Posted by: sistermom1 | August 17, 2010

Facing Negativity Head-On

It is amazing how insidious negativity can be  — especially when facing a diagnosis of a chronic health condition.  It seeps into your life in a way that you barely recognize to cut away your self-esteem, confidence and your spirit.  I recently came face-to-face with this reality — one that I had not realized or even acknowleged before this moment. 

Because I have not been able to work in over two years, I have not been confident about how to value the things I am able to do to help support our family.  I am unable to earn any money — and can barely take care of myself on my own.  This reality has deeply affected my self-confidence and my sense of my own individual power. 

Question — How can I affect my daughter’s life when I need to rely on her so heavily every day?  How can I inspire my son to be an awesome young man when I can’t even stand up to look him in the eye?  How could I make a real contribution to our family rhythm when I can’t drive the kids to the pool or mall or anywhere on my own?  These questions have haunted me since I became so dependent on other people to get even the smallest thing accomplished.   As a result, I often discount the things that I do need to be happy and at ease. 

Because I already need so much support from so many people, I often feel like I should not need/ask for anything else from anyone.  I am realizing that “anyone”  can include my husband, children and extended family.  I am not sure that this is fair to any of us — it certainly adds stress to my own life, and creates an unrealistic expectation for my entire family.  If I am not comfortable enough to ask my family for help, how will they ever know what I need?  How can they ever help me?  Is this really my own pride that is blocking me?

As I contemplate these questions, I think of several quotes from Daisaku Ikeda, President of the Soka Gakkai International, who I consider to be one of my mentors: 

Human life is indeed wondrous. You may be ill physically, but as long as your mental state is strong, it most certainly will exert a positive influence on your body. There may be no better remedy than hope.

Another quote that inspires me throughout this detour is below:

Whether we regard difficulties in life as misfortunes or whether we view them as good fortune depends entirely on how much we have forged our inner determination. It all depends on our attitude or inner state of life. With a dauntless spirit, we can lead a cheerful and thoroughly enjoyable life. We can develop a “self” of such fortitude that we are able to look forward to life’s trials and tribulations with a sense of joy.

I continue to work on looking “forward to life’s trials and tribulations with a sense of joy”.  (It’s a real challenge!)  These sentences — along with many other writings from Mr. Ikeda and Nichiren Daishonin remind me exactly how powerful my life really is and that I should not be discouraged by the difficulties I am experiencing on this leg of my journey. 

I fight to challenge my own negativity whenever it raises its ugly head.  It’s like a flashing yellow light along the highway warning me to be careful as I move ahead.   It reminds me to stay focused and to not get derailed  by whatever is coming up ahead.  I remain determined to use my health challenge to develop a strong inner state of life to face whatever is coming my way….

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