When I was a freshman in high school I got diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. It was a battle to come to that conclusion. And it was a battle to get it under control. Luckily I found a doctor that was determined to fight each step with me until I achieved remission. When I first started going to this GI doctor, she always asked me how I was feeling. I replied good. She looked me in the eye and told me, “David, I’m afraid you don’t know what your ‘good’ is. You tell me you feel ‘good’, but you’ve been sick for awhile. And I feel as if you think this is your normal now. What I mean by ‘good’ is not what I think you believe to be ‘good’. My goal is for you to find out what it means to feel ‘good’.”
She was right.
Two years later when my Crohn’s Disease entered into remission I began to find out what feeling good meant for me. Then I truly knew that I was sick. She was right, how could I know what my ‘good’ was until I felt it? How could I know I could become a better version of myself until I achieved it?
I carried this piece of advice with me ever since.
I think this is a big part of life. In all aspects. Finding out we are sick and working to achieve a state of health.
However, we have the freedom to choose to remain in our state of ‘feeling good’ and not risk trying to find out what it means to feel better. We can sit in our illness. Comfortable and cozy. Never fully understanding that we are sick because we do not know what it means to be healthy. How many times have I ignored my sickness? My bad habits, my jealousy of others, my selfishness. I choose not to diagnose and eradicate my sickness because it may require too much. It may change me. Yet, why do I want to remain in sickness?
I think this truth points to the fact that life is based on experience. People can tell us what to do and how to do it or what it did for them. We can go to conferences and seminars and talks. But, until we personally risk it ourselves and experience the transformation, it means nothing. Until we decide to cut out an addiction from our own lives, we have no idea what freedom from dependance looks like. Until we try to listen to our siblings instead of shoving our ideas at them, we have no idea what a peaceful conversation sounds like. Until we apologize to the coworker we talked bad about last month, we have no idea what resolved anger feels like.
We must decide if we want to learn what feeling ‘good’ actually means. Because once we experience the goodness of becoming healthy, we desire it in all aspects of our lives.