“My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”~ Stephen Hawking
I read this quote and it instantly spoke to me. Not only is it valuable for those disabled, it is also a valuable lesson for those chronically ill for that is a disability too. It is an equally important message for all people for if we allow our discontent to make us spiritually disabled then we have crippled ourselves.
I am blessed in that I am one of those people who has a very upbeat personality in spite of my disabilities and illnesses and even before I became so ill, in life in general. I have talked a lot about how important our attitude is in life period but also how important when dealing with disability or chronic illness because no matter what trial we are dealing with, if we allow ourselves to become spiritually disabled we have lost the battle.
Spiritually disabled has nothing to do with religion and more to do with your inner spirit that keeps you fighting to survive. It is that spirit that holds our hope and dreams. And hope is essential in dealing with struggles. If we let our trials in life destroy our spiritual/emotional side of us, then we have become totally disabled and life loses the joys and happiness.
I truly believe that acceptance is a key in guarding our spiritual/emotional well-being. Do I want to live like I am now? Of course not, but I have accepted that this is the way it is. I look for ways to entertain myself and I look for the joys in life. And yet some people totally lose the joys in their lives because they have let what they can no longer do take over their lives. Acceptance does not mean giving up. It means that I quit fighting the fact that I am disabled and chronically ill and I focus on what I can do and what I enjoy doing. This also applies to problems we have with our jobs, our finances, our family, etc. All of these things can cause us to lose hope.
People who let what they can no longer do take control of their lives become very bitter. This takes away the joy of the things that they still can do in their lives. I believe that if we use things, people, places to decide our value, then we are making ourselves spiritually disabled for those things can come and go and even disappear. And when they are not in our lives, then what do we get self-worth from? Happiness is this place inside us that says we are content and we choose to see the good things in our lives. No one can take that from us except us. For example, if I can not have the job I want, I have choices I can make. I can either accept it and try to find another job or I can become bitter and let it consume me.
I have had people say attitude does nothing and I realize now that the quote above says it all. Yes, we can be going through all sorts of trials from physical disability, to financial problems to marital problems and still be happy OR we can become spiritually disabled and see no joy in life. The choice is up to us and when we place our happiness on jobs, money, possessions, good health, etc, we are going to become disappointed for all of those things can disappear in a flash. We have to guard the spiritual side of us the closest for we can lose the hope and drive that keeps us going before we realize it. Where are you in life? Have you found the happiness you wanted?
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