Recently, I had an opportunity to correspond with one of my readers who found treasures in my blog. She managed to change her life and the life of her family just by following some of my practical tips.
I was very happy, grateful and honored to read her letters. I hope that bringing them here will help you too. Consider your own attitude towards body, mind and gratitude.
I’ve changed the reader’s name to respect her privacy, but left everything else in the letters as it was.
Switching from pain to hope
I’m just writing to let you know how useful I’ve found your website. After reading just two articles and I felt I’m “home”. I felt you knew me, as if you wrote the posts especially for me.
My name is Jewel and I have two young kids under four years old and have been in chronic pain for years. I have been doing some courses and changed my lifestyle, my diet and have reduced my painkillers however, when pain leaves there is a huge void (?) Not sure if that’s the right word.
I feel I have nothing to hang on to. Like emptiness. It is hard to put it into words. Only when I read your articles, I realized I’m using physical pain as a way to cope with emotional pain.
I was in the supermarket with a screaming child and of course my hip started hurting because I was getting embarrassed and anxious. It happened so fast. When I noticed it, the pain disappeared as if I found the switch. Now I can stop the pain but left with the anxiety and embarrassment.
I figured I was using pain as an excuse “I don’t really want to take the kids to the park because it’s cold, so I’ll just rest at home instead”.
I found your blog while Googling one evening and it’s been like a treasure trove of wisdom that has truly helped me, my kids and my husband.
And I’ve barely scratched the surface! I don’t know how many articles you have there, but I will read all of them.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work you do. I am sure you have helped many people. I just wanted you to know you have helped our family tremendously.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share with me your thoughts, feelings and I’m so happy the information on the site was helpful for you.
Congratulations on finding the switch that connects body and mind.
It will get better over time.
When you realize that the pain is a result of an emotional thought, you are halfway to conquering it.
You can be proud of yourself because there are millions of people around the world that haven’t reached that point in their evolution.
I think the word “void” is a perfect description.
Your body found a coping mechanism (pain as a way to give yourself some discounts or as a result of fear expressing yourself) and now that you no longer want it, it takes time to replace one coping mechanism with another one (less painful).
Everything we do is a coping mechanism. We don’t criticize coping mechanisms. We only replace coping mechanisms that bring us pain with others that are easier for us to live with.
We are all the same. I do that, you do that. This is what makes us humans.
Again, I thank you for your letter.
I write because I believe every person is here in this life for a reason.
We were given skills and abilities and we need to use them to make this world a better place.
It is like a gift we were given that we need to give to others.
I was given those insights and the ability to express them. Using those skills and making the information available for others to take whatever they think they can/want to take from it is living my purpose. Letters such as yours encourage me to keep going. I thank you for it!
Yes, true. There are 1,600 articles in the site, it took me years to write them. It’ll take years to cover them all.
Remember, the most important thing is not to read them but to implement ideas that resonate with you, one by one, until you become the master of your own thoughts and feelings and not their servant.
All the best and thanks again.
May the Force be with you!
Messy and ungrateful or happy and thankful
Thank you for writing me personally. I do appreciate it. I opened my mailbox and saw your name in the heading and felt so excited. I was convinced it’ll be an automatic reply and it wasn’t. Thank you for taking the time to write back to me.
I was thinking about all this stuff you were writing about when I snapped at my daughter. She is only four years old and in the habit of painting/coloring walls at the moment. So, I thought I’d give her some real painting to do on paper.
As expected, she decided then to paint her hands, then her arms and the wipe clean tablecloth. In the past, I would freak out and feel the pain all over my body I was chilled out about it.
I told myself to allow her to do handprints, allow her creativity with boundaries but I’m probably not enforcing them as well as I could. I have another paint covered child who needs assistance in the toilet…
Then she decides to pour the paint water all over the table and her “art” and suddenly I’m irrationally and incredibly angry.
So, I thought about this lots later and about your articles regarding the signs we have and the rules we create and realized it’s because of this idea I have that she’s ungrateful.
Now I know she’s not. And I know if she was then spilling water wouldn’t be a sign of it… but I think that it’s because growing up my mom used to say it to me all the time. She used to say that I’m ungrateful for things that now I don’t even see as signs of gratitude.
She used to tell me that picking up my clothes, cleaning my bedroom, doing my chores etc. are signs of gratitude. After reading your articles about gratitude, I no longer think that doing those things, because you have to, are linked to gratefulness.
I mean it’s nice to wash the dishes and it can show your gratitude but not washing up afterwards doesn’t signal you are ungrateful. I had to take it out of my vocabulary.
When I thought about it, I said to myself, she is four years old. What does she know about gratitude? I read in your articles that the only sign is that she is … a child! She is a child and a very kind and respectful child. It made me feel happy with her rather than angry about the whole incident.
(And here’s the happy ending)
So we were having dessert last night and my daughter asked for the lights to be turned off so we could eat by candlelight. She asked it after we read your articles about doing unpredictable things to teach kids flexibility and shared at dinner time some ideas from your article.
My husband and I looked at each other with a big smile Then she spontaneously said, “This is the best moment ever. Thank you for giving us a candlelight dinner. I’ve had a lovely day. I love you so much”.
Which sounds to me more like gratitude than if she had put her plate in the dishwasher sullenly 🙂
Thank you again Ronit. Our kids are very young and in a short time, implementing only some of the ideas in your blog have changed our lives.
My pain is gone after many years of chronic pain and I no longer need painkillers. Our household is happier and relaxed.
Thank you for the practical tips and ideas. They work! I’m looking forward to reading more and learning more. Keep writing. I will keep reading.
Best wishes for a lovely day!
Signs our kids are grateful
Thank you for replying with this wonderful, positive story.
It is not easy to raise two young children under the age of four. I had my kids spread 6-7 years apart, so life was much easier for me.
I agree with you that being grateful is not something we can force, and it comes from within. Obedient children are not more grateful. They are more afraid.
I remember when parents came to pick up their kids after a party in our house. On the way out they would ask their kids, “What do we say?” and the child, feeling ashamed, said, “Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Baras”.
I hated it! That’s not gratitude, that’s obedience! Saying it because I have to. I felt the kids were grateful when we played games and they were smiling from ear to ear and said they loved coming to our kids’ parties.
Lots of parents (and grownups in general) have signs. Signs are just rules we create for living. We have to have those rules but sometimes we are so attached to the rule that we can’t consider other options. We suffer from our own “signs” and our kids suffer as well.
If you don’t want to eat, it is a sign you don’t like my food or you are not grateful for me going to work, buying the food and cooking this dish for you… and the list of signs is endless.
When we didn’t want to eat something, my mom used to say, “Do you know how much it cost me?” It was her version of, “You are not grateful” using the guilt trip. We ate because we had guilt feelings about the cost of the food rather than trying to satisfy our hunger or our taste buds.
Grateful is a feeling. We can have it without saying the words “Thank you”. I found out that when my kids are happy because of something we did, it is their way of saying, “Thank you for making me happy”, or, “Thank you for contributing to my happiness”.
Every smile, every laugh of theirs is an expression of gratitude. So, I have changed the sign to “Every time my kids are happy, it is a sign that we are great parents”.
I have a simple rule for making rules. If the rule brings you sadness and discomfort, your rule sucks!
Again Jewel, I am grateful for your letters and for reading my blog. I am happy to hear that somewhere around the world someone used the posts in a good way.
Spread the word. Change can happen, and fast, and with young children as well. Your happiness makes me happy too.
All the best to you too.
I want to thank Jewel and all my readers who take the time to write and share their experiences. Thank you! You encourage me to keep writing.
All the best,