Trust... and Other Words
A practice that has helped me so much!
To start off I wanted to update you guys that while you are reading this, I am currently undergoing surgery to remove the rest of my thyroid and any cancer that got left behind. I scheduled this post to go out at this time on purpose, so that these next few words would be amplified with power and love and go out into the universe to help me: I trust I am going to be just fine. More than fine. I trust I’m going to thrive. I trust that everything is going smoothly and that in a couple hours I’ll be posting chaotic selfies on Instagram with my sick neck scar! Stay tuned!!
Now onto the purpose of this post: my word for 2023 is “trust”.
Sometime around August last year I stopped trusting myself. Maybe it had something to do with the overwhelming amount of information thrown at me after my diagnosis and how vastly unprepared and dumb it made me feel. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I felt responsible for neglecting my body for so long and I was stacking feelings of regret and anger like a sick game of Jenga. Maybe it was a lot of things. But by early September I couldn’t even decide what kind of tea to make for breakfast. Did I need “Perfect Energy Tangerine or “Soothing Rose”? Which one did my body and heart need most? What was the right decision? Is there even such a thing?
There’s a movie on Netflix that I saw around this time called “Look Both Ways” starring Lili Reinhart. I guess it’s a little cheesy but as I watched it, I quickly went from being casually entertained to having a major spiritual revelation. Maybe I’m insane.. but bear with me. Here’s what I learned: in the movie it shows the two different lives Lili’s character lives when she makes “big decision A” versus “big decision B”. No one cancel me if you consider this a spoiler (because I totally don’t think it is, but what I loved about the movie was that, no matter which decision she made, she still ended up exactly where she was supposed to be. Regardless of which path her life took, she ended up being the exact same person because it was who she was meant to be. It’ll make more sense if you watch it, but I really felt soooo enlightened when it hit me that, you can’t make a “wrong decision” because regardless of what you pick, you can’t miss the things that are for you. Maybe you’ll take a little detour, maybe it’ll take a little longer depending on what you choose, but you will always end up where you’re supposed to be. It takes a lot of pressure off me when I trust that the Universe has my back. It makes it easier to trust myself if I know I can’t make a “bad” decision.
I started picking a word of the year about two years ago when I started really noticing things were off with my health. I felt super out of my body, wasn’t sleeping, was depressed and crying all the time, never had energy, and had lost all motivation. I remember sitting with my angel of a holistic doctor, (blessings to Dr. Monica) and having her teach me about my Endocrine system, which according to her, was “on fire”. I had recently discovered a lump in my neck and I had walked into her office without an idea of what or where a thyroid was. But I sat in her chair and, almost as if instinctively, asked her where the thyroid was located in the body. She pointed to the exact spot I had found the lump. To this day, I can’t explain to you why I had a nagging feeling my thyroid was the issue. I had purposely not allowed myself to WebMD anything about the thyroid because I know myself well enough to know that, with my anxiety? I am NOT the one.
Once Dr. Monica had explained to me how vital the thyroid is, how it’s responsible for your hormones and energy and mood, and the list goes on, so many things fell into place. There was an “imbalance” in my endocrine system and Dr. Monica agreed she thought my thyroid was the problem. We made a plan for treatment of my symptoms and I promised her I’d be working with my therapist on a needle phobia I had so that I could get bloodwork, which I hadn’t done in over 5 years. —Now is when I make a PSA and lovingly remind you all to learn from me and get your check ups done on time. It’s cool to take care of your body! It’s not cool to live in ignorant bliss as if you were invincible. Being healthy is a gift!—
When I left that appointment, the last thing Dr. Monica said to me was, “don’t stress, we’re gonna balance you out and you will feel so much better”. Balance my hormones, balance my energy, balance my moods, find the balance in my life. Stop living in an “all or nothing” state of mind. Things are rarely black and white. Even the yin yang has a little bit of white in the black and a little bit of black in the white. Why? Because each side makes grey. It creates balance. So my word for 2020 was “balance”.
The point of choosing a word of the year, for me, is to tack it on a bulletin board at the forefront of my mind so that every thing I do, I am moving through it with that word as my intention. It’s a theme… if you will, a vibe. Every year I pick a new word, a new theme, and use it as the focus for my year. I even put it on top of my vision board for the year; it helps me be intentional. It’s a practice that I really enjoy and even though it’s February, I believe it is never too late to pick a word to be your intention for the year.
“But Valheria, how do I know what word to pick?”
