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He needed to go to hell and back to become an inspirational figure. Great teachers from the past and the present came from various unfortunate places. Dale Carnegie pursued a failing acting career before becoming a public speaker and best-selling author. After Dale performed a road show, he arrived back to New York in his mid-20s with no job, broke and living in a local YMCA. Andrew Carnegie (no relation to Dale), was a Scottish immigrant who would start working at the age of 13 in jobs that required 10 to 12 hours per day of work, for 6 days each week. His family was not wealthy at all, with his father struggling to keep employment. As we read already, this didn't stop Andrew from becoming one of the wealthiest and charitable individuals the world has ever known. Kevin Hart was declared by TIME magazine in 2015, as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. I had learned so much about healthy relationships that I knew that I could not be in a relationship that didn't practice recovery. I was committed to becoming healed, not only for my benefit, but for the long-term benefit of my kids as well. My spiritual healing was very strong and with trusted friends for support, I knew what I needed to do. I never thought I would ever be divorced or be the one to file for one. In my marriage my husband was always the one threatening to divorce me! While I was scared, I made the decision from a position of strength. Although Jenny chose to divorce her husband after a therapeutic separation, many couples reenter their renegotiated marriages successfully. For many couples, structured time out with terms and goals often secures their coupleship. It is important that you do what works for you. Do what you think is healthiest for you. It also likely impacts our risk for getting allergies. Many of us believe that this second genome plays a crucial role in deciding how healthy, or how sick, we will be.

How is the Microbiome Created? When we are born, we go through our mothers' vaginal canals (the birth canal) and are exposed to our mothers' microbiomes. We know that when a baby is born by vaginal delivery, the bugs from the mom's vagina populate the baby's gut. We also know that if a baby is born via cesarean section, the bugs from the mom's skin populate the baby's gut. We know that the composition of the gut bugs change based on if the baby is breastfed or formula fed, whether the baby received rice cereal or was given antibiotics for an infection. They are exposed to other people, our pets, and our plants, all of which are covered in bacteria and nourish their gut. They go outside and are exposed to dirt with all of its valuable microbes. They eat the grass and lick things that our pets have licked, and they obtain more bugs. You wouldn't have believed it in his early years, though, when his father was a cocaine addict who was in and out of jail and Kevin lived in a single-parent home. Jim Stovall became an Olympic weightlifting champion, best-selling author, television network creator and multi-millionaire, all AFTER turning blind in his mid-20s. Sean Stephenson spent 30 years of his life doing motivational speaking in front of millions of people, became a best-selling author and defied countless odds. The countless odds originated from osteogenesis imperfecta (a disease that causes your bones to be extremely brittle). He recently passed in August of 2019, yet he wasn't even supposed to survive his birth. I can imagine some of you reading right now could look around and find some great leaders and mentors in your world. They aren't super prolific, successful people, but they've built a good life. Maybe there's just one aspect about a person you know where you say, Wow, I'd love to be like that, someday. In a single week, I identified three instances where three people in my life were very conversational and genuinely interested in people. Because of their genuine interest in others, one of these people was well-known by gas station employees and graciously greeted with kind conversation. Your best determination will come from a place of strength, not from fear or shame or rage. Am I Crazy to Love Him?

In your healing journey it is normal to experience a multitude of feelings and, often, contradictory ones. You may hate him one moment, love him the next, be enraged another, and then feel profound sadness. But no, you aren't crazy for still feeling love. You may honor valued history together and treasure what you experience to be honest times. Others may certainly tell you you're crazy. Then some partners are so angry, tired, and despairing they can't fathom the thought of still loving the addict. But don't confuse your loving feelings with not being free to be angry or not having a voice. These feelings are yours--yours to own without having to justify or explain. Exposure to small numbers of pathogens will strengthen our immune system. Our gut bugs also change in composition and proportion, though, depending on whether we develop an illness, on whether we take antibiotics, and on what we eat. We are just on the brink of understanding what all these changes mean and which changes are good and which ones are bad. Consider how your bacteria change depending on how you are delivered and what you are exposed to when you are young. The Ps and Fs: Prevotella and Firmicutes There are millions of bugs in our gut, and we don't know much about most of them. However, there do appear to be several principal types of gut bugs that change with diet in some studies. Prevotella and Firmicutes are two classes of gut bugs that change in number based on what we eat. We know that when we eat high-fat foods, we have more Firmicutes than Prevotella. When we reduce fat or carbohydrates, we increase Prevotella and decrease Firmicutes. Another one of these people left a restaurant with coupons for a free meal because he genuinely made the manager's day. The final person couldn't help, but have people come by and say hi in the middle of our conversation together.

I see how well-received all of these individuals are and I think, Man, they must really care about these people! Everybody loves them! Why don't I? Three years is not long enough. A transformation from being an apathetic, lazy person takes YEARS of time to foster and develop. But, where does this all lead to? Where are we headed when we decide to be a passionate, caring individual? What does it look like to reverse a lifetime of unplanned apathy? Remember, though, that while love is often unconditional, healthy relationships are not. To make your relationship work you need to establish conditions. It will take time to sort out the basis of your love, its strength and foundation. Learning the news, whether it's done in a formal disclosure process, a media story, or an inadvertent mishap, can make you feel like your heart has been ripped out of your chest. The intensity and waves of emotion seem relentless and never-ending. Yet when you allow yourself the opportunity to be witnessed, validated, and led by others who have been there and found a path out of this dark time, you will find the strength to take the self-care actions that are a part of your healing. There are a lot of questions at this stage. Your head may feel as if it is exploding or you may be absolutely numb--probably both--but you will find answers. It is my hope that you are already finding direction and will continue to do so as you read on. Reflective Thoughts and Questions When we eat fiber, we increase Prevotella. When we go through gastric bypass surgery, we increase Prevotella.

A study was done that looked at rural Africans and African Americans. The African-American diet was high in animal fat, low in plants, and low in fiber. Interestingly, the Africans had a Prevotella predominance in their guts, and the African Americans had a Firmicutes predominance in theirs. The study went further, which is the best part. Researchers found that the African Americans had more colonic inflammation and the Africans had less. Then the researchers switched the diets of the two groups, and they found that the bacterial predominance shifted. The Africans developed a Firmicutes predominance, and the African Americans had a Prevotella predominance. And on top of that, colonic inflammation increased in the Africans after the diet switch and colonic inflammation decreased in the African Americans! We've discussed plenty of statistics, figures, famous examples and stories, but let's do a side-by-side comparison. I read two articles that provide this great comparison. The two articles tell stories about two people's lives. One article, Apathy and Other Small Victories, talks about Shane's life. The other article, The Happiness Project, talks about Gretchen's life. If we look at both of their stories, what can we learn? Shane's Life from Apathy and Other Small Victories Shane is a man who's pathetically apathetic. He may be the very definition of this phrase. He's been drifting around from city to city for a while now, becoming more and more comfortable with the Greyhound bus system. If so, what has that been like for you? If so, explain.