We are approaching the conclusion of National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, but those of us with MS know that the responsibility to educate is unending. I was pondering what my topic would be this week. As awareness month exits, I want to proffer an encouraging message. This has been a difficult month for me, yet I still have hope and the desire to move forward. Thus, this week’s column will focus on the power of hope and moving forward.
Frustration has been one of the stifling emotions I have been managing. At times, I cannot determine the reason for my frustration — it is just there. Front and center. My attempts to renounce this emotion are unfruitful at best.
Frustration is an adversary, further draining my emotional, psychological, and physical strength. It is debilitating. We have heard the axiom “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” This is my current state.
With that said, I asked myself, “If you really are sick and tired of being sick and tired, what are you going to do about it?” The answer came to me as clear as day. I said that I am going to move forward. That’s what I must do.
How do I move forward? My inquisitive mind desires to know. As I am writing, my spirit is speaking to me. To truly move forward, I must release my frustration.
Frustration for me comes from not knowing what my life is going to bring. It comes from old memories and old wounds that are often exposed through illness and adversity. And it comes from having too many expectations. I am constantly writing about living in the moment, and although I earnestly operate from that stance, I fall short at times. I get stranded in the disarray of my thoughts, assuaged by the psychological tapes that hold me captive. Identifying these triggers is my first step in moving forward.
The next step in my onward march is forgiveness of myself and others. Having high standards, I am my greatest critic. My stringent rules impede my progress on occasion. I am the personification of the “superwoman” syndrome, telling myself that illness cannot and will not stop me from doing anything I desire to do.
In truth, illness prevents me from doing many things. I must respect my limitations and still hold on to my dreams and ambitions. Additionally, I have to forgive others for not showing up in my life the way I expected them to. Grudges serve no purpose. They are unnecessary, harmful burdens.
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