Incredible question! And funny enough, my answer is that you have to “trust” your gut. What’s an area of your life that you would like to improve or feel more comfortable in? Maybe you’d like to be more focused when you are working on a task. Maybe you want to find love, or even better, learn to love yourself more! Maybe you want to think more optimistically about things. Maybe you want to be more mindful and present in the moments you are living. Whatever it is, I encourage you to sit with yourself for a little while (or multiple little whiles) and think about this. Once you have your word, maybe maybe write it down somewhere meaningful that you can come back to often throughout the year to reflect on it, .
Did I find “balance” in 2021? Well not completely! I’m a work in progress and “balance” is a big thing to fully accomplish. I’m not even sure if it’s possible? The point is, that while I didn’t become a super balanced, zen-ed out, floating on a lotus being of light in 2021, it was the first year that I began to intentionally seek out approaching things with a more balanced mind set. It was the first year I began to feel better and more grounded in my body because I was not moving through life like everything was either black or white. And that is a HUGE win.
Some advice on choosing your word: Don’t fight yourself about the first thing that comes to mind! Trust that you’ll know when you know. If it feels right, it probably is! If nothing that comes to you feels right, set the intention to have your word revealed to you and then let it go. If you set the intention, you will find it. Trust me, if I have learned anything in the past 2 years is that your body KNOWS what you need. And your gut is NEVER wrong.
So back to “trust”. I was sitting in my new boyfriend’s apartment—funny enough my word of the year in 2021 was…. drumroll please… “love”!! more on that later— on January 2, writing what would later become my first Substack post and thinking about the new information I had just received from my doctor a few days prior. I had been told that I should have surgery again to completely remove the rest of my thyroid because they couldn’t guarantee cancer cells hadn’t spread, even though, visibly, I did not appear to have cancer. My doctor said it was my choice, so once again, I found myself having my Great Tea Debate only this time: “Did I need to remove the left side of my thyroid to be safe” or “did I need to trust that removing the tumor was enough and monitoring the rest would suffice?”. There were pros and cons to both options and honestly, I was very upset this was even happening in the first place. It felt like the biggest decision I could possibly make was sitting on my shoulders, crushing me with all its weight. It felt like I was back at, maybe not square one… but definitely, like, square two.
“Why would he put this decision on me? I’m not a doctor, how the hell would I know the right decision to make? I can barely trust myself to pick the right tea, how am I going to make this decision?” These are the questions I asked myself when it dawned on me… I’d had this debate before, only with every other decision I’ve ever had to make in my life: “to date this new boy or not?”, “to go to art school or regular college?” “to be 100% freelance or to keep my part time job?”, the list goes on. I sat there wondering if I should trust my heart or my brain, as if they weren’t in the same body, managed by the same spirit. And as I thought myself into a hole about all the things I didn’t trust, I realized it was what I needed to heal and focus on. When I said it out loud, “I think my word of the year should be trust”, I felt peace.
The more I thought about it, the more right it felt. I realized it wasn’t even just that I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t trust boys when they told me they cared about me, let alone, loved me, because my experience had been believing them and then watching them act the complete opposite way. I often didn’t trust people to follow through on plans because so many times I’d been half way out the door when they texted to cancel. I’d even managed to convince myself for a brief moment, that I couldn’t trust my doctors because they hadn’t taken care of this the first time around.
As I write this, I realize that when I went in to Dr. Monica’s office back in January of 2021 with a gut feeling that something was wrong with my thyroid, it was proven to me that I could trust my instincts about my body because I was right. It was my thyroid. That gut feeling is trust, so I know that I am actually capable of trusting myself. Now I’m just setting it as an intention. I want to learn to harness it as a superpower so I can be stronger inside my own body. I don’t want to walk around always feeling like I’m flailing and out of control. That’s not sustainable, and feeling insecure really drags my spirit down. I realize that I can’t control what life throws at me, but I believe that if I can trust myself and the people around me, and God, and etc. enough to take each step with confidence, I will be able to handle things more gracefully, less painfully, and I’ll be a better person for it.
I’m making mental notes of all the things I’ve learned and the growth I’ve seen in myself since my diagnosis back in August. It feels like purpose in a place where I could once hardly find gratitude, and that is everything to me. To realize that so much good and so much growth can come from something objectively SO shitty, is healing.
“Trust” is not just about learning to trust myself. It’s learning to trust others, and the timing, and God, and the optimistic probability that everything is working out for me exactly the way it is meant to be.
I’ll be laying low this month, resting and healing and trusting my body to tell me what she needs. If I feel inspiration, I’ll share it, but if I only watch movies and read… you’ll hear from me when I’m feeling better 🦋
Sending you love,
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