So today I share my story. Today marks the 12 week anniversary of one of the most profound situations I have ever found myself in. 12 weeks ago, I admitted myself to the hospital because something felt seriously off. My insides didn't feel right and I didn't know how to put it into words.
It took a week of a team of over 20 to figure out that a rare and acute virus effecting 0.01% of people per year in the US was now destroying my liver, causing mass inflammation in my body, organs and mind. It would be fully recoverable, but would take 4 months of strict bedrest in total isolation with no human contact to get better (no work, no moving, a strict zero-fat diet, and blood being drawn 3x/day), and a total of 9-11 months of being careful to not relapse into total liver failure or worse, face my own death. It was caused by direct or indirect contact to microscopically contaminated food or water. And no, I didn't travel. All this just a few weeks shy of my 27th birthday.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because honestly, it turned out to be the most enlightening thing that has ever happened to me. I finally "got it" and I hope that my story inspires you.
A series of relatively recent unforeseeable circumstances have led me up to this point:
1. Hurricane Sandy leaving me homeless
2. The end of a 6 year serious relationship
3. My father and mother both nearly dying for separate reasons
And to top it off, now getting a rare acute virus from God knows what restaurant, food item or bag of frozen fruit. Man, was life throwing me curveballs.
And then, something finally clicked. It never occurred to ask, "why me?". What occurred instead was, "how can I take these opportunities to grow?".
I realized that life had a pretty important lesson, one which was humbling and threw me head first into courageousness. I was being forced to actually face life's crap in the eye and not only make the best of it but love it relentlessly. And that's when, oddly enough, things started getting better.
To quote Marianne Williamson, "All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing."
I began to confront all difficult parts in life, whether in health, relationships, work, the world, and in my own mind. It came down to doing, thinking and feeling good. Breathing bigger. Realizing unmet dreams. I realized that this moment, right now, is what counts. That life is now, happening all around us. If we are too fast, we'll never notice it. The key thing I learned is this: that the only thing that really matters is to experience the present and do good, all the time. Doing good for the world, my own self and absolutely everyone and everything around me. Otherwise, I'd miss the whole point. I've, dare I admit it, got a little spiritual without even planning on it.
I've made a choice to see life differently. To be filled with true joy and live life passionately by infusing goodness into everything. While talking to friends, show love. While working, work with passion. Hell, even wash the dishes with joy. To see life itself as a beautiful journey in every possible area.
Give more good to everything, yourself, the world and everyone around you and do what you love to do. Whatever it is that brings you joy in life, you must absolutely do that thing because it will ultimately bring more joy and love to the world. And in the end, this is your purpose. You must live in the moment and do good.
There has never been a more peaceful time in all of human existence. Now is the time to be you. To live in the present and be grateful for each day. For me, every single thought and action from here on out will follow this principle.
I am now relatively back to good health and so many things have changed since getting sick. It wasn't a pretty road, but it could have been so much worse. What came out in the end was a journey towards life's most important lesson: that which really matters.