I do not recall how I came to be friends with author, Natasha Munson,but I do call her "friend." Over the years we have talked extensively about business, books, and building vision. We have shared endlessly about love and relationships, our children, and an array of personal issues that I am sure both of us feel comfortable will always stay between us. We have laughed and cried and encouraged one another through our own struggles. She is my friend. I am also a fan. She is the author of a series of several books,Life Lessons For My Sisters: How to Make Wise Choices and Live a Life You Love!, her second, Love Lessons For My Sisters: How To Find and Keep All The Love You Deserve!, and her latest, Spiritual Lessons For My Sisters: How to Get Over the Drama and Live Your Best Life!.
Her work encourages and empowers women towards becoming their highest selves and living their best lives. She is a Light in a world that often strives to darken and dampen the feminine Spirit. So, when I reached out and didn't hear anything back, for months, from one of my favorite chat buddies, I was confused until the email came through my social networking inbox. Natasha had been diagnosed with Lupus late in 2009 and was having a hard time maintaining her own life on a daily basis. After a house fire, and losing everything, the episode began and has continued to impact her life in a significant way.
BBB: How has Lupus impacted your world?
Munson: It feels like my entire life changed when I was diagnosed with Lupus. Some days I walk a bit funny because of swollen feet and joint pain. Some days I am literally in the bed crying because of intense pain. I do believe that we attract situations into our lives based on our belief systems, so in-between these Lupus episodes I will ask what I am supposed to learn. The answer has been to 1) learn to ask for help 2) have patience 3) stop waiting so long to ask for help 4) allow myself to be taken care of 5) take care of my body and treat it well.
BBB: How has it affected your family; your daughters?
Munson: My daughters are amazing. They help me so much in dealing with Lupus. From literally making me a meal or carrying me to my room, helping me walk and get around. I believe Lupus has allowed me to let them be young adults. Instead of always taking care of them I can let them take care of me too, and they do a great job at it. As far as affecting my life and family goals, this has really allowed me to stop pushing and simply let things be. I make plans but it's not a catastrophe if they need to change. I have learned to speak up and express myself even more so. In many strange ways it has given me even more of a peaceful approach to life and challenges because I know for sure that I cannot do it all and it's all not that serious.
BBB: What tips for others facing the same types of challenges would you like to share?
Munson: I would tell others who are dealing with life changes to:
- Embrace it. Yes, as difficult as it may be, accept that this is happening to you. Don't go into woe is me mode. But realize that you will have to deal with whatever is affecting you.
- Accept help. If someone wants to help you, let them. Trying to be super strong is not helpful to you at this time. It's ok to show weakness, cry, say I need help, or just ask someone to hug or hold you.
- Live in the moment. Appreciate every moment and breath you are given. Illness surely shows you what is important and what you cherish.
- Have faith. Know that you can and will get through this. The moment will pass, the life challenge will pass. The one thing you will always have is the memory of how you dealt with those moments. Allow the God within you to show up and handle these difficulties for you.
Natasha has been promoted and featured in TheNew York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today Weekend, Publishers Weekly, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Writer’s Digest, Essence, Ebony, Heart & Soul, Black Issues Book Review, and Sister Power magazine. She has also appeared on Lifetime Live! (Lifetime Television), BET Nightly News, At Home – Live! with Chuck & Jenni, Mornings with Scott & Lorrie, Mom Talk Radio, Written Voices radio, Biography Channel and CBN.com (The Christian Broadcasting Network). She resides in Atlanta, GA with her two daughters.