MS: My Strength

MS reminds me how strong I truly am. MS reminds me that life is good. MS reminds me that time is short.

I don’t know why my immune system attacked my nervous system and left me with multiple scleroses. I don’t know if everything really happens for a reason. I’ve learned that I don’t have to understand. What I have to do is live fully, faithfully, believing in joy and love and my body and mind’s own desire to heal.

By nature I am loving and peaceable, and also incredibly competitive with a tendency toward judgment–especially of myself. Last night, for example, as I did my workout. I went from celebrating my strength and honoring my body for continuing to progress to cursing my weak triceps. I completed multiple sets of 30 military push-ups, which could be considered an accomplishment for anyone—let alone a 40-something fighting MS. Then, as I wobbled during my tricep push-ups, I momentarily gave into frustration.

 

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After 3 sets of 30 military push-ups I chastised myself for my lack of strength… really?!

“Why can’t I do these?”

“I’m so weak!”

“Why?!”

Really. This was my thought process at the end of a beautiful day that had included teaching yoga, working a productive work day supervising school administrators and supporting colleagues, connecting with friends, getting in a strength workout, spending time with my husband, and even just completing my gratitude journal for the day. How quickly and easily I went negative even after what, by all accounts, was a great day!

Nataly Kogan’s book Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones) explains the neuroscience behind our continued obsession with finding fault, seeing the negative, and how that’s led many of us to strive destructively toward perfection. And I’m far from a perfectionist. But I understand that our minds are programmed to see problems. This is meant to help us avoid danger. We must avoid the danger of magnifying those problems, however, and, as HeatherAsh Amara coaches in The Warrior Goddess Training Guide, we can, instead, observe it, name it, and PUT A PERIOD ON IT. it is what it is. We must acknowledge it and then choose, free of judgment, how we will–or even if we will–respond.

So. I struggle to complete ten tricep push-ups in a set. I CAN DO TRICEP PUSH-UPS. I can move and keep strengthening my body. I have the luxury of time to dedicate to reading and learning, stretching and growing. I lived a great day and then had time to reflect and give thanks.

MS reminds me that some can’t move their bodies. Some don’t have time to rest. Some don’t have resources to heal.

My God, MS reminds me how much I truly have and truly am. I am blessed.

So today I give thanks for my strength. And I give thanks that MS reminds me that every movement of my body is a miracle not to be taken for granted.

I can’t wait to see how I get to celebrate and embrace my blessings today.

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