Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Are You a Wayfinder?

Ever wonder why part of the activities of the scouts is to be able to find their way in the wilderness?  There are many methods that allow us to find our way in unfamiliar territory, some are scientific and others are more nature based or ritual based.  Being uncertain of your direction leaves you disoriented and in a downward spiral looking for which way is up.

Following the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness is as if someone blindfolded you, spun you around fast and then made you try to walk a straight line.  It’s hard to become centered when you’ve been sent spinning by the doctor.  The amazing thing is that many people are able to find their way no matter how many distractions come their way.

No one is prepared for the disorientation that comes with a health challenge, but there are ways to reorient yourself to your surroundings so you can reach your destination, health and healing.  It requires that you take some time to become familiar with your new surroundings.  Orient yourself to the physical, emotional and spiritual that you are experiencing.  Allow them to be your guiding stars and follow them to reach your destination.

It’s important that you find a system for find your way that is congruent with your beliefs and values.  Don’t simply pick up a book and follow the directions.  Wayfinding needs to be a natural process or you’ll become even more disoriented.  Developing your internal compass is how you will screen all the information that serves to give you clues about where you are in the world. 

Having the capacity to find your way will provide comfort as you face your health challenge.  Giving yourself every possible tool to orient yourself to your new life will allow you to make better decisions.  Becoming a wayfinder means that you are determined to find your way in the midst of the confusion.  Finding your way amid the chaos is the goal of the wayfinder.  Are you will to embark on that journey?


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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