The obvious first steps to my wellness journey
My health and wellness journey goes back, in a way, to when I was a child. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, not too far from Valley Forge, where my parents owned a barn that was built in 1802. Over the course of 5 or so years we turned that barn into a house.
And over the course of those 5 or so years that barn was treated will all sorts of chemicals and pesticides to keep the rodents at bay. My mother suffered from breast cancer when I was 6. I remember her hair falling out from chemotherapy. I remember her unable to get out of bed.
I remember her and my father going to the Bahamas a few years later. I remember that when she came back the whites of her eyes were jaundiced. I had no idea she was sick. I had no idea anything was wrong. I remember looking at her that Friday and saying, “Mom, your eyes are yellow.” I remember her pulling me into bed with her – she had on a blue ribbed turtleneck and her stockings – and she said, “Whatever happens to me I will always love you.” I still have the cards we made for her in art class on Tuesday. I remember that I was going to take to her hospital room that night. I remember that we didn’t go.
And I remember that she died Wednesday.
There is no doubt in my mind that those chemicals contributed to her health challenges.
When I was old enough to be the one doing the cleaning, I decided I didn’t want any of those chemicals in my house. I am not known for my housekeeping skills and I’ve got my share of dust bunnies and cobwebs, but I don’t have any toxic cleaners. Because I don’t want to breathe chemical nastiness and I don’t want my family to breathe it either. I guess I would rather have dust than poison in my home. If I can’t read the ingredients on the label, I don’t want the product near me.
When I was pregnant for the 8th time, I learned that peppermint oil might help alleviate some of the discomforts of the first trimester. While I don’t normally suffer a lot in that way, who wants to suffer at all?! It was always hard to read bedtime stories to my kids because I just felt awful. So I bought a bottle of peppermint. All I ever thought I would buy is a bottle of peppermint.
Funny how things happen.
That was in 2012, and I have never looked back. I now have a stash of over 125 oils and I never leave home without them. We use them to support our respiratory systems, our immune systems, and our digestive systems. I use them for emotional support when life gets overwhelming. Since we started using oils this family of 9 has only been to the doctor for sickness once! I love having the oils in my toolbox to help keep our family above the wellness line!
The other part of my wellness journey
There is another part of the story about my mother that is a bit more complex but no less important to my wellness journey.
You know how when you go the the doctor because you’re pregnant they ask you whether or not you have ever been abused? I never knew quite how to answer that question. So I told the midwife during one of my pregnancies some of the stories of my childhood, and she said yes, that is abuse. So I guess my father is officially an abusive man. I don’t want to go into the gory details or smear his name and face, so I’ll just say I could tell you some stories. Not Nightmare on Elm Street scary, but still scary. Stuff no child should ever have to see. The pain of those nights still haunts me every now and again.
I often wonder how much of my mother’s health struggle was connected to being married to an abusive man. I’ll never know the answer for sure, but science is finding that emotional trauma has long term physical consequences. The scary thing is that emotional pain often parks itself in our organs and can lead to poor health. Was my mother’s battle with cancer tied to being married to an abusive husband? I’m not saying he caused her cancer, I just wonder about it. Did the nature of the relationship make it harder for her to fight for wellness?
Don’t just sit there wondering
At any rate, since there are oils that support emotional health, I use those. I don’t want the pain from my past to take root in my heart and send me down the same path my mother went on. I like to add a few drops of certain oils on my heart or over my liver or on the back of my neck just in case. Others on my chest too. Because it gives me peace of mind.
That is what oils give me. Peace of mind. There is great peace of mind knowing that I don’t have harmful chemicals in my house. There is great peace of mind knowing that we have oils to support our immune systems, clear out free radicals, deal with seasonal challenges, let go of damaging emotions, etc. I don’t want my kids to grow up without their mother the way I did. Now I have the tools to work proactively to support our bodies to keep us well. What a blessing.