We all have a story to tell. Sometimes our story is a warm fuzzy blanket we love to wrap around ourselves and sink in deep. We feel safe and protected from the world and all the things that can harm us. We remain there never changing our comfort level because this is who we are. Or, is our story one without boundaries—one that is evolving, continually changing, and progressing? Do we climb to new heights in life?
A core part of my story is that I am dyslexic. That is the long and short of it—I just love short and to-the-point stories. Dyslexia has been labeled a learning disability, one in which the eyes do not always send the correct message to the brain. Now that is a story that cannot be changed. Right? Actually that story can definitely be rewritten.
With this barrier, I struggled all the way through school. I was able to keep my grades up but it took me about three times longer than the average kids to do so. They would be out playing and I would be studying. I am not complaining, in reality that has been a gift. I learned to love studying. When I got to college, my teachers used to make the comment, “You must be typing your own papers.” I don’t think that was a compliment. I finally did graduate from college. During that time, I was married and started a family. A constant worry was that my kids would inherit this disability, so I worked at teaching my children everything I could. We told stories and then wrote them. We went on nature walks and wrote stories about what we found. We read constantly, always making the library one of our adventures. One of my kids told me I couldn’t spell anything. My comment was yes I can, just ask me what you need to spell and I will go get the dictionary. Through all of the struggles, some of my kids have inherited my learning disability but they learned how to compensate for it. Every one of them did well in school and has accomplished great success in life in spite of this or maybe it was because of this.
When I was around 40 years of age, I was teaching gymnastics and the owner of the gym asked me to do the monthly educational news report for the gym. The first thing that came to my mind was “Man, this lady doesn’t know my story.” How can I possibly write a news report when I type everything backwards and never spell any word the same twice on any page? (I am a very creative speller) I was in a dilemma. I had learned a lot about the body and how to make it perform to a greater level. Now I was asked to share that information with other coaches and the hundreds of parents who brought their kids to the gym. So do I try to rewrite my story or just share the facts with the woman who has asked me to do the impossible, therefore, avoiding the embarrassment? It would be so much more comfortable to say I can’t do that. Yet something inside me wanted more. So how could I do that? Could I really overcome my barrier?
My first step in writing was to take the challenge. I would do it. So the research began. I read everything I could find on dyslexia. I kept coming up with “that is just the way things are so just be content.” Well I wasn’t content. I wanted more. If I had been given this as a tool to teach me some important concept, then there must be a way to do that. (1Ne. 3: 7, Ether 12:27)
At first it took me an entire month to write the paper. I typed it up and waited for a day to reread it looking for backward written words. After repeating this process for a few weeks, I gave it to several people to edit my work. Finally, I had the owner do an edit before distribution. Wow, what a long process!
In the mean time I continued my investigation. One day I came upon a book written by a doctor who claimed he was an accidental psychologist. He made the claim that most learning disabilities (including dyslexia), dementia, depression and a number of other ailments could be cured or lessened by changing the diet. Wow, could I really rewrite my story that much? I was very willing to give it an honest try. I increased my Omega 3 fats and B Complex, decreased my sugar and some foods that seemed to bother me. I cut out as many of the toxins as I could and increased my activity. Things began to change. I was gaining increased concentration, I was beginning to see that my words were backwards and my spelling had improved. Rewriting my story was becoming a forward movement! I decided to take it up another step. I bought a book on spelling and grammar and began to memorize the words and rules over and over again. It takes more than one battle to win a war. Even though this is still my battle I am winning more often. It is becoming easier and a lot more enjoyable to write.
Today I continually try to maintain a healthy diet and live an active life style, which has helped me progress in all areas of my life, not just my dyslexia. That is the reason I want to share with you what I have learned and how I have rewritten my story. It is not an easy path to change what is deeply embedded in our soul but we can make steps and find tremendous benefits from doing so.
So what is your story?
I have an aunt that so loves her own story that the minute you greet her she starts to share all of her ailments. She just broke her hip. She is worried that her breast cancer is coming back. Her husband just passed away. She is sick and needs someone to come and help her get dressed. These are very legitimate stories and complaints. I have no doubted that these things are a real problem. They are a real hindrance. Yet what can she do to fill her life with joy? Is it possible for her to rewrite her story? What can she do? Can she learn more about health? Can she perform some service that would benefit others? Could she accept help from others and in turn learn to help them too? How could her story be different? Does your story need a rewriting? What in your life is preventing you from becoming the person that far exceeds the present you?
This can be a win-win journey for all. Rewriting any part of your story that needs change provides you with an inner happiness, confidence and piece of mind. Continually rewriting your story increases self-esteem and enriches relationships. It allows you to truly serve. It gives room in your heart to be genuinely loving and understanding toward others and yourself.
Yes, we all have a struggle or two. Yes, we all have resistance to our dreams. Use this to power yourself forward. Yes I have dyslexia and yes I have published 6 books and counting.
It gives you wings! Come fly with me!