This morning, I stepped out back to let my dog out and noticed the beautiful temperatures. I checked my phone and found it was only 68 degrees, in JUNE in Texas! Very rare, especially with the dry heat. So, I dragged my aching body out for a walk and I’m so glad I did. It was gorgeous! Birds singing and a nice breeze.
Every single step hurt my joints and it did bring some of my focus away from the beauty around me, but, it didn’t ruin my experience. Each step I felt it in my joints, in my back, in my neck, in my hips, knees, and even pain in my feet. With each step, I had a choice to focus solely on the pain, or mostly on the beauty around me. I’ve found, for myself, that it often is a mind over matter experience. Not that my mind can rid the pain in my body, or the overwhelming fatigue, but that my mind can be focused on something else, taking most of my attention off the pain, and putting it on whatever good is going on that day in my life.
The walk was magical. I enjoyed it, soaked it in, loved every beautiful flower I passed along the way, every time the wind brushed over my skin I had gratitude in my heart, each bird singing took my attention away from my body. My hope is that one day I’ll have no pain. That I’ll be able to take a walk and focus my mind on what’s around me instead of what’s attacking my body. But, until then, I’ll keep pushing myself to enjoy life. I’ll keep refocusing my mind so my body can carry me along with an enjoyable experience.
Yes, there are some experiences I simply don’t have the ability to enjoy. Or, maybe my experience looks a little different than a healthy person’s. Like today, I walked for 20 minutes while someone with a healthy body could have gone for an hour. Or, maybe when I go on vacation I can only go and do for a couple hours before needing to take a nap and re-energize. I’ll take that. I’ll embrace it. My limitations don’t keep me from enjoying ALL of life. Maybe they keep me from some of life, sometimes, but I’m okay with that because, my body does have its limits and that really is okay. It’s fighting a tremendous fight for me. I’ll cut it some slack!
If you’re fighting a chronic illness that gets in the way of your experiences, I encourage you, see what you can do and embrace it, be thankful for it, have gratitude in your heart, and be content with it. Don’t become disappointed that you couldn’t walk as long or far as you had wanted to. Be thankful that you walked at all. I’ve found that an attitude of gratitude changes everything.