In a recent conversation, a gentleman said to me, “I know I am supposed to smile and say I am doing great, but my symptoms are giving me a hard time. I want to be honest when I answer the question how I am doing, and it does not look like I am doing great.” My response to him follows.
To begin, it would be useful for you to click here and read my post from last October entitled “Fighting Parkinson’s, and you are doing great!” Okay, now my explanation.
I viewed my recovery as a soul, mind, and body recovery. Healing my soul was the “learning to love myself” and “feeling joy from the inside” part of my recovery. It was opening up my heart and feeling gratitude for the gift of life, even life in a Parkinson’s body. Once I reached this place in my heart, my mind and my body were going to have to follow in the recovery.
I realized that since Parkinson’s was defined as a certain set of symptoms, then I was going to have some symptoms right up until my full recovery. So, I accepted this, and I surrendered needing to define the the symptoms as good or bad, better or worse…it really did not matter. I was doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, so I knew I was getting better every day even if my symptoms did not appear that way.
So, when somebody asked me how I was doing, when I smiled and said “I am doing great!” it was because in my heart I was, in fact, doing great. I knew I was on the right path. I knew that every day I was doing the right things for my recovery. I knew that every day I was opening my heart more to help my dopamine flow.
I did not define myself by my symptoms, and neither should you. You are so much more than your symptoms.
Click here to look at where I was in my recovery (physically and mentally) on May 10, 2010, eight months after I started doing the Recipe. As you can see, my symptoms were terrible, but I wrote: “Having a positive attitude is the key to everything. My mind and body have accepted the pain, so I am not consumed by it every waking moment.”
One month later, on June 12, 2010, I was fully recovered. Nobody reading that post (nor the guy who wrote) had any idea how close I was to my full recovery, and certainly, from the sound of how I was physically at the time, nobody would have expected me to be fully recovered one month from writing those words.
However, I was, and that was nearly four years ago.
Open your heart, to yourself and to others. Be the essence of who you are. Do not be your symptoms. Do not be your fears and worries and anxieties. Be you, the beautiful-heart, the one-of-a-kind-you, the essence of who you are. Then you will know that you are doing great, and when somebody asks you how you are doing, you can smile and answer straight from your heart, “I am doing great!” And, you will mean it.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Howard, as usual, you’re speaking directly to me! Your posts are so valuable, they’re like a good kick in the butt, at exactly the right time!!
In my affirmations every day I give thanks for you & your blog, and say that every time I read your blog, it strengthens my great faith, my great conviction, my great courage, and my great attitude …. Your post today was a welcomed blast of positivity!
I am doing great.
Blessings and thanks always
Howard’s blogs are so incredibly important. And this blog makes the case so simply, directly, so succinctly:
. . . when somebody asked me how I was doing, I smiled and said “I am doing great!” it was because in my heart I was, in fact, doing great. I knew I was on the right path. I knew that every day I was doing the right things for my recovery. I knew that every day I was opening my heart more to help my dopamine flow. I did not define myself by my symptoms, and neither should you. You are so much more than your symptoms.
Bottom line, at the heart of the matter is an open heart . . . which prompts dopamine. And it is not the whole enchilada; the whole enchilada is the Recipe. And the heart of it is this very, very simple idea that Howard expressed so clearly. Thank you, thank you.
Dear Howard. Luke and Barry
Thank you all…I feel huge gratitude for your collective wisdom, optimism and companionship moving forward…all inspiring!
gracias Howard por tus valiosos comentarios siempre sabios y nos llenan de paz y armonia . me enseña el camino y refuerza la fe . hermoso post.
En relacion a como ver la enfermedad he aprendido desde otra optica a no medirnos ni observarnos en cuanto a los sintomas , desde mi punto de vista debemos de observar y hacer conciencia de que la enfermedad se convierte meramente en algo que le acerca al fin de ser curado; está trayéndonos una lección. La enfermedad está diciendo, “Mírame. Por favor sanar lo que represento y simbolizo. Por favor cura la culpabilidad, el odio a ti mismo, y la limitación de las formas de pensamiento. Por favor, pasa a amarme para que pueda ser sanado.” La enfermedad es una exigencia a crecer espiritualmente. Es un tábano incesante que nos dice que algo está ‘descolocado’ y debe ser observado. Algo ha de ser realizado de una manera diferente.
Dios los bendiga a todos mis compañeros de viaje …sean felices
Howard thanks for your valuable comments always wise and fill us with peace and harmony. They teach me the way and strengthen faith. Beautiful post.
In relation to like watching the disease I have learned from other optical not measure ourselves or observe in terms of symptoms, from my point of view we observe and raise awareness of the disease becomes merely something that approaches the order to be cured; is bringing us a lesson. The disease is saying, “Look at me. Please heal what I represent and symbolize. Please heal guilt, heal hating yourself, and heal limiting thought forms. Please come to love so that you can be healed. “Disease is a requirement to grow spiritually. It is a relentless gadfly that tells us that something is ‘misplaced’ and must be observed. Something must be done differently.
God bless all my fellow travelers … be happy
Howard, I have been trying to wrap my mind around what it means exactly to heal my soul because I knew if I could finally figure that one out, the mind and body would follow. This post finally brought it all together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I finally get the picture and can focus on the last piece of the puzzle! Thank you dear Howard for your continual efforts to help each of us join those of you who reside in recoveryville! Much love and gratitude, Melanie
O love this! Thank you Howard. Blessings always, Jane
Thank you for your inspiring words. I have been on an emotional roller coaster lately, crying for no reason, slowing down and becoming more rigid. It is getting easier to see these as signs of opening and movement rather than deterioration. I can physically feel my heart opening, which is amazing! It is hard at times to do the exercises, so sometimes I just visualize myself doing them. I can often still feel it in my body so I’m not sure my brain knows the difference! I’m doing great!
I appreciate your encouragement to stay positive. And I love the sentence,” don’t be your symptoms.” You’re right, there are so many reasons to be thankful and happy even if we are battling Parkinson’s. Sometimes we just need a reminder, to get us back on track. Please keep those reminders coming. Thanks again!!!