Comfort as you were Comforted.

jillian cole

"Comfort as you were comforted."

I was listening to the most inspiring @goaldigger podcast with @jennakutcher interviewing @laurenscruggs on my drive home yesterday. Lauren had mentioned this idea of "comfort as you were comforted" which made such an impact on me. It made me realize that this was exactly the missing piece in conceptualizing for myself the WHY in what I do.

With going to naturopathic medical school, taking hundreds of hours of continuing education and even yoga teacher training, I knew I wanted to help others in their healing journeys as well as the one that I was on personally. At the same time I feel like I've tried to define my WHY hundreds of times over and not once has it ever felt authentically me. Like I was on the right path but just narrowly missing my call in life.

The wounded healer, comfort as you were comforted. It takes being broken down, picking up the pieces of yourself and putting them back together that brings empathy and deep understanding. It's having those experiences that I realize is actually the glue, the WHY in what I do. It's taken me years of progress, mistakes and messes to figure out what health, wellness and happiness truly mean to me.

For most of my life I feel as if I’ve been trying to live this image for other people. I was finding myself in the process but it still felt like something wasn’t fully fused. Like I was gaining progress in my understanding of who I was and where I was going with my career, my relationships, where I was living and all that jazz, yet in the same breath I felt like I was making progress on the same plane every time.

I say this quite often, it’s fascinating to me how we can come across something that we’ve seen a million times or someone says something a certain way and all of a sudden, as if we’ve never heard the idea before, it’s brand new and sparks something within ourselves.

“Comfort as you were comforted.”

I get it. Like I’ve never gotten it before.

I’ve let this idea infuse my mind since first hearing it on the GoalDigger podcast. It’s made me realize all the things ;).

For one, I’ve realized that I stopped writing because I was feeling burnt out about it. I used to blog all the time (you can scroll back in my blog posts to see how often I actually used to!). I stopped because I was becoming fearful that people would judge what I was saying yet also felt like I needed to write about health related things, complete with references and cited research papers because while I want to educate people, I was more doing it to prove to people that I knew what I was talking about.

I mean, it’s worth making sure people know I can help them and why, I don’t disagree with that.

It was how I was doing it that was making me feel lacklustre.

Anyone can write an article on how to get better periods. What I wasn’t doing was being myself with it, letting my creative side come out. The art and science of it all. Which is exactly what my undergrad is - ART and SCIENCE. I’m not a person who can dive deep into one or the other, I need both and I wasn’t honouring that. I wasn’t honouring that I’m allowed to ENJOY myself while I’m writing to share my knowledge with others.

It sounds so insignificant but it’s not. It’s a seed, and seeds can be wonderful or incredibly dangerous.

Can you think of an episode that happened in your life as a child that still sticks with you? It’s like that. They happen in our adult lives too. And it’s important to recognize a seed when it comes. Choose to let it grow or choose to let it go.

Comfort as you were comforted.

I’m comforted by seeing vulnerability in others. By seeing people be human. By being open about their broken hearts. So in turn I want to be able to share that with others. To show them that they’re not alone, that we’re in this together. We all have our own battles going on, at the same time we’re all in this human experience together. We can still be there for one another in ways we may not always think are helpful. Like sharing an Instagram post that moved our hearts when we wrote it. Or writing a blog post straight out of the thoughts within our core.

I’m comforted by mindful expression of movement. I’m captivated by watching others express themselves through movement, just as much as I am with experiencing that movement within my own body. Yoga to me is a release. It’s been that thing in my life that lets me feel like I can be me, that I can express me. There really is something so liberating with being able to get on the mat in the silence and comfort of your own home and just simply move. It’s like perfect synchronicity between my body, mind and soul. There’s something so freeing about that.

I’m comforted by making nourishing meals for myself. I have a hard time sticking to regular meals, making sure I’m eating enough and planning ahead with food prep. You could say that my type A personality and eating disorder history can get in the way sometimes. I could say I was doing the best I could but really, I wasn’t - I wasn’t eating and when I was, it was something “reasonably” healthy but usually from a restaurant. I had done some blood work on myself and the results were pretty abysmal - I had the test results of a 60-something overweight male who smokes and drinks all the time, doesn’t exercise and hates vegetables. That guy. I may appear to have been healthy but things were all wrong. Cooking healthy meals for yourself is an act of self care and I was forgetting that. I educate others on how to take care of themselves and here I was not even doing those things for myself. Hippocrite? You could say that. I was trying to comfort others as I know I have been comforted in the past, educating on whole foods and nourishing meals, yet I forgot that taking care of myself in the process was important. I feel so great, body and mind, when I eat well. When I care about what I’m putting into my body. When I consume meals in certain ways and at certain times of day. I know now what makes me feel good, and I have the research to support that in my meal plans.

Sometimes we have scares in our lives that knock us down for a bit and make us seriously consider our live choices. I thought I had lymphoma last year. I was in a car accident with a deer a few months ago. My bloodwork results showed I was at high risk for a heart attack. I, like most people am a “I’ll get to it later” kinda person, until later is no longer an option and the red flags start popping up all over the place.

So, “comfort as you were comforted” brings so much understanding to my life. I do what I do because I want to teach others the things that have supported me in my darkest times. A wounded healer brings so much to the table when it comes to helping others on their healing journey. And what I have realized, is that this is my WHY. This is why I get up every morning and do what I do. Why I see patients, why I created Regimen, why I do all the things. It’s because I want to help others on their healing journey with what has helped me on mine.

Comfort as you were comforted.

Dr. Jillian Cole NDComment