I was led today on an internet journey that ended up with me reading a blog post about an old dog. It was very sweet and very positive, speaking of leaving behind the bad things in our past and being in the now while looking on to our future. But something he said really struck a chord with me.
"Gifts are everywhere, even if they are wrapped in mystery and challenge, in scars and fear." - Tom Ryan
This is very true. This can be applied to almost anything. But mostly, I find it applies well to how I need to view life through Lupus. I say 'through' Lupus because I do feel like I must look through my condition in order to see how to get on about the things I want to do. Everything is colored by the lens of Lupus. That may sound defeatist in a way, but it really isn't.
I've recently come to accept and come to terms with my diagnosis. Took me a while, but I understand now why that is. I needed to prove to myself that I could do this. That while Lupus clearly was going to change my life, it didn't have to change me. Do I do all the same things I used to? Nope. Do I aim for all the same things I used to? Not always. But can I go ahead with my life anyway, despite the changes Lupus has brought? You bet! So I had to live life, find my way through while still making allowances for these changes. I needed to show myself that it wasn't the end of the world, that I could do it. And I have. I may not always LIKE these changes, but I can still cope with them and still be ME.
For myself, that is what is at the root of Mr. Ryan's statement. That despite whatever daunting challenges, fearful moments, mysterious obstacles, or scarring events happen... there is still good in the world, in my life, in me! I am still worth something, I am still valid as an individual. In fact, I might have a jump on the world in this aspect, because my life gives me extra reasons to look for and unwrap these hidden gifts, these blessings that are often overlooked or undervalued.
It can be so easy to be pulled under by the sheer, daunting weight of unknowns and negatives that come with a Lupus diagnosis. There is a reason Lupus patients are prone to depression. But I say we fight for our happiness. That we look for and treasure these gifts, and share them with each other, to help lift and brighten someone else's day as well. Let's try harder to do that. I'm certain that doing so will ease our hearts and bring smiles to faces that need them.