Self View and Life Experiences

Self View and Life Experiences

I was born with a congenital heart defect, one so extreme that if I was born ten years earlier I would not be alive today! I had my first open heart surgery when I was two years old.

My parents raised me to make my health a priority without allowing it to stop me or define me. I made the decision when I was about 6 years old to view myself as healthy, and to live my life like my sister and friends who did not have any health challenges. This was a game changer for me, and I was fortunate to have parents who supported me fully. Choosing to have this self view was a major decision, and it made a huge difference in allowing me to have the life experience I desired. 

This self view of being healthy was not always congruent with my life experiences but seeing myself as healthy shifted my mindset and helped me to keep going, living, loving and fighting to do the things I enjoyed.  I was able to respond with resiliency, because being with loved ones and being involved in these wonderful life experiences helped me to persevere and fight to stay alive as I created a life that I loved! 

This self view helped me get through:

  • four years of high school while my heart was slowly failing
  • my second open heart surgery
  • waiting to receive my heart transplant
  • adjusting to the new normal of living with a transplanted heart
  • being diagnosed and treated six times for transplant-related cancer

Now I am relying on this self view during this pandemic. I am, as you might expect from what you just read, at a very high risk of getting and having complications from Covid, with the immunosuppressant medications to support my transplanted heart and my history of cancer. 

My self view of a proactive self-advocate who is taking extreme measures for my health and well being while staying creatively connected with friends, and family and engaged in my life, my relationships, and my work is truly helping me at this time.

How can your life experiences help you at this time?

  • You can look back on positive life experiences that you want to model
  • You can look back on experiences that didn’t work well in the past, and approach this situation differently

Creating a self view when I was six years old has had a profound impact and has shown me that the way I view myself in any situation can drastically impact how I respond and deal with it. 

How can you create a self view that empowers you to persevere during this time of challenge and change?