Last week, I wrote about the incessant emotions of MS and chronic illness. This week, I will focus on living in the present moment. Remaining on a quest to continue the depiction of real life with MS for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month 2018, this week’s column will focus on the importance of today. I often write that every day is different. For those of us with MS and other chronic illnesses, we know this is an undisputed truth.
Planning was essential for me. I recall playing with Barbie dolls, imagining the life I was going to live. My ambition and tenacity demanded a blueprint for my life. I knew when I was going to graduate from college. Once I secured my job, I knew that I was walking in my calling. I was blessed with a career that I loved. I took an oath to uphold justice and protect the public, yet I had the onus and satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of others.
What I did not plan for was a permanent, life-changing injury or multiple sclerosis. Heart disease has been my lifelong companion; MS was not. I did not expect this. It seemed as though my plans dissolved in mid-air.
As I take inventory and reflect on my life, I realize that my intention was not the Creator’s plan. For reasons I may never fully comprehend, this is the path that I have been charged to walk. Illness has taught me that fretting over tomorrow will not halt its arrival, nor will it alter what’s to come. Guilty at times of “dying a million deaths,” I imagine every worst-case scenario, the interminable what-ifs whose only purpose is to cause pandemonium and angst.
How many times do we make plans that don’t materialize? We nurse disappointments when life’s execution differs from our expectations. I am learning how to absolve myself of this burden, and it is a tussle. Each day, the grip is loosened because life is unpredictable.
Please know that I am not encouraging an irresponsible, carefree existence. We must tend to the necessities of life, and there are unavoidable occurrences that must be properly prepared for. What I am referring to in this column is learning to take each day as it comes, enjoying your good days and moments without guilt or expectation. I urge you to remain steadfast in the difficult days, remembering that troubles don’t last always.
Today is all we have. For those who may not understand the complexity of MS, I request that you research the disease, its manifestation, and its impact. Have an honest dialogue with someone who has MS and ask questions if need be. Enlightenment and awareness are paramount. To those with MS and chronic illness, continue to put one foot in front of the other. Tomorrow is unchartered territory. Today, we are alive.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.” – Matthew 6:34
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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today 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 Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.