I’ve always been confident about my looks, my health, and my ability to get what I want. Then I got The Face Rash. For over a year now, I have had this splotchy red rashy thing across the inside of my cheeks, my nose, forehead and chin. And I’m so grateful. Here’s why…
We’ve all heard the phrase “learn from your mistakes”. Our adversities in life can be our biggest teachers – whether they are mistakes, unexpected hardships, ill-fortune, loss or disease. However, it’s up to us to look for the lessons in these things, after we are done with the crying and cursing and self-pitying, of course. 🙂
Well, that exactly how it is with The Face Rash. For months it stressed me to no end – not knowing where it came from or what was wrong with my health, hating the way I looked, not being able to get rid of it, and feeling a failure as a health coach. But gradually I started to notice the lessons. And now, wow, what life-changing lessons they have been!
Here’s what The Face Rash has taught me:
Let go of control and go with the flow
You may be surprised about this lesson, but it’s probably the most important one for me and has changed my life the most.
As usual, whenever I have symptoms of ill health, I immediately look to my Primal 6, and #1 is thoughts. So the first person I went to see about my rash was my intuitive healer. Yes, I have an intuitive healer! This wonderful woman has taught me so much about the power of our thoughts on our health, so I went to her for a session.
I noticed a definite theme in what she said. “Left brain is controlling/dominating; the right brain is screaming to be heard…” “masculine side is taking over; you are weighed down by feeling you have to be strong for everyone else” “lack of trust in the universe, the system, etc. – feel like you have to control it”.
Around the same time, Kaiya (then 3), started having uncharacteristic angry outbursts and constant power struggles with me. My faithful parenting book suggested that children who engage in power struggles learn to battle for control from having a controlling parent. Umm, that would be me.
Then the clincher was a friend telling me that in a Louise Hay’s book she was reading, she learned that skin problems have to do with trying to control everything in your life too much. Ok, ok, I got it.
I started meditating, envisioning that every breath out of me was “letting go of control” and every breath in was “going with the flow”. I wrote the word FLOW everywhere. I made an effort to stop micro-managing my household and my family; to ask more for other’s ideas and input; to admit that I didn’t have all the answers; to accept flaws in my family; to stop over-scheduling life.
Kaiya’s power struggles disappeared as she didn’t have anyone to struggle against. Brad and I communicated better. Even my relationship with my mum flourished. I became more relaxed. And things always seemed to work out better when I didn’t try so hard to make it what I thought I wanted.
Did the rash go away? No.
Did my relationships, my family, my attitude and my life improve? Yes!
Thanks Face Rash.
Letting go of some vanity is so freeing
My whole life people have complimented me on my skin, and I have never worn makeup (except mascara and occasional lipstick). As The Rash got redder and flaky and bumpy, even people I didn’t know asked me, “What’s that on your face?”
I pretended like it didn’t bother me, telling myself, “Well at least I’m not single and don’t go out socialising much.” But normally I would be excited for the occasional party, and instead I started dreading them because of my face rash. Instead of jumping into pictures, I always offered to be the picture taker. I stared at my rash in the bathroom mirror several times a day. And I stared too long at everyone else’s clear, beautiful skin.
But then I remembered how freeing it was as a backpacker to wear frumpy clothes, no mascara and never style my hair. I reflected on the times when bad hair days, extra body weight, fashion and pimples stressed me out unnecessarily. Vanity is really just a mind-set, so I decided to change mine.
I decided to stop the chore of plucking my unruly eyebrows, and even stopped washing my hair for about 4 months (but that’s another story, coming soon). I got more comfortable with just being me, unvarnished, rash and all.
I also realised that as long as I was with friends that I was really comfortable with, I never thought about the rash, so why not spend more time with those people, than with people I felt I had to impress?
Did the rash go away? No.
Did I learn to let go of some of my lifetime of vanity programming? Yes!
Thanks Face Rash.
Health is a journey, not a destination
A chronic rash was especially surprising to me and those who know me, because I’m a health coach and health is my passion. I have “figured out” all the secrets to optimum health and therefore should be in perfect health for the rest of my life. Right? Nope.
