The Beauty that Remains
I had someone comment to me that they found if they just gave in to whatever it was going wrong with their health they did better. My response was that we all had to do what worked for us but that I found for myself that if I just gave in, it signaled my body to quit trying and I would be totally bedridden and never get out of this bed. I have to keep fighting and having the attitude that I will not give up or give in and that my illness does not define me.
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” Jesse Owens
I loved the determination quote above and determined I am. If I were not, I would be totally bed bound now. And I do not want that. This is why even with the new critical back issues I am having, I make the effort to sit up in my chair for a few minutes each day. I have met people who could get in their bed and remain there and be happy having others wait on them or do for them. I can not do that. I know that making myself get up in my chair and sit a few minutes every day gives me that freedom that is so important to me. That is how strong my determination is to not be in this hospital bed all the time. It is all a matter of what is most important to us.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
I am just as determined to find joy in my day ever day. That is my choice just as it is another person’s choice to let themselves be consumed with misery and hate every moment of their lives. We can not choose for another but can only encourage them to live and find that joy that is there. Being chronically ill or in chronic pain or disabled does not mean we can not do. Never live life where you look back and ask yourself “Oh why did I not try to do more? Why did I not put forth more effort?” If we live that way, we will regret it and life is now. There is no rewind button for us.
My sweet son, when he gets up, will ease in here and sit a glass of juice on my little desk here to help me get started. What a blessing that is. Sometimes he will look at me and then just gently touch my leg and tell me he knows it is a really bad start of the day for me and he is there for me. Simple words but what makes them so important is that they are words of care and words of action and he has taken the time to look into my eyes and see just how bad my pain is and to offer words of comfort. He did not have to give but a few minutes of time to do that and that meant a lot. I am so thankful for both of my sons. They each give me encouragement and give me love in their own ways.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you do not have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah
It does not take much to help another. Words are beautiful tools if given from the heart. We do not need to hear about how your pain is just like ours even though you are heading out the door to go to work or to go shopping and I can not get up from the bed because my pain has totally disabled me at the moment. We do not need to hear about Aunt so and so who has what we have and she did just fine. We just need to hear you say you care and you understand as much as your experience allows it.
My sweet Daisy is good for me because she will demand his few minutes of loving and attention that distracts me from pain. She crawls up on my bed and comes up and snuggles close to me and doggie talks to me to get my attention. When she sees that I am hurting so, she does things to try to soothe me like licking my arm. I gently run my fingers through her fur as I talk to her. If I stop, she nudges me just like she nudges me if I lose my oxygen hose and she can tell I am having trouble breathing. Loving on a pet is a soothing thing and makes me smile. We have quite the conversation and she makes faces that make me lay here giggling in spite of the pain and I thank God for another day to keep fighting and for my sons and Daisy and my home…all blessings. Daisy is one of those joys that I still have in my life.
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one that you know you have for sure.” Oprah
We have no guarantees of tomorrow and if we do not live today, we may not be here tomorrow or later today or next week to live our lives to the fullest. This is why we should not be complacent and let the victim mentality overtake us. We should always be striving to be a survivor and a thriver. Does this mean I never have moments where I just want to lay here and not fight? No. It simply means I do not let those moments become my whole life.
Determination, attitude and choices are all important parts of everyone’s life and even more important in a chronically ill and/or disabled person’s life. I find I get mixed reactions when I state that and I think it is because some do not like knowing that they are responsible for their own happiness and for their lives. I have had some get mad at me but what really makes them mad is they know it is the truth and it strips them of the excuses as to why they are complaining or unhappy and they do not like that. It is so much easier to just be miserable and blame everything such as the illness, people not being there for us, etc than it is to fight to make the day happier and meaningful. It is much easier for them to be a victim instead of doing the work it takes to be a survivor.
It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit
I had a person tell me that they “acted weak and unable to do things because they liked the attention”. I said “You do know one day people will get tired of always having to take care of things that you are capable of doing yourself and of being made to entertain you when you can do that yourself too”. They actually said they knew that but were going to “milk it for all it was worth” while they could just like they took advantage of people’s generosity of money when they really did not need it and would then spend it on things other than paying those medical bills such as buying jewelry or other luxuries. I do not believe in that. They loved being a victim and used it to gain attention and money. I value my self-respect and prefer to do for myself the things I can do instead of taking advantage of others.
Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught. ~J.C. Watts
When I ask for help, it is because I truly need it..I have asked people for help making trips to the doctors in the past and without their generosity, I would have had to cancel those doctor appointments because we did not have the money. I was not out to line my pockets or get ahead off the hard-earned money of others nor take advantage of their generosity when we asked for donations that time. And I stopped the donations as soon as the gas amount was reached because I wanted people to know that I was honest and only needed a little helping hand not thousands of dollars that I could spend on what I want or to get a couple of thousand ahead. My heart says those that give would love to be “ahead” too with their hard-earned money and would not like being scammed. That is why I can not do that.
Life is what we make it with the tools and things we have. We can make it a happy life, a fulfilling life…in spite of our health or we can make it a life of depending on others for things we can do ourselves because we feel we are owed it. Life does not owe us. People do not owe us. We owe ourselves to live our lives to the fullest.
And for me…my life..even when I am knocked to the floor and laying here looking at the stars…contains much beauty that still remains for me to see.
image from quotestoliveby4u.com
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