Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Glass is Overflowing

I've had allergies for most of my life. Spring and summer were always a challenge for me growing up. I would have itchy, watery eyes as well as nasal congestion and even asthma! I had allergy shots and took lots of medicines. I also had to use asthma inhalers! Not a lot of fun, as any allergy sufferer will tell you.

This past few days here in the Seattle area, I have been really miserable with my allergies. This is the worst its been in many years for me.

I have had to ponder why it is that I'm having worse allergies this year. I have a theory.

Many years ago, I started working with a doctor who helped me identify a number of foods that I'm sensitive to. Wheat is one of those foods. I gave up wheat entirely for about 2 years. When I did that an interesting thing happened. First off, I felt 100% better! The constant low grade fatigue that I had almost entirely disappeared! My migraine headaches went away. Finally, my 'seasonal' allergies in the spring and summer pretty much vanished! I just didn't have them anymore!

I explain it this way: If you have a full glass of water sitting in front of you, and you try to pour more water in to the glass, it overflows. There is no 'capacity' to hold the additional water. Likewise, if your body is the glass, and the water in it represents it's current 'load' dealing with irritants or toxins, if the glass is filled to capacity, then any additional load is going to cause the glass to overflow.

In my way of looking at it, 'symptoms' are the same as the glass overflowing.

When I 'cleaned up' my diet and stopped eating wheat (something that is an irritant/toxin to my body), I took a lot of water out of my glass. Then, when seasonal allergens came along (which was like pouring more water into my glass), ,my body could handle it without producing symptoms - the glass did not overflow!

In the past couple years, I've gotten increasingly 'lax' about my diet. I eat a lot more bread and pasta now than I did a couple years ago, or even last year. Now, "suddenly" I'm having really bad allergies. Hmmmm.... perhaps there is a connection?

I think this analogy is really effective in helping us to understand ourselves and our reactions (physical, mental and emotional) to life. If our glass (whatever that glass represents) is already full, we don't have any capacity to 'hold' more.

A simple example would be our stress level. Normally, maybe an extra assignment at work might not cause us to worry or freak out, but if we've just had a major life change, or a loss, for example, our 'glass' might already be filled to capacity. The new requirement at work might cause the glass to overflow - and we have an emotional response that isn't the norm for us. The glass has overflowed.

I personally am embarking on a month of 'no wheat' in my diet... to attempt to empty some of the water out of my glass, and calm down these 'seasonal allergies' of mine. It's a great reminder that it is up to each of us to monitor the level of the water in our glass, whatever that glass may be, and keep it at a sustainable level, where we can handle the extra water that life sometimes pours into it!

If you have any area of your life that is out of balance, or where you are consistently struggling with, I encourage you to take a look at your glass. See what's in there and determine if there is anything that you can or should dump out of it to make room for what life might be sending your way!