Illness Can Be A Gift…(honest)

It may not be what you want this Xmas but it’s got something for you…

gift of illness
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Illness is not a gift you REALLY want this Xmas

But it is a gift nontheless.

You may try to return it, unopened. You may attempt to throw it away quietly before anyone sees. You may even think I’m crazy for suggesting there could be anything good about being unwell, but the truth is, there’s some xmas magic here for you…if only you’ll unwrap it.

So you’ve got symptoms. 

Welcome to the club. 

The allergies that come back every year, the depression you battle alone, the fatigue you can barely keep at bay.

You’ve got something going on, and maybe you’re like most people who prefer to brush it off as a seasonal something or other, while popping a pill to numb out. 

Or maybe you’re smart enough to ask – WHY is this happening to me?

Why is This Happening to You?

I talk to a LOT of people about health – it’s my job – and often, they genuinely don’t get the link between lifestyle and longevity.

They think life randomly showers them with symptoms like a snow storm, with no clue that actually, they’re always at the helm of their own health.

Sigh…more coal in their stockings this year. 

So before you suffer with symptoms and wonder why Santa won’t whisk away your sickness, allow me to explain why bad health doesn’t have to be bad news.

Bad Health Isn’t Always Bad News

Sometimes you genuinely need to be woken up.

A slap in the face like a smoke alarm screaming for your own survival. 

Because no matter where you are now, and however ill, you ALWAYS have the chance to choose a different path.

Remember the saying, every cloud has a silver lining?  

Turns out it’s true.

I should know, I spent ten years rebuilding from serious illness and man, that was a pretty big cloud! But the silver lining was the radical transformation it created in my life.

My illness was a gift…albeit badly wrapped.

Now I hear you… ten years is a long time to wait for a present…but I was peeling away a layer each year. I was getting stronger and wiser and honestly, I kinda think it was worth it. It’s like smelling xmas dinner in the oven and knowing something great is coming.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sell you on illness, I’m just inviting you to entertain the idea that there’s a greater purpose at play here.

It’s my gift to you.

How to Unwrap Your Gift

Here’s a fun little exercise I like to call unwrapping.

Sit down with your Santa hat on and mentally sort through your symptoms.

That includes everything from pain, stiffness and niggles, to intolerances and full blown disease conditions.

Let’s face it, we ALL have something to work on.

Write down the health labels you have given yourself, or been given, the meds you take, the pills you pop or treatments you pay for.

Now answer the following questions:

What behaviour have you changed as a result of what’s going on with your body?

What have your symptoms forced you to change or learn?

What does your illness allow you to do or not do? (stay in bed, not work?) 

Which relationships have begun or ended as a result of your health experiences?

Does being ill mean you get support, or are listened to?

How have your symptoms changed the nature of your job or work?

What life changes for the better have you undertaken?

What changes are you still resisting?

Why do these changes create fear for you?

Who would you have to be if you were healthy and strong?

What would you have to face if you were healthy and strong?

Are you getting some answers and insights you can use? Can you see how your symptoms are serving you in some way…even if you didn’t realise it?

Is that what you REALLY want this xmas?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Illness is an Opportunity

Illness is a tool the body uses to get your attention.

It re-arranges your priorities like Rudolph taking an unexpected hard right and it can be as painful as spilling your Christmas Cookie latte all over your lap.

Symptoms are your body’s way of asking for a course correct. Your body wants you to rebalance and rebuild. It wants you to thrive and it wills you to take better care of yourself. 

Symptoms demand your attention and get bigger and uglier until you take action. 

Your body is super smart – it only has one job and that’s to keep you alive.

If it could Whatsapp you it would, but instead it sends illness to say – Hey I need some help down here…

And that early warning system you may well be ignoring might just save your life.

Surely that’s a present worth opening?

If you know how…

Why You Should Surrender to the Gift

It is pointless doing battle against your body.

If you are waging a war against a disease you carry, my friend you are waging a war against yourself.

Love and listening are the answer.

Change is a given.

I learned to surrender to the knowledge my body was offering me. To listen to where my body was telling me I was toxic and take action to rebalance. 

I learned how to heal myself and that’s how I know it’s possible for you too.

Are You Listening?

Illness is your chance to evolve.

It might not be pretty, it might not be painless, but by examining what illness forces us to alter, we can find the change life requires us to make.

Surrendering to the gift of your condition is the first step. If you stop fighting and numbing out, you create space for learning and the informed action that follows it.

Opening the gift of illness and taking a really good look at it, is the entry ticket to your journey of self-actualisation.

I wouldn’t wish my ill-health experience on my worst enemy, but I wish on everyone the energy, vitality and self-ownership I now experience as a result, and the way I am able to help people.

If you re-frame your illness as an opportunity to heal, I promise your load will lighten.

And what you believe to be a curse now, could turn out to be the biggest blessing.

And a gift you will be grateful for.


Hey there, thanks for reading and Happy Xmas!

If you’d like the full version of this exercise, it’s in my book, Rebuild Your Health Reclaim Your Life, available on Amazon 🙂

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