Posted by: sistermom1 | October 27, 2011

On Flexibility

“The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail…Whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life.” — Lao Tzu

At the time I was first diagnosed with MS, I thought of myself as a pretty flexible person.  I prided myself on being “easy to work with”, and appreciated many different philosophies and workstyles.  I was easy-going (or so I thought). 

In the five years since my diagnosis, I have learned many things about myself.  One thing is that my “flexibility” was actually pretty limited — to the range of options that I felt were acceptable outcomes.  As long as things were pretty close to whatever I expected them to be, that was fine, and things could move forward.  If not, I would be uncomfortable and unhappy to say the least.

Now that so much of my daily life feels out of my control, I have had to become more flexible.  Not only when I cannot do the things that I want to do,  but when I am presented with unexpected situations, flexibility is required to begin to enjoy my days.  Being the parent of teenagers also requires flexibility, as does being a strong wife, daughter and friend.  Truth be told, being successful and happy in any of these roles requires flexibility, but adding a chronic health condition to the mix has really made things more complicated.

What this condition has presented me with is the chance to be more observant and thoughtful about anything that I choose to do.  Mind you, I would be happy to learn these things without the challenge of MS, but this is the journey I am taking.  After encountering the quote above from Lao Tzu, I realized that since my diagnosis, I am on the pathway towards becoming a disciple of life rather than simply moving/pushing through my life looking for specific results. 

As this detour continues, I feel my spirit becoming “soft and yielding” which is a major shift for me.  One that I did not foresee several years ago.  Perhaps I am seeing more of the purpose of this journey….


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