Love is why we are here.
Melissa is a petite force of nature. She is young but wise beyond her years. Prior to moving to Eau Claire with her husband and daughters, she was an Occupational Therapist working at the Center for the Intrepid in Texas. This is the nation’s premier facility for wounded veterans and amputee victims.
Melissa, like so many in the healing professions is an empath. Her love for others has always been on display. This glimpse involves loving oneself enough to create boundaries and live a life of purpose. I wish to thank Melissa for sharing her beautiful story of healing for both herself and others.
“It is ok to put yourself first sometimes. Here is your official permission slip.” –Marlene Durfee Pickett
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background Melissa?
I grew up in a tiny town in Maine with my sister and parents. My life has been the opposite of pretty when compared to social norms and yet I have always had love even when everything else was missing. We grew up in poverty and were homeless at times. I began babysitting at a very young age to assist in supporting our family’s needs and worked from that point on. I also took care of things at home as my Mom when ill was often unable to. She has battled a life long illness of severe depression and post traumatic stress disorder from abuse as a child. These were the beginning and roots of my lessons. Love helped me to overcome those difficult days. I choose to believe that I have been given these circumstances to learn and grow from and help others in similar situations. These lessons have gotten me to where I am today. Life can wear you down and make you bitter or it can make you more loving. I firmly believe you have a choice and my choice was love.
What were you like as a child?
From a young age, I had an innate desire to help people. At age 3, my Mom tells me I talked about healing the world. I have always had a burning love for humanity and a passion for people. I can empathize with anyone and sometimes that gift is a double-edged sword. It can wear you down. Thru my own exhaustion and physical destruction, I have needed to learn to put boundaries on that empathy. In general, that has been my biggest glimpse. I am working to have enough strength and trust in myself to accept what my gifts are and then allow myself to create those boundaries for myself.
What do you mean by boundaries Melissa?
When you are interacting with someone, truly care about them and connect with their needs you can absorb their energy. You have to love them enough and yourself enough to not absorb their energy. You do the most good by keeping yourself at the highest vibration.
I both thrive in patient care and in the past, have been drained by it. At times when connecting with a patient, I would absorb their illnesses. I would give them my energy and walk away with theirs. I found out the hard way that this pattern is not sustainable.
How did you learn to create boundaries for yourself?
I only found them by getting ill. Over the course of my whole life, I have been plagued with many health problems. I have always had a low immune system and have been unable to fight off colds. I have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic anemia and many other health issues. When my husband and I found out we were pregnant we were ecstatic. However, during pregnancy, I was diagnosed with POTS syndrome, which stands for: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. I was dizzy and weak and my nervous system was completely out of whack. I muddled thru it as I did other illnesses and soon we had two beautiful daughters 22 months apart.
It was only when I had the responsibility of taking care of 2 young children and a husband who was also a wounded veteran that I looked into the mirror and faced some harsh truths. I had a knowing that if I did not begin to take care of myself and make some radical changes, I was not going to be around to see my girls grow up.
I took ownership of myself. I was not getting answers from traditional medicine. My doctors were testing me for various cancers and rare connective tissue disorders. They knew my whole system was off but could not figure out why.
What did you do?
I began looking at every aspect of how I took care of myself. First, I had to make myself a priority. I even had a disagreement with my amazing husband when it came time for this commitment. Sometimes setting boundaries and getting rid of established unhealthy patterns is scary for all involved. I had to say “ I can’t take care of you any more in the same way we have always done things.” I needed to care for myself enough to set those boundaries so that later, I could be there for both him and my girls. This was really difficult but a huge step for me. It allowed me to begin glimpsing my spirit and living from a state of flow.
At around that same time, by wonderful serendipity, I found my way to nutritional response testing. I became aware of and eliminated the multiple toxicities that were wreaking havoc on my nervous system. Health-wise, this transformed my physical being and gave me the energy I needed to begin the pursuit of my spiritual purpose.
At the same time, I worked with prayer. I have an open communication with the Divine. I ask for help and am grateful when I receive the help. Throughout my life, when I have asked, everything I have needed has been provided for me. To have enough love for myself to ask was the step I needed to take. When I began to love myself fully in this way, I found I could push myself to the next level to love others in a way that would not kill me.
Can you expand upon what you said about “an open communication with the Divine”?
I have an inner dialogue and full communications with my God, Jesus, my angels and spirit guides. I don’t even know who they are but I know they are there and have always taken care of me. When I have questions or concerns, need guidance or protection, I ask and talk with my God. My answers come in all forms/opportunities and it takes openness and trust to observe and recognize the guidance provided.
When I get too busy and too in my head, I feel my body begin to tighten and hurt. I don’t breathe correctly in this state. When like this, I can miss my messages and guidance. Recently, I have learned to slow down, recognize and calm my system. Once calm, these channels of communication open for me.
When I first started to build this communication, I had to really work to stay connected. It was a daily and moment-to-moment commitment. Now that I follow my guidance and am on purpose, even with the busyness of my life, I am connected. I have an endless energy and do not get worn out anymore. I feel so fulfilled that I stay connected with greater ease now.
What does spirit mean to you Melissa?
I think it is this boundless support, guidance and love available to every person. The caveat? You must love yourself enough to ask for that help. It is here for all of us. We all have our purpose. No one is any different than anyone else. The key question may be, “What does it take for you to pay attention?” For me, it took my health crashing down around me. This illness rippled out to my family and the world. It prevented me from living a life of purpose. Now, I am so grateful for every day and moment I get to love and live that purpose.
How do we align with our purpose?
We look at where we come from. The truth of who we are is embedded within us- we cannot lose that. We arrive here with our purpose shining. I see that in each of my daughters. They are so different and wonderful. We carry our purpose. Ask yourself, “What did you truly and whole heartedly love as a child?” Revisit that. What was it? Many of us get lost in cultural expectations and begin to manifest different dreams, as we grow older. We get to adulthood, wake up and ask “how did I get here? We often wonder “why am I so unhappy?”.
Trust that the answers are with you. It just requires revisiting your roots. Asking, “What made me feel whole as a young child?” can be a wonderful way to begin finding your way back to alignment. Love yourself enough and trust yourself enough to pay attention to those clues you have been given throughout your life.
Melissa is now growing a thriving “nutritional response therapy” practice to help others find their way to health and purpose. Can you explain what that is?
Nutritional response testing is a non-invasive and scientifically based way to look at both nervous system health and organ health. In very simple yet incredibly accurate ways, it identifies what is stressing your body and blocking your nervous system. It elegantly identifies what you need to eliminate from your diet as well as what you need to support your system.
Thru this work, I feel as if I watch miracles on a daily basis. Patients who other healthcare workers often deem “hopeless” (as perhaps I was not too long ago), respond and heal. I simply teach them to understand what their body innately needs.
As the physical body heals, they quickly open up to their spiritual selves. Across the board, once a person hits a certain level of health, they begin to receive the guidance that I have spoken about. They begin to love themselves enough to live their purpose and that is simply amazing. It creates a ripple effect in our community that will positively impact future generations. This is my personal mission and I can’t wait to see what each and every one of you have to add to that positive transformation!
If you are interested in connecting with Melissa to learn more about nutritional response testing or to book a consultation, please contact her at: Family Tree Nutritional Health and Wellness in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 715-726-0548