I am not the stress or the sadness of events in my life. These moments, these pieces are just a tiny part of the rest of my world, the rest of me. I am not this disease in my life. It may have a slice of me, but it is not me. And also, I am not my loved ones or their problems. Their lives are theirs to live, as mine is my own.
When I forget that; God finds a way to remind me. I don’t know how, and it never used to be so before but; I get so intense about the negative things and about the pain within this disease that I lose myself in it all and seem to literally find myself becoming that moment, that hour of pain and unwellness. It overtakes me and entangles me in the depths until it feels like I am not just lost in the labyrinth, but the tangle of it is me. But, it is God’s desire to help me see the bigger picture.I am more than the hard things I feel. In the moment in which pieces of sadness, anger, depression or illness seem to be saturating me, really almost becoming me, I have a choice to remember that this too shall pass; and for better or worse nothing remains the same.
There is a bigger space, a lovelier place within my world that I am just not seeing at that exact moment. But it seems to me the key is to rethink and not react, and then I will be present again in all of the rest of my world. I have found myself in this wilderness for so long now, that I somehow feel I am actually the wilderness itself, the barren unproductive wasteland. But God wants me to know that I am not.
If the MRI is right, if things are changing in my brain, if the findings are what have caused me to lose my creativity and wander in the negativity and pain, then I have to reprogram these things, these bright lights, these lesions on my brain, whatever their cause, by making new pathways or something.
If injured people can go into rehab programs for strokes and accidents and get pieces back, then I believe that through gratitude, through remembering blessings, and reminding myself that I am so much more than the negativity of any moment, I can, with practice, learn to rethink instead of react to each situation. I can retrain my brain and my spirit. Doesn’t God’s word say that as a person thinks, so he (she) is?
I think I am beginning to see the antidote. God wants me to consistently keep before me the fixed viewpoint of gratitude; it is like a North Star, and the simplicity of counting my blessings. It is all medicine, a well spring of grace, and I believe it is the cure.
There is a better way to see the big picture, to remember that I am not actually the stress, sadness or illness in my own life. These are but pieces of things that come to each one of us, and they are not my existence. My life is God in me and I in God. My life is the air in my lungs at this very instant. My life is made up of all of the graces, known and unknown, of every second.
How much more amazing would it be to feel instead, that mostly, and most of the time, I am the moment of laughter and joy, I am the moment of blessing and peace; than to believe the lie that I am the wasteland, that all of my creativity and energy is used up. The cupboard cannot be empty, it just can’t be, that must be an illusion.
The hard things come, but I am not the hard things and so I refuse to let them make me hard. Tonya Willman ©2012