After 6 years of living Primally and feeling and looking the best I have in my life, here comes The Rash. Ok, I must be slacking on one or two of my Primal 6. So I work on them all year and still have the rash. Hmm, I think…
How can I be a role model for good health when I can’t figure out my own health?
However, over time, I realise that health is not something we arrive it. It is a fluid, ever-changing part of our lives that is so complex and holistic in nature, that to aim to “achieve” it is like aiming for perfection. What a revelation! In life, the goal is not to be perfect, but to be constantly growing and evolving. And so it is with health.
My health journey over the year also taught me so much about all the amazing health practitioners there are out there. I’ve consulted an iridologist, a homeopath, an intuitive healer, an applied kinesiologist and chiropractor, a nutritionist, a naturopath, a food intolerance test, a colonic hydrotherapist, a general practice doctor, and a functional medicine doctor. I learned from books, videos and articles all about fungus, gluten, digestion, gut disorders, food intolerances, parasites, rashes, automimmune diseases, and diagnostic testing.
Has the rash gone away? No.
Have I been on an informative and enlightening health journey that will also help me be a better health coach? Yes.
Thanks Face Rash.
Some hurts take years to heal
This last lesson is one that I had already been learning through my sessions with the aforementioned amazing intuitive healer. It’s incredible to learn how emotional pain can stay in the subconscious mind for decades, causing physical pain and illness long after your conscious mind has forgotten the experience.
Well, I’m now learning more about how physical damage can take years to heal, too. Does time heal all wounds? Maybe not on it’s own, but it’s definitely a key component of the healing process.
If I had been in a rush to clear up this rash, I would have gone to a dermatologist and just put some cream on it. I would have covered it with make up.
And then I would have never found out that I have a very leaky gut (READ: damaged small intestine wall), a dientamoeba parasite the lab finally found, and a high intolerance to gluten.
I am treating the parasite now, but my poor gut still has a lot of healing to do. And it’s going to take time. But what’s another year of nurturing and learning about my body and myself?
Is the rash gone yet? No.
Have I learned the sources of my body’s imbalances and how to begin healing the damage? Yes.
Thanks Face Rash.
Rash UPDATE End of December 2013:
After taking antibiotics for the parasite, not only did I test negative for the parasite, but my ugly rosacea face rash completely cleared up from my whole face. Almostly instantly! Was the parasite the cause of my rash? Or does Rosacea just respond well to antibiotics? Hmmm…
I could look back and say it would have been nice to have just tested for parasites in the beginning, but then I wouldn’t have learned all I did. And after so long with that rash, I can’t stop marveling at how nice I look without it. I’d forgotten what I’d looked like before, and now I really appreciate my nice skin.
I’m now working on healing the damage to my intestines. Here’s how I’m healing my leaky gut and how you can heal yourself of most anything.
Rash UPDATE December 2014:
We have been traveling around the world for 7 months, and my gut healing protocol got left somewhere along the way, as I delved into all the amazing foods of the world. It wasn’t until the 5th month, after 4 weeks in Mexico eating lots of corn (one of my gut irritants), that The Rash came back. Boo! Its looking pretty red and inflamed.
My first thought was that the parasite must be back. I started looking into parasites again and learned so much more! I realised that parasites are always present within us, and it’s only when our guts are out of balance that they start to flourish and cause problems. Instead of eliminating parasites, my aim should be to keep my gut, health and body in balance!
I’ve decided to wear a little light make up to cover The Rash, which helps me feel way less stressed about, as I know stress contributes to my digestive issues! And I’m turning my focus to balancing, rather than curing.
Rash UPDATE January 2017:
I’ve written a second article about what’s happened with The Rash over the last 2 years. You won’t want to miss it, as there’s been Big changes and Big learnings! And wait til you see my face pictures. Hope it may help you with your own Rash.
Please feel free to comment below with any questions! I do this to help others and that includes you. xo
My Ugly Rosacea Face Rash is Making Me a Better Person – January 2017