Thursday, October 6, 2011

Acceptance is an on-going process

I read a good article the other day in the “Balance in Me” blog on Natural Spirituality. Ms. Goers provided several practical steps to help uncover your natural spirituality. While reading the article I realized that several of her points were very appropriate for those of use learning to live (accept) Kennedy’s Disease.

1. Stop being in control: “... you need to let go of several beliefs, and the myth of control is the first one to go.” If you are anything like me, having confidence in your abilities was important. I was good at many things and trusted that I could learn what I did not know. As my disease progressed, however, the confidence in my body’s ability to hold me upright or perform certain normal tasks eroded. Too often my body has let me down. Since there is little I can do about it and because it is going to get worse, letting go (stop trying to be in control) becomes an important part of the acceptance process.

2. Spend more time in nature: “Open up your eyes to this worldnature-pond right now and stop spending so much time behind the screen of your computer or your smart phone.” This always works for me. I spend about two hours every day outdoors. Nature never seems boring. There is always something happening with birds, animals, insects as well as the flora. By just sitting, listening and watching another world unfold right in front of me helps  to take my mind off most of the negativity associated with Kennedy’s Disease.

Miracles exist. They happen every day in our world. Just being an observer makes me a participant in these miracles. Just being an observer causes my mind to refocus itself on the beauty and magnificence of the world I live in.

3. Keep asking yourself, “What is the meaning of all this?”: The “why me” and “this can’t be happening to me” questions have to end at some point. By asking “what is the meaning of this” regularly, I am forced to come to terms with my inability to control many things in my life including some health issues. I did not cause this to happen. I am not to blame nor is anyone else. It just happened. Once I believe that, I need to ask some other personal questions:
  • What can I learn from this situation?
  • How can I make it better for everyone involved (family, friends, etc.)?
  • How does this change me and my situation?
4. Start enjoying life ...: “Your life is not just about you, it is alsolife-poster about people around you. We are all connected in one way or another and our actions and words can influence the lives of people around us. Start living for others the same as you live for yourself by being generous and grateful.” Getting beyond the grieving, fear and anger is important. Until I do, it is almost impossible to enjoy life (this beautiful world that I live in). Once I can begin living again, I can become a more ‘beneficial presence’ in my world.


One more important point

acceptance Being that we are learning to live with a progressive disorder, the “one and done” solution no longer applies.

Acceptance is an ongoing process. Accepting that we have the disease is one thing. However, learning to live with the disease as it progresses becomes a challenge.  The steps above will help us “live” a life that is both loving and beneficial.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bruce,

    Just read your article on Acceptance. As usual it was outstanding and good advice.

    You may recall I have written you several times. I first learned I had Kennedy’s early this year at age 74. I have not really accepted or thought much about the fact that it will progress – hoping that it won’t progress much prior to the end of my life. I still cannot swallow so most of my effort is turned to correcting that problem which would be wonderful. I’m taking VitalStim treatments and doing home exercises pretty much like those you have recommended.

    In any event enough of that – I really just wanted to say thank you for all that you do. You really have a great talent in your writing. Enjoyed your article on Costco but I don’t think you received my post due to my inability to log on properly.

    My very best to you and yours


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