Parkinson’s is a conundrum! In order to heal, it requires you to exercise and yet it zaps you of your energy, fatigues you and robs you of your strength. It requires you to have a positive attitude and yet the very nature of the condition causes you to feel anger. It demands your patience and yet the constant daily challenges of doing even the simplest things can be incredibly frustrating. It requires you to surrender and yet as you lose your abilities and independence your natural tendency is to fight back. It requires you to have hope and yet as the symptoms continue to progress you want to give up.
Living with Parkinson’s is a true test of character. If there is a flaw it will become readily apparent! Perhaps this is the entire point! It helps us understand ourselves.
The day to day challenges of the condition tell you everything you need to know about yourself. Do you get angry? Do you get frustrated? Do you give up? Or do you accept? Do you adapt?
On another level, do you succumb to fear or subscribe to conventional western medical thinking? Do you take medication or do you choose an alternative approach? Do you go home and close the door or do you ask questions? Do you research? Are you open-minded? Do you believe?
These reactions and behaviours reveal the truth about yourself. They tell you if you are holding on to emotional pain (like anger) or if you are an optimist and if you are adventurous! They tell you if you’re a fighter! Because it certainly helps to be an optimist and a fighter.
Despite my condition, I truly believe Parkinson’s can be overcome. I believe the body (in this case, the brain) can heal itself. The fact that it can heal cuts and broken bones is ample evidence of that. So there is reason for hope and there is reason for optimism and here are the things I do to keep them alive:
- I am focused on finding a cure (not a pill cure, a real cure). I research, I learn, I implement and I teach.
- I am focused on doing my best in the present moment. It’s important to stay in the moment because it helps me stay positive … and it’s the only thing I really have control over..
- I do things I love to do, like blog, teach karate, walk and listen to music.
- I practice gratitude. There is nothing more uplifting than an attitude of gratitude.
- I empower myself, especially through language. For example, I never say ‘my’ Parkinson’s or I have Parkinson’s. I say, I am experiencing Parkinson’s. I also don’t think of it as a disease, I think of it as a condition resulting from my body chemistry being out of balance. I also empower myself with empowering words, like awesome!
Oprah Winfrey said, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” I wish you endless optimism and unbridled hope on your journey!
Have an awesomely awesome day!