I get asked a lot from those on the social media world, "Are you really that positive Hope?"
The answer is mostly yes. You see, I like everyone else, experience a wide ray of emotions through my days. I experience the angers and frustrations life offers, and yes I feel sadness often. I acknowledge all emotions because how can you move past them without acknowledging them.
However, I don't set up camp there, and this is important. I noticed about 3 years ago, that when I was feeling weighed down from the burdens that come with ALS, and sitting for long periods in the frustrations or sadness Steve would get sick. The more aware I became of my emotions the more I could see the direct effects it would have on Steve.
So, I decided that in order to be the best caregiver I can for Steve, I was going to find ways to stop setting up camp in the negative. It was hard, and if you knew us you saw the struggle. This was before Steve & I shared everything openly on social media, so if you were following us from the outside you may not have seen the struggle.
It was there, and then I found yoga. It not only helped me to become more present of the moment and to actually face what our days had, it helped me become more accepting. I would be in total denial of Steve's progression of ALS, as would he; and yoga helped me get a reality check while also providing me skills to deal with the reality.
People my whole life have told me, that I have a gift of finding the good in the bad, and it sort of amplified after I started implementing a practice into my daily life. Now it's how I end my day. I recognize the hard to face realities, feel those emotions for a minute, and then search for the good in it. Truth be told, 100% of the time I find it. It's always there, it just takes a different perspective.
Learning to find more good in our situation, also opened me up to more good in myself. I didn't think I had any talents, until I just started to paint for a release, and then slowly my soul opened up to creating in all realms.
Today it's true, on days where I'm off, because yet again, I'm human and I have them; Steve has bad days too. Knowing this connection we have keeps me very mindful of choosing the positive. Because I chose this life with Steve, I choose to make it the best I can. I can't change ALS or the toll it has taken (and will continue to do so) on Steve's body, but I can choose how we live our lives.
So, I choose positive. It's not always easy, but on days that are really hard, and Steve's looking to me out of eyes full of tears for that hope; it's worth it. To be able to provide Steve with that extra boost to fight this disease. It's always worth it.