Over a couple of years ago, I woke up with a headache that I didn’t realize would change my life. At that time, it was a nuisance slowing me down, making it impossible for me to function in my little universe. But, by the end of the night, I learned that this throbbing pain was a sign that something was really wrong as doctors revealed that I’d had a stroke.

Fast forward to that present and I’ve started to let go of the anger and even stopped punishing myself for being so annoyed back then. Instead of indulging those feelings, I’ve started channeling my energy into figuring out how I was going to use this event to learn and grow as a person. The way I see it, if I was able to get through the experience, there had to be something that I can take away from it.

Among the many, many lessons I have learned and continue to learn since this turning point, there are three major realities that have started to become clear for me:

One. You must listen to your body. It may seem silly, can take time and be inconvenient, but it’s worth it to protect one of your most valuable assets. After all, you only get one.

Two. When something happens, use it to look to something ahead of you. For months, I was consumed with trying to rationalize things that I forgot to appreciate the fact that may this event was meant to get me to something else, as long I was open to taking the journey.

Three. Be kind to yourself. At the end of the day, do what ever you can to create the best state of mind for yourself. That means, surrounding yourself around things that inspire and drive you. There’s too much dark stuff out there. Create your own peace.

Every day I work very hard to own and grow from the experience and everything that happened. Some days that are easier than others. But despite all that, I come back in full circle and focus on what tomorrow looks like and how I can help shape it for myself.