You Are Not Your Body

I was trying to clean out my inbox a bit and came across an email I wrote in 2008 that I thought many of you might relate to. Back then I was seeing a renowned rheumatologist who was trying to teach me a better way to deal with my pain. One of the things I noted was a phrase he had said to me.

‘You will find victory in your pain.’

Not sure I’ve found victory in the years since, but I have definitely not let my pain be who I am. And that has been a struggle. As I write this, I’m back in my chair working after a long night of pain that caused tossing and turning and has not let up today. For now, it’s mostly focused in my back and down my right leg. (sciatica) It changes all the time.

Anyway, I had also noted three other lessons he sent me home with from our last visit. This is a copy/paste of my exact words from 2008:

1. God designed man as a unit– physical and non-physical– and man functions best when the two are in harmony. What goes on in the inner person affects the outer person.

2. Every person gives himself an identity and functions from it. Everyone lives by what he thinks he is. (I have to change the identity of a driven woman to one more manageable….easier said than done…)

3. A person’s evaluation of and response to circumstances in life may produce symptoms felt in his body.

Yep, number #1 is definitely something that still rings true to me, and nope, I haven’t been able to attain the harmony needed between the physical and non-physical as I would like.

Number #2 makes me chuckle. I am a million times more driven today than I was back then. I think that’s the way I’m wired and will never change, but I also believe it has helped me with number #3 because I know now that my response to my circumstances of past trauma and chronic pain is to keep keeping on.

Get up.

Do the work.

Don’t give in.

You are not your body.

You are so much more.

I don’t believe in coincidences, and I think I was meant to read this reminder today. Maybe you are too? It’s always interesting to find some written inner reflection from years ago and compare it to the present. But what does the universe want me to learn from it today?

It has made me reflect on the last fifteen years. Since then I’ve changed careers, written 28 books, sold something like 1.2 million, put in so countless hours and crossed many milestones. I’ve done a ton of volunteer work during those years, with both children and dog rescue, stretching myself beyond limits that I’m amazed I could. I’ve gained eight grandchildren and worked hard to give them many fond memories of time with us. I helped my father move close to us and give more time for him. We’ve bought and sold many homes and built one from the ground up. I helped put two daughters through college and got through the lows of empty nest syndrome by setting new goals. I’ve worked hard to be a great wife and put my marriage first above all else and prove to my love that I am worth the effort.

Over those years, I’ve seen multiple doctors who gave me a few different diagnosis, of which several turned out to me wrong until drilling down and finding somewhat of an answer. Instead of turning my focus to those, my appointments and tests are only given a sliver of my time and thoughts and I continue to focus on other things. I try daily to be a better human. A better mom and nana. And wife. I try to scatter kindness. I sometimes fail. I get up and try again. And then again. I do have a place for my pain, and it’s usually between the pages of the books I write.


as I’m writing this, I’m looking back at the beginning and I’ve realized something.

The doctor was right.

I have found victory in my pain. It just took reflection to see that.

You can can find victory, too.

You are not your body.

You are so much more.

My advice if you are struggling:

Get up.

Do the work.

Don’t give in.



  1. Janice Wiles on December 15, 2022 at 10:18 am

    How inspirational! Thank you for sharing your inner struggles…and victories! I believe most of us can see a part of ourselves in your shared posts. With heartfelt appreciation and love, ♥️

  2. Helen Castrucci on December 15, 2022 at 10:53 am

    This really resonates with me. I’ve learned these through experience but can’t say I’m 100% successful at achieving these. I’ve felt my identity has changed based on physical limitations and I’m still struggling with figuring who I am. I miss the independent me.

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