If you’ve read my story then you know that I suffered with soul-crushing acne for several years back in my early 20’s. At the time I would have given anything to get clear.
The last thing I thought was that my acne could actually be a blessing. In fact, I saw it as a wicked curse.
But looking back 10 years later, it was a blessing; one of the best blessings I’ve ever received.
Think I’m nuts? Have I gone off the deep end?
Perhaps… but I challenge you to reserve your thoughts until the end of this post and then let me know what you think.
Acne Is Like A Check Engine Light For Your Body
As you move along on your journey to clear skin, remember this concept:
Acne is a sign from your body that there is a deeper internal health issue that needs to be addressed.
This concept is so important that I recommend tattooing it on your forehead (not really).
Let’s imagine it to the check engine light in your car.
If the check engine light in your car comes on, what do you do? You typically look under the hood of the car and try to figure out what the issue is, right?
The check engine light is nothing but a symptom of a deeper internal problem with your car. The problem itself could be anything from:
- Low or dirty oil
- Low tire pressure
- Failed air flow sensor
- Dirty filters
Acne is like a check engine light for your body. It is nothing but a symptom of a deeper internal problem within your body that needs to be addressed.
Yet what do most people do (including most derms)? They treat the symptom of the problem (acne) instead of the underlying cause!
To me this is pure insanity. Why on earth would someone ever think that by treating a symptom of a problem that it will somehow magically address the underlying root cause?
This is the equivalent of taking a hammer and smashing your car’s check engine light.
Did you get rid of the symptom? Yes, you can no longer see the check engine light.
But did you address the underlying cause of the problem? Hell no… your car still has low or dirty oil, a failed component, or dirty filters.
Instead of taking a look under the hood you eliminated the one thing that is trying to warn you of a deeper internal issue.
Yet thousands of people each day are doing just that. They are trying to treat their acne at the surface with creams, lotions, potions, etc.
I’m not completely against these things, but they need to be coupled with addressing the underlying cause (or causes) of the problem.
Your Acne Is Your Friend
Wouldn’t you say that the check engine light in your car is a positive thing? Of course… it alerts you if there is an issue so that you can promptly address it.
Check engine lights are a good thing.
Your acne is no different. It is doing nothing but looking out for you, trying to warn you that something is out of sorts within.
Acne is simply the messenger. It isn’t the true villain.
The true villains are the unhealthy lifestyle habits… the foods that are damaging your body, the lack of exercise you are getting, or the poor quality sleep you are getting.
If you want to curse anything, curse that.
This is a tough pill to swallow because it puts the responsibility back on the person suffering with acne. All of a sudden we go from the mindset of “poor me, why me?” to “wait a minute, you mean I’m responsible for my acne?”
Yes, that’s correct.
As human beings we like to point fingers and blame other people or things for our own shortcomings and life conditions.
But this does nothing to help you get clear. If anything, it makes you weaker.
If you truly want to get clear you first must fully accept 100% responsibility for your acne. Once you accept responsibility, that’s when we can move to a place where true healing can occur.
So many people go through their day cursing their acne, wishing it never existed. I was one of those people.
Let’s face it… when you have acne it’s extremely difficult to see acne as a positive because of all the “negative” thoughts and feelings it brings about:
- Being embarrassed to leave the house
- Dreading that first look in the mirror in the morning
- Feeling disgusted with the way you look
And on and on.
But remember… acne is nothing but a messenger. It’s trying to help you by alerting you that there is a deeper issue at play.
Why I Am Forever Grateful For My Acne
When I had acne my health was heading down a dark path. I was consuming lots of junk food, fast food, processed garbage, and alcohol.
Hey…. in my defense I was in college. That’s the diet of a college student, right?
It took years of suffering with acne before I put two and two together and realized it was my crummy diet that was causing almost all of my acne.
So I changed my ways. I slowly started introducing healthier more nutritious whole foods into my diet.
I drank green smoothies. I started cooking more in my college apartment instead of eating out. I started reading ingredient labels at the grocery store.
I became much more aware of what I was putting into my body.
My paradigm on food went from just something that tasted good and satisfied my hunger to seeing it as a tool to heal myself. Food all of a sudden became much more powerful.
As I increased the quality of the fuel I was putting in my body, everything changed. Not only did my acne clear, but other areas of my health improved.
I had more energy, better moods, and even packed on some extra muscle mass (which didn’t hurt with the ladies).
Acne also allowed me to discover the deep passion I have for health & fitness. I started going to the gym regularly and devouring every nutrition book I could get my hands on.
I literally couldn’t get enough of this stuff.
I experienced a complete paradigm shift surrounding nutrition, health, and wellness. Other people took notice and started coming to me for advice.
All of a sudden I was the health guru amongst my circle of friends… the guy who went to the gym and worked out, cooked his own meals, and watched what he ate.
It was almost as if I had a brand new identity.
If I hadn’t experienced acne, I would probably still be eating the same crummy diet I was eating over a decade ago. There’s no doubt in my mind that I would have been stricken with a more serious health condition had acne not forced me to take a deep look inside.
Also, had I not experienced acne this blog would not exist. Because of my acne I now have the opportunity to help others on their journey to clear skin.
My acne has given me so much, and for that I am truly grateful. I would not go back and change it if I could.
Your acne is trying to tell you something. Are you listening to it?
If you want any shot at getting clear you must work with your acne, not against it. LISTEN TO IT!
As the late Steve Jobs once said:
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.– Steve Jobs
It may not be obvious why you are suffering with acne right now. You can’t connect the dots looking forward.
But once you come out the other side, it will all make sense.
Your acne is happening for you, not to you. Keep this in mind as you continue on your journey to clear skin.