March is MS Awareness month. For those of you who don’t know, multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions. MS affects each person uniquely which is why finding the cause and cure is so challenging.
Whether it is MS or another disease, chances are you or someone you love fights a daily battle. After all, everybody’s got something, especially if they are over the age of 50. Arthritis, asthma, cancer, mental illness, and diabetes are just a few common chronic diseases. Many of these are invisible or silent so people may not always realize when you or someone else is coping with a formidable challenge.
One of my favorite quotes is, “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is your only option.” In my opinion, I believe we underestimate ourselves much of the time and don’t recognize our strength until tested. Perhaps that’s the point of when bad things happen. It’s a test, per say, in order to reveal our inner strengths to ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying a person gets sick to prove they’re strong. I am saying that if a person finds themselves facing a chronic diagnosis or challenging situation they will, most likely, discover their inner strengths over time. As C.S. Lewis said so eloquently, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
To start today’s meaningful conversation, I ask you to consider what is your extraordinary destiny? What responsibility has life placed in your hands for you to discover? In the past 10+ years of my life I have come to fully embrace that my career is not my destiny or purpose in life, although I fully respect that many define themselves by their job and/or size of paycheck. My purpose is best defined by how I help others when they are struggling in order to make their life a little easier. My purpose fills me (and others) with kindness, empathy, hope, faith and love. When I’m no longer in existence, I hope my epitaph will read “She made a difference for the better.” I strongly believe that each of us has many purposes throughout our lifetime, you just have to pause and notice them. Please join the conversation and share your thoughts in the comment section of my blog post.
I also invite you to help me Create a World Free of MS by donating to WalkMS. Together we are stronger!