Aside from the devastation of watching Steve struggle with all that ALS brings, it has brought some unexpected astronomically huge positives in our lives & I would like to take the first of this awareness month to express gratitude for some lessons.
First and foremost, the acceptance of what life presents us. Acceptance was something I struggled with most of my life. I would think, "How could this possibly be happening to me? How unfair..." However, now my outlook is, well so this is happening, and now I have to face it head on.
With that came, living in the moment. The fear of what is happening next is common in life, add being told you will loose your ability to do ANYTHING for yourself, and that will play tricks with your mind. Thankfully, early on Steve & I chose to change our attention from, "Crap what has Steve lost today," to "Gosh I'm so thankful Steve can still do this."
Almost 2 years ago, we decided we were going to start our days with 5 things we are thankful for. The beginning was hard. With all honesty the first 2 months we would just say the same 5 things almost daily. A shift came, about 2 months into our gratitude's where we began to grow our ability to find beauty in so many situations. A leaking trache means the infection is leaving his body. A trip to the hospital is an opportunity to share our story and visit with some of our favorite people (our hospital staff). A night without sleep reminds you of how grateful you are that you slept the other 4 nights of the week, so that you don't feel totally drained.
By being more in tuned with the world, we then learned the importance of using your energy wisely. Being home daily may seem dreadful to most, but Steve & I have learned to make every day special & to put our energy to good use. What used to be cuddles & movies all day everyday switched to working from 8:30-6 M-F then cuddles & movies after. We have learned new jobs, that fulfill us more than jobs prior to ALS have.
Everyday we are given is an opportunity to share our light with others in some way, so we open ourselves up to people in every realm we can from social media to face to face visits. Opening yourself up to other people you find that you will meet some of the best most like minded people that will continue to support, inspire, & fill your life with joy. You have to be open and clear on what you want & need, ask for it, & then be grateful for when it comes pouring in.
It's a daily choice to wake up, say our gratitude's while we do our morning routines, meditating/praying/exercising, and then to hit the ground running with our list of things we want to accomplish that day. It's a daily choice to re shift your focus to the positive, to find things to be grateful for, & to open yourself up to the life you want. One I'm thankful we chose & thankful that we get to experience it everyday we get together.
Remember like the lotus flower you CAN grow in the MUD. ALS is a struggle, and it's demanding, and takes a tool on not just your motor neurons & health but your soul....which can either be an opportunity to curl up & be defeated or to GROW & blossom to a more beautiful you than you could ever imagine.
If you can take anything from this month of ALS awareness, not only would I encourage you to speak about ALS, donate to www.als.net, but also find the beauty in your life. There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for & the more you seek it the more it will seek you.