I wish, for the sake of myself and all other souls that walk this earth, that life was simple. Do you remember when you were a child, and you thought that certain things were pure fact? When  marriage meant happily ever after, being a grown up meant you had your life together, the future meant happiness and hope and family was there till the end? 

“Life’s lessons are like pebbles, if you do not acknowledge the pebbles– life will find a boulder just for you.”

Real life isn’t so concrete and consistent. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going as planned; it means that when your soul took on its human experience it left its plan for life with a trusted guide.

I used to think that my eating disorder was the worst experience I could have had. Today I am grateful for it. There are lessons each of needs to learn in this lifetime, and life will guide you towards opportunities for learning and growth but when we don’t take them, when we continue to make the same choices that are not serving us, life gets louder. Life will lead you where you need to go in order to grow from the depths of your soul and learn the lessons you were put on this earth to learn. 

Sometimes all life needs to do is drop a pebble in your path and sometimes when you keep ignoring all the pebbles life finds a boulder just for you. 

My eating disorder was my boulder. There were many things that I was needing to learn, lessons that no longer served me, that I needed to let go of. The pebbles were not enough. My eating disorder and my depression became my boulders. 

When I wasn’t catching on to the lessons of my soul, life had to make things more unavoidable and more clear. So I was hit with debilitating depression and an eating disorder. As painful as it all was, I was forced to make new choices, to redirect my life, to look at my values and to look at myself. It was a gift. 

Without my eating disorder I never would have gone to treatment at Monte Nido in Malibu California where I was nurtured by the most loving and kind women I have ever known. I found myself in a community that taught me what true, unconditional, healthy love and care looked like. I learned how to be in relationship with others, and with myself. My eating disorder led me to people who taught me how to take care of myself and fostered the strength within me. My recovery brought me a whole new sense of awareness and empowered me to stand up for myself. 

When I was in the last year of my disorder I lived with my grandparents. I am so unbelievably thankful for that. Although the circumstances that led me there were painful and I still grieve over that, I would not be the same person I am today otherwise. I was blessed enough to learn a loving relationship through watching my grandparents’ love never waiver — even after 56 years. They taught me about life, and they became some of my closest confidants and biggest supports. 

When my grandfather passed away I was still in treatment in California and I wasn’t able to fly home to New York for the funeral. I broke the day I heard the news of him passing. That day I chose to step into recovery. His passing broke me, into millions of pieces. It was a breaking that needed to happen so that I could rebuild in new ways. I had a knowing that he would roll over in his grave if he knew I didn’t eat my food that night. It was reflecting on his wishes for my health and happiness that allowed me to take that step into recovery. If I hadn’t developed the close and loving relationship with him that I did, who knows where I would be today. 

Now, more than 4 years later, I live in California. I no longer feel affected by my disorder. I have close, loving and healthy relationships. And I am still growing. 

I thought that my eating disorder was the worst thing to happen to my life. I felt that my disorder changed my life, that nobody would see me the same again, that it threw my whole life course off track because I missed school and took a gap year, I lost friends and a plethora of other things. 

Honestly, all those feelings were facts. My eating disorder did change my life, it did change the way I was perceived, it did throw my life off its current track, it did set me back in school, and I did lose people. AND it all brought me here to this moment. My eating disorder changed my life in the most beautiful way. It brought me to treatment, it brought me awareness, it brought me recovery, it helped me lose the people that weren’t meant to be there and to take the time to wait for the right opportunities for myself.  

The sequence of events were painful. They threw all the plans I had for my life in the garbage. Because those plans were not going to bring me the same opportunity for growth. Those plans would not allow me the space to learn the lessons I was meant to learn. 

Life happened!

All the curve balls, and all the painful experiences are all redirections so that we can reach our highest purpose, grow to our capacity, learn what we are craving from the depths of our souls, and find wholeness. 

Life happens and we never expect what life throws at us. That is okay though. It is all a message of redirection to help us find what our souls are looking for. I was a kid that thought mom and dad would be married forever, that I would be happy, grow up and go to college, finish in four years, do amazing things right away, get married and live happily ever after. 

Clearly my life did not go that way.

I would not trade my experiences for anything. Life has handed me many painful moments yet life has raised me into a better version of who I planned for myself to be.

Wherever you are in your life, whether you are in the season of positivity and joy or in a season of struggle and pain, I hope you can hold on enough to trust your intuition, your soul, and the power of life to guide you. Everything as intention and purpose. There is learning and growth to be had in the good, there is also learning and growth to be found in the difficult. 

I have immense gratitude for my eating disorder. I no longer perceive it as the thing that ruined my life plan. It is what realigned me to a life I never thought I was capable of living. My eating disorder protected me by bringing me to the people who were meant to be in my life in big and meaningful ways. I am grateful that I have learned to notice the pebbles; life need not hand me any more boulders. 

You are not a human being having a spiritual experience; You are a spiritual being having a human experience.

With Love and Gratitude,

Danielle Pomilla

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