I am quite aware of what I can no longer do, and grieve these losses. I also have found that focusing on what I CAN DO encourages me, and gives me hope and purpose.
My inspiration for focusing on what I still am able to do comes from my sister, Kyle. She has ankylosing spondylitis, a very severe type of arthritis that affects her spine and connective tissue. She has struggled with this progressive disease for 20 years, and has undergone 10 spinal surgeries. As I write this, she is on her way home from the hospital following shoulder surgery needed after she fell several days ago.
Many years ago, before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and then pulmonary fibrosis, I asked Kyle how she kept such a positive attitude in the face of so much hardship. She paused and said, “I focus on what I can do, not what I can’t do.” She lets herself feel bad about what she is going through, and also accepts “that it is what it is” and tries to make the best of it.
Impressed and inspired
Here are some of the things I still can do:
- I can encourage others through this column and the blog I write about self-compassion, even though I had to close my counseling practice of 30 years.
- I can speak via Facebook live videos from home, even though I can’t do public speaking.
- I can write books and articles from my easy chair at home. I’m currently working on a book for those who have a terminal illness and their families.
- I can visit with my family and friends, in person, by phone, via Skype and through writing.
- I can pray for others.
- I can exercise and stay active, although in different ways than before.
- I can eat as healthy as possible and take supplements.
- I can soak in the good moments and experiences I have now.
- I can live the life I have now to the fullest.
- I can draw close to God and receive comfort and guidance from Him.
- I still have hope in God, and the future He has for me. That hasn’t changed.
Positive and focused
How about you? What stood out to you? How do you keep positive and focused on what you still can do? We’re in this together. Please leave your comments below, and share via e-mail or social media with anyone you know who could benefit.
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.