Jul 23, 2009

The gift

Yesterday I made a statement that startled me. I said, “My asthma is actually my biggest gift.” I was talking to my parents, and this popped out. Let me explain why.

We were talking about health, and I was saying that if I had to list down negative things about my body, asthma would be on top of my list. It’s a curse, I said, and then went on to describe where it has got me.

Though I’ve had it since childhood, I discovered a direct correlation between my state of mind and my breathing troubles a few years ago. The more stressed out I felt, the more claustrophobic and restricted, the lesser control I felt I had on my environment, the more I wheezed. Once I made this discovery, I started making certain choices over a period of time:

1. Calmed myself down by telling myself I DID have control on my environment
2. Made myself think positive thoughts of largeness, openness, eternity
3. Went for long-term homeopathic treatment, which in turn made me cut out various food items from my life, which in turn has detoxified me
4. Cut down on obviously bad eating habits like eating late or overeating
5. Learnt to focus on my breathing a few times each day, which has taught me to ‘centre’ myself and not get carried away with circumstances
6. Recently started pranayam and walking daily, which will of course go a long way in keeping me healthy

Had I NOT had asthma, I would never have been the person I am – whom people describe as ‘calm’ and whose resting heart rate is almost as good as athletes! The positive thinking I have programmed into myself is a direct result of trying to rid myself of my breathing troubles. And it has in turn made my life a much more happier, peaceful existence in the span of a few years. Sure, things are tough at times, but I’m on top. I’m okay.

That’s why I said, my asthma is my biggest gift. And if I start looking at the other challenges in my life – what would traditionally be called ‘weaknesses’ – including my personality traits, physical attributes and life circumstances, I am sure I would find scores of learning lying in wait there too. What I find ‘good’ in my life, is my gift to myself – a place I have reached with hard work. But what I find ‘bad’ in my life, is God’s gift to me – to take me places I would never go otherwise, to take me closer to Him.

As someone said, tell me what is your biggest curse, and I will tell you why it’s your biggest blessing.

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