I often wonder to myself how I ended up with the particular mindset that I have. I never intended to project positivity. The decision to live my happiest life through my mission towards the restoration and resurgence of light, wasn’t intentional, premeditated, or calculated. It just is.
It’s a poor explanation for how I became the person I am today, but, I believe that the reason I have such an honestly optimistic disposition is partially in credit to being born this way. Perhaps, it means I have a soul that has achieved a certain level of awareness and understanding through past-life experiences – if you believe in that sort of thing. Or, maybe I’m just lucky. Who knows?
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times when I’m not feeling so cheerful. I have had my fair share of fights with foes like depression and anxiety. My mind is not a place of constant pristine and serene tranquility. In fact, some of the things I have gone through in life have left me feeling broken, defeated, and without hope.
Yet, if there is one thing I have learned through my experiences thus far, is that there will absolutely and inevitably be times of turmoil that you cannot avoid. The only thing you can do, is figure out what it’s going to take for you to recognize, accept, and get over it… whatever “it” may be.
My tango with the demon that can be diabetes is far from over. To date, it remains one of the hardest things I have ever had to come to grips with. My diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is the rude, uninvited guest at the dinner party. Sure, I may put on a smiling face as the hostess of the evening, but, I sure as hell wish a certain someone had not crashed the occasion.
Plenty of things that can happen to us as living, breathing human beings are difficult to accept. The loss felt by a shattered expectation, whether you realized you held that particular notion in your heart of hearts, or not, can be something that sends us over the edge. You can tumble through feelings of nothingness, and then, in the blink of an eye, find yourself wrought with such powerful, unbridled emotion that you become unsure of which way is up, and which way is down.
Even as a child, I held within me an understanding that all of the things that brought me pain were adding substance to who I was, rather than being the cause of something taken away from me. Throughout the years, time and time again, I have found myself in despair over this or that. It is a normal cycle that we all go through. Some of the aches we feel can linger, even after the initial sting has subsided a bit. They can take root deep within you and be hard as hell to find and eradicate.
When you’re in the eye of the storm that can be sadness and desolation, there is often a moment of calm clarity, if only you know where to look. You can find a lot of answers by peering inwards to your mind and soul. It is important for us all to remember that one of the most essential relationships you will ever need to work on, is the one that you have with yourself. Anguish is never the only answer and misery is never final.
I try very hard not to compare myself to others, especially in the way that I process and handle my emotions. I realize that not everyone possesses the mental fortitude that I’m now able to manage most days. However, it needs to be said that my true opinion remains this: You live the life of your own choosing.
When you decide to write post after post about how difficult your life is, and how much you wish things were different, or the way they once were, you are not only doing yourself a disservice, but you are jeopardizing the well-being of others. I’ve even had a fellow T1D (who refuses to test his blood sugar), say to me that just because I messed up my body so badly in the past, doesn’t mean I now get to go around trying to save everyone else. Misery loves company, and though I understand that a good pity party session can be therapeutic every once in a while, we must try to use our energy and resources to create and provide solutions, rather than excuses, for our grief. An excuse is only going to fortify your feelings of agony and internal torment.
Happiness is a much sought after commodity. It really is one of the things that truly cannot be bought. None of us knows the secret, and anyone who tells you that they do is either lying, or trying to sell you something. In order to attain the joy you so desire, you must work at it. Happiness is cultivated, not found.
I’m currently reading a book by the talented Cheryl Strayed called, “Tiny Beautiful Things”. Before I even read the first page, I took note of a quote from the inside cover “No one is going to protect you from your suffering.” That notion really resonated with me. I am someone who is quite comfortable with the idea that there is no one out there who can shield me from the things that will cause me sorrow or maybe break my heart. Cheryl continues on inside to say, “You can’t cry (suffering) away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.” Gosh, that woman is good with words.
So please, I implore each of you to take a look inside your heart, and try to understand that you have the ability to rise above the challenges that may seem impossible to overcome. Don’t waste your life on dreams that will never come true. Instead, find new ones based on all the wonderful things that you have within you to help you succeed. There is no limit to the spiritual understanding and internal peace you can achieve. Find your desire to heal and make something of the time that you have left.