Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life is symbiotic

I watched the much-hyped 2½-hour conclusion to "Lost" the other night. I have been a fan of "Lost" over the last six seasons. There were times where I almost gave up on the series because I felt the writers were just making up plot lines without an end in sight. Being a writer (and I use that term loosely), I believe you never just let the story run all over the place without a specific purpose. What kept me interested and involved though was the characters. I felt they were all original (somewhat unique) because they had flaws as well as positive attributes and abilities.

Each character had to change (evolve) because of the situations (hardships and experiences) they were forced to endure. Characters that refused to change died (were written out of the show). Another important factor in each character's development was the need to recognize he/she could not accomplish some important task (whatever the situation was at the time) without asking for help.

I found one piece of dialogue near the end interesting. "There are no shortcuts or do-overs. We all need to let go at sometime or we can never move on."

After watching the conclusion to "Lost," I felt that in some respects this series reflected a journey; a journey similar to what many of us living with Kennedy's Disease have to take. We have to evolve because of the ever-changing situation that we go through with the progression of the disease. And, if we do not change (evolve), we will wither away and die (philosophically speaking).

Part of this evolution is the realization that we no longer can do everything. We have to learn to ask for help when it is needed and be able to accept help graciously.

Earlier in my life I was often running on autopilot. Life was good and I was in control (or at least I thought I was). I was in good physical condition and in good health. I had a good job, good friends, and a great family. Most importantly, I had found the love of my life. What more could anyone ask for? What more ... right!

One of the hardest things I ever went through was the acceptance process. Learning to live with Kennedy's Disease is a daily struggle. I am no longer the guy that I was (or that I thought I was). There are times when I need help. There are people that want to help (to lend a hand) and I just have to be open and willing to accept that help. Letting go of my belief that I can still do certain things was (and, at times, still is) very difficult for me. I fought the notion of letting go because I felt it was giving up. With acceptance comes a sense a release and relief. Buddha said, "Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness."

Life is symbiotic. We all have needs and, more importantly, something of value that we can give to others that are in need. There are no shortcuts or do-overs. We all need to let go (acceptance) so we can move on (evolve).


  1. Thanks for this insight Bruce. I have been away recently, so am now catching up on your blog. I found this one particularly helpful for me, as I have been 'stuck' lately in a phase where I feel very angry with this disease (again!). It comes and goes, but I just find myself hating the continual and relentless physical deficits my husband must endure (he never complains, or rarely so). It is all so unfair and I think it's the helplessness I feel that brings on my anger. I know I must let go of this to move on, but it sure is hard sometimes!

  2. Robbie, I have mentioned in other articles that "caregivers need love and support also." Seeing the person they love wasting away is very difficult to accept.

    Learning to live with Kennedy's Disease includes living with the anger and frustration that accompanies it. It is part of our growing process.

    Men are notorious "fixers." When we cannot fix something, we become frustrated and that can lead to anger. Caregivers are "maternal" and they do not want to see the person they love suffer (or waste away).

    We all have to learn to live with this disease before we can truly find peace.


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