This past week I’ve been feeling pretty crappy. Although hard to decipher why, it’s been SIBO-type pain, super bummer. The first day I was feeling this way, I was disappointed, frustrated, and scared to say the least. I was disappointed because I still work really hard on my stomach issues, and maintain a very restricted diet that requires a lot of dedication and willpower. I was feeling frustrated because based on the things I ate, I shouldn’t have been feeling so awful. And lastly, I was feeling scared because I’m petrified that the SIBO is going to come back at some point and I’ll be back to square one.

Amongst all these feelings, though, there was one that stood out to me. A sense of thanksgiving and gratefulness that brought me peace and almost drowned out my other more-paranoid thoughts. Why? Because as I processed my thought patterns despite the pain, I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmingly thankful that the endless pain wasn’t my day-to-day anymore. Despite feeling frustrated, disappointed, and scared, my thankfulness for the fact that I now have more good days than bad was overwhelming.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself as I relaxed and laid low during my period of pain, I tried to focus on the positive – that unexpected, (but welcoming), feeling of thankfulness. And it was in that moment of thanksgiving that I felt clarity. It became clearer to me why I’ve dealt with my gut issues and I felt happiness for my temporary feelings of sickness – what better reminder of how amazing my “good days” are than a few days full of pain, right?

Something my gut issues taught me is that my time here on this earth is valuable, and to appreciate all moments, including those with pain. I’ve learned that if nothing else, pain is a valuable teacher of important life lessons, you just need to tune in to be taught. Those of you experiencing your own pain, try to focus on why you’re going through it, and what it will teach you, I think you’ll be surprised at the lessons you will learn.

It is with this mindset that I have learned to find the silver lining in all situations. To appreciate the good along with the bad, and to truly appreciate the times of turmoil along with the moments of joy. With an open heart and open mind I am ready for all the days life blesses me with.

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