Giving Back

As many of us do, once I turned 60, I began to reflect on my life. I thought about the choices I had made that brought me to where I am today. When I look at these decisions, I now realize they have affected every aspect of my life by filtering how I perceive and interact with my world in general. Reflection and insight bring an understanding that everything changes and will continue to do so even when I don’t want it to. For these reasons, I keep trying to make sense out of my life.

I have come to realize that many actions whether they are physical, emotional or verbal are inflicted upon some of us a children. We are neither responsible nor accountable for any of these, but unfortunately they can leave emotional scars, which affect our everyday lives. As an adult, we all have the ability to choose our reactions to these events.

One of our most important choices is how we present or define ourselves to other people. We all have our own attitude, role, and demeanor that we choose when interacting with others. These choices define how the world, in turn, reacts to us. So, we can say, "We get what we give,” either by actions or conversations.

For myself, what I can say is this: the healing had to start at home, and I went through years of personal turmoil before I finally made the decision to take charge of my life. After spending a lot of time reading and doing research, I knew that I had to deal with my body, mind and spirit as a whole and this would or could take a lifetime.

One of the many changes I made over time was my eating habits. Going from a traditional cooked food diet to a diet that was 80 percent raw, 20 percent cooked, made a significant difference. My body began to detoxify, which resulted in weight loss. I had more energy and began feeling better about myself. There were many changes that occurred, physically, mentally and spiritually, which were all part of the healing process. These changes gave me a clearer mind and thought process, which allowed me to see life from a totally different perspective.

I finally decided to go back and deal with the demons from my childhood. This was extremely difficult. I had to come to terms with the fact that it was not my "stuff” and if all the parties involved were not willing to meet me halfway, I then could walk away feeling no guilt. I had to open my eyes to all the anger and resentment, and take back the power from those who had hurt me.

Twice a year, I travel back east to spend time with my aging parents. These are difficult times for both sides, as neither one knows what to expect. My father is the caregiver, 24/7, for my mother, which is exhausting. I do whatever is necessary to ease their workloads.

I find that I have no expectations as to what will be or what will not be. For me, it has been the giving of myself with absolutely no restrictions or conditions attached to the outcome that has given me the most inner peace. I am finally calm inside! Each member of my family has made that mental and emotional shift, allowing us to say or show what is in our hearts. We have been given a second chance.

After 50 years, I now feel I am part of my immediate family. I have the feeling of being loved and respected as an adult. When I say, "We get what we give,” I believe it. We need to take the necessary steps to heal the body, mind and spirit. I have finally reached a period in my life full of rich rewards and great satisfaction.

Marlene Louch is a Wellness Coach that lives in Courtenay.