I remember years ago, rushing home to watch the last few minutes of Oprah and hoping it was going to be one of the more interesting episodes, and because I had missed most of the show I stepped in as Oprah was monologuing one of her meaningful life quotes…
“Oprah Winfrey and Robert Kiyosaki agreed that.. Money magnifies who you are.
That means, if you are insecure, impatient, jealous, impolite, arrogant, low self esteem, no self-confidence, fearful, angry, unhappy, irritated and emotional or just plain negative when you have no money, guess what? Yes, you will become more of that when you have money.
On the other hand,
If you have a positive character like high self-esteem, confident, loving, well mannered, patient, fun, happy, humble, poised, aware,logically practical then you could expect to become more positive in your overall attitude in every trait that you have.
Money will never repair a poor character.”
I agreed entirely at the time and those words have often come back to me in the 15 years or more since I first heard them. Especially when I have faced some pretty tight financial times and my husband and I almost lost our home.
I have also thought about them with respect to my health challenges over the past 10 years. It comes up in my mind when I think of who I was before I got sick and what happened as a result of these difficult and challenging life events.
Before I became sick (and then eventually diagnosed with Autoimmune disease/s) I was an anxious, people pleasing, stressed, insecure, results driven, workaholic, control freak who didn’t really have a deeper love and appreciation of myself. Always trying to validate myself and striving for achievement; often very overly analytical.
Then I got very sick…
And those attributes were indeed magnified, and often the source of a lot of my pain and anguish when I realised I could no longer do physically all the things that made me feel worthy, capable, appreciated and self sufficient. My insecurities went into overdrive! Instead of money, my character flaws were indeed magnified by my illness and pain.
As I look at some of the posts by many of my fellow Autoimmune fighters and read some of the pain and suffering they go through, I often wonder if, like me, who they were prior to becoming ill has also been magnified in many ways and is causing them as much pain and suffering as it caused me? It started me questioning that whether ANY life changing event has the same effect and it makes sense that it would.
My mother would often tell me that “you see peoples true colours when the chips are down” and I think that possibly one of the things my diseases were showing me was who I really was and what I would need to work on if I was ever going to survive my life long illness.
For the past several years that is what I have been doing and working on. It has been just as challenging and painful as my diseases, but I am proud of some of the real changes I have been able to make.
My old ways were not working to help me or sustaining me in my fight. My old flaws were only holding me back as they were clearly being magnified to my own detriment.
Not ALL my characteristics were hindering me, some were also keeping me buoyant. My humour, my love, my compassion, my resilience, my imagination, my empathy were struggling to keep me afloat; sometimes barely.
After all these years I can say that I have successfully tamed some of these characteristics and developed much more helpful ones that have made me handle my challenges far better and I have learnt how to validate and respect myself now, more than ever.
It doesn’t make all the pain and frustration disappear but it can change the way that I look at my challenges and how I cope with them. It also made a meaningful difference in the relationships I have now.