Learning to live with illness requires the ability to remain flexible to future possibilities. For the first twenty or so years, we are supposed to learn what we need to know to adapt and gain an understanding of surviving on this planet. The next twenty years are pretty much about preparing to make a living, complete or continue our education, find a mate, and go forth with career and possible family expansion. The twenty years following the first two score are what is referred to as middle age, where we are supposed to continue to build our careers and families, enjoy the fruits of our labor, and maybe even take time to explore some of the other interests that we might want to pursue.
“It is in me”
There really isn’t any training in any of the previous scenarios for how to live with an illness that pops up at around the age of seventeen. To learn that you have Parkinson’s disease at the age of twenty-three is dizzying and an upheaval to your plans. What comes next is up to you!
One of my favorite quotes is from Helen Keller, who said, “What I’m looking for is not out there, it is in me.” We are all stronger than we know and capable of more than we realize. It takes planning, strength, and a belief in one’s self to effectively execute a plan. Faith and tenaciousness are characteristics that help.
We are unexplored goldmines of potential just waiting to be set free from bedrock. Honing the best parts of ourselves and identifying our unique talents is the best gift that we can give to the world and ourselves. We all have a story to tell, a perspective to highlight, and an opinion worth voicing.
Until we are tested, we never know our limits. Boundaries are relative barriers, usually set by those who have no idea of our potential. When we limit ourselves with boundaries, we restrict our ability to expand and our personal growth. Break boundaries and take time to think beyond limitations set by others!