"I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last." – Ralph Waldo EmersonThink of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself. How will you surprise yourself this week?
(Author: Ashley Ambirge)
In April of 2003, I became wheel chair bound due to an attack of Multiple Sclerosis. At the time, the doctors could not give me a diagnosis. The diagnosis did not occur until late in the year of 2005. Because of not being able to find a diagnosis, many of the self-proclaimed gods called neurologists (I hope there are no neurologists reading this!) insisted that it was all in my mind; conversion disorder. At first, I was infuriated. But then, I sunk into the depths of despair. I refused to eat. I would not get out of bed. Besides, I could not get out of bed alone, as my left side was almost totally useless. Luckily, my husband was able to work from home and help take care of me. This suicidal depression continued for weeks. I wish I could say that I came out of this ‘Dark Night’ through my own motivation, but such is not the case. My psychiatrist threatened to commit me! I was in a wheel chair and handicapped before I had reached the half century mark. How dare anyone expect me to ‘suck it up’! Why, the audacity!! I was on the pity potty!
It was at a snail’s pace, but I finally pulled myself up by ‘the boot straps’ and decided I had to continue with my life. I began my routine of physical therapy three times a week. That went on for a year. But, finally I was strong enough for a full leg brace. Then, I graduated from the wheel chair to a walker. Physical therapy continued and I continued to improve until I was able to walk with a half leg brace, on my own!
This period of time made me so aware of the injustices that disabled people have to face on a daily basis. Not enough handicap parking; some of the restrooms marked ‘handicapped’ were NOT true to their name; people acted like the wheel chair was a bother. I could go on, but I think you can get the picture. I also began to look at other disabled people and realized that I was NOT that ‘bad off’. There were many people suffering way more than I.
This period of time was a huge growth spurt for me. I was truly surprised at how I became so determined to walk again; totally resolved to overcome the limitations that were suddenly thrust upon my body. If anything, I learned that I did have some inner strength. Our trials truly make us stronger and more compassionate.
So what will I do to surprise myself this week? I will continue to search for my true self. I will continue to strive to not cause ripples in the water. I will continue my journey to wholeness. I will be determined and resolved.