Often, I hear people with serious chronic illness tell me that they feel so alone, so lost, and they don’t feel as if they have anything to give others. Illness has stripped them of their past careers, relationships, and even their dreams. And the life ahead, filled with pain an health challenges, does not seem desirable.
Yes, it’s easy to fall into deep despair when you consider all that illness has taken away. But there’s another way to look at life with illness, a way to make the days ahead more uplifting. And, it doesn’t require extra education, training, or sacrifice.
It’s your journey that is a great gift – to you and to others.
If you’ve ever been in a patient support group, you have probably experienced what a gift it is to impart your experience and what you’ve learned through it – ups and downs included – to others who might not be as far along. You’ve also, perhaps, benefited from the wisdom of others that has come from actually living with the same condition (or, at least, a similar condition with similar symptoms).
The gift of your journey doesn’t have to be limited to support groups or other formal settings. It can also be given to neighbors, family members, and even strangers who are struggling. The example of your life, lived as fully as you can with the challenges you face, is a powerful witness and an inspiration to others, too. By greeting the day and setting forth, you are showing others that illness might change your life in radical ways, but you are not going to stop being and doing to the fullest extent possible.
You probably don’t realize how profound your journey and your example influences others. On the days when you’re most frustrated, when you think that you’re not able to do anything, consider this precious life you hold and how it speaks volumes, even if you don’t utter a word. Give the gift of your journey, the way that you navigate rough waters and continue on, to others – and see how much brighter your days become as you reap the benefits of your wonderful witness.
Blessings for the day,