It might not seem as if we have many choices when our priority is to stave off flares, infections, and other consequences of living with a chronic illness. But there are some things over which we have control, and one of the “big” ones is how we approach each day.
I recently wrote about clothes shopping, and wnat to continue with this analogy here. I honestly can say that I’ve never shopped for clothing that will make me look terrible. On purpose, of course. Sometimes, what seems to look good in the store doesn’t translate to everyday life. But what I’m talking about here is purposefully choosing clothing that is utterly unattractive. I, and most people, I think, just don’t do it.
Why is this?
Most of us do want to look decent, at least, and good, at best. Yes, even if we have an illness that renders us unrecognizable to ourselves adn long-time family and friends!
So, why then would any one of us choose to approach our precious days with an ugly or even pessimistic attitude?
The obvious answer to this is, well, some days are difficult, if not horrible. Filled with pain, setbacks, flares, and disappointments. But while this is true, this doesn’t mean we have to internally be drawn down completely by these negatives. Although we might feel frustration, anger, and other “uglier” emotions, we can also think our way past them somewhat by deciding to be more positive. To find the silver lining. To recognize the blessing that God is giving, even in the midst of our suffering.
As with clothes shopping, each of us has a specific budget we have to work within (energy, physical resources, time in the cycle of our illness and pain). We also have finite parameters (our size, height, age, etc.). And we might even have so much pain that we have limited desire to pull ourselves out from under our burden.
But it’s important to remember that, while we have limitations, God does not. He’s actually with us as we “shop” each day, making choices that will either enhance or continue to weigh down our mood and either bolster or burden our spirit. He’s that voice that tells us “that smile looks great on you,” and “here, here is something to help you laugh/look upon the world with wonder/reach out to someone with my love.”
Think of it – God is our personal shopper! And, with him in our corner, we’ll undoubtedly look our best, no matter what our budget!