t. With the treatment choices that we make we have to go with what is right for ourselves, and so it is with finding the Perfect Soul Diet. What I like will not suit others. It is a bit like the way we dress, or the things we have in our houses. There is not good or bad taste, just what I want to have around me, and what I want to wear. Of course there are restrictions, and money is one of them, but there again I think I would spend my time worrying much more about something that is valuable rather than something that is just right for me and at a price I could afford. Some things that are a part of my Perfect Soul Diet cost nothing … as the person behind me found out when I was admiring a truly gorgeous sunset last evening when the light had turned to green! I could have stayed there for ages and watched it slowly changing to darkness. The gold of the sun and some of the sky; the grey clouds glowing in front of it; the composition of the trees and the river. I wish I had a camera with me, but there again these are things that get into your soul and can make you glow. They are imprinted on the little grey cells so who needs a camera. The photo would probably disappoint because it can’t replace that catch of the breath on seeing it for the first time.
I am worthy of the presence of joy in my life. I am worthy of spending the time and money to do things that I enjoy. There are new experiences that can fill my heart and soul. I can still make a contribution to the world, even if it is just feeding the birds that come into my garden. Making a difference doesn’t have to be earth shatteringly important, I just need to start some ripples in my soul and watch them spread outwards.