Fighting Parkinson’s, and giving up your old rights

As we go through life, we learn that we have the right to be angry if something happens we do not like. We also have the right to be frustrated, resentful, worrisome, fearful, stressful, anxious, unforgiving, critical, and self-critical. Today, I ask you to give up these old rights.

The reason I call all of these negative emotions “rights” is because that is how they are treated in our lives. Here is an example:

You are driving on the highway and somebody cuts you off. You slam on your brakes barely avoiding an accident, and the person who cut you off speeds away. You are angry…angry that you got cut off, angry and frustrated that he sped away, angry and frustrated and resentful that nothing bad will happen to this person to punish him for having cut you off and almost causing a serious accident.

And, when you tell your family and friends about it, with the anger spilling out of you, what does everybody say, “You have every right to be angry. I would be angry, too!” I understand this because this is how I was, pre-Parkinson’s.

Now, using the same scenario post-Parkinson’s, I would slam on the brakes avoiding the accident, catch my breath, and then I would give gratitude (lots of gratitude) for being safe and sound with no damage to the car or any of the occupants. And then, I would let it go. However, if I was to mention the situation, a response might be something to the effect of, “I am happy there was not an accident and nobody got hurt, but I do not know how you can be so calm about it. The other guy got away with it and you have every right to be angry; I know I would be angry if I was in your shoes.”

We are taught that these negative emotions are our rights, and we are rewarded by inclusion when we exercise them. Often, we are questioned like there is something wrong with us when we choose to not exercise our “rights.” I do not know about the rest of you, but nobody ever sat me down and said, “You have the right to be joyful, happy, fearless, compassionate, content, loving, accepting, forgiving, and grateful.”

So, if you are like me, and nobody ever told you these things, let me be the first to introduce you to your set of new rights:


The negative emotions are in your mind, and your mind runs rampant with negative ideas of what life is like with Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s symptoms. Your new rights come from your heart!

It is time to make the transformations that will change your life. As the negative emotions surface, transform them into the positive emotions. The negative emotions are habitual…simply put, they are so strongly built into you throughout your life that they just surface in response to the events of life.

This is actually a gift of Parkinson’s symptoms. Your Parkinson’s symptoms get worse when you experience any of the negative emotions. These symptoms provide a built-in notification system that says, “My reaction to what was just said or done is an exacerbation of symptoms.” When you get the notification and have this kind of awareness, you are ready to exercise your new rights.

Using my car example above, transform anger over the situation to gratitude over the outcome. The mind is very tricky. The mind wants to pull out its parade of horribles and say, “If the other car would have hit you, think about all of the terrible things that would have occurred.” The mind pulls you out of the moment and it runs to all of the terrible outcomes that could have occurred.

The heart keeps you in the moment and says with heart-felt gratitude, “Look at what really happened here. You avoided an accident, there is no car damage, and nobody in the car got hurt. Feel gratitude.”

Bottom line if this:
Keeping your old rights is a choice.
Giving up your old rights and transforming them into your new rights also is a choice.

As all of you know, when you choose your mind over your heart, you choose anger, frustration, resentment, stress, anxiety, worry, and fear.
Likewise, all of you know, when you choose your heart over your mind, you choose joy, happiness, fearlessness, compassion, contentment, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude.

You can give up your old rights by transforming them into your new rights. You will be able to view the world and participate in life from your heart. This is not an easy transformation to make, but I know this will change your life, and each and every one of you is worth it.

Keeping your old rights is a choice.
Giving up your old rights and transforming them into your new rights also is a choice.

The choice is yours.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,



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19 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and giving up your old rights

  1. Lex says:

    How very true! Thank you, Howard

  2. bhavna shah says:

    thank you so much for giving us our new rights .

  3. Laura Doyle says:

    Good one, Howard!

  4. Dipti says:

    Love this. Thank you for giving us our new rights. I am following your footsteps.. baby steps..

  5. judy says:

    Makes perfect sense to me. Very helpful. Thanx, Howard

  6. Kevin says:

    These unalienable rights chosen from the heart are our “Will Of Rights”. Pass them on as they are meant to share.

  7. Nancy Thomas says:

    I’m going to print this up to share like crazy!

  8. Marie says:

    Thanks so much, Howard! Your words come at a perfect time to reinforce my “giving up my rights”.
    It is a choice I am making, a choice that works better for me. And I am worth it!

  9. Melanie says:

    I am more than willing to give up my old rights for the new ones………..thanks for the reminder, Howard! How much better would the world be if everyone would adopt this attitude!

  10. Helen says:

    Very apt Howard as always. Choosing the heart rights is the way I choose to go. Thank u for the timely reminder. Cheers Helen

  11. Thanks Howard….lovely to choose the heart and free up that old mind to relax and enjoy the view.

  12. LEONTINA says:

    Buna dragii mei Nu am postat de mult timp fiindca simptomele mele sau agravat si am devenit depresiva dar citesc cu drag tot ce scrieti voi .Ma gandeam acum ca daca as fi citit inainte de debutul bolii toate aceste articole eu nu ma inbolnaveam de nici o boala si traiam 100 de ani.Multumesc Howard. Imbratisari calde.LEO


    Hello my dear. I posted a long time because my symptoms or worsened and became depressed but gladly read what you write. I was thinking now that if I had read before onset all these articles I’m not become ill from any disease and lived 100 years. Thank you Howard. Warm hugs. LEO

  13. Joseph McEleavy says:

    This is the meditation I before I do the action part of the Recipe… It was cold and dark when I closed my eyes and I was very very afraid. Then I heard your voice reminding me that it is my choice. I choose Love over Hate, I choose Faith over Fear, Joy over Sorrow, Harmony over Imbalance. I have the power and the faith to heal myself and with every thought, word, deed, action and prayer I AM HEALING myself. I feel the air on my skin, my breath flowing in, the Qi in each hand, my legs as I stand. I feel the courage in my heart, feel my hope rise and start to become Faith. Faith changes everything. Now I know I have the power to heal myself, now I know I AM Healing myself with every thought, word, deed, action and prayer I AM HEALING myself. I feel the air on my skin, my breath flowing in I feel the roof of my mouth, my breath flowing out. I thank you Divine Spirit for all the gifts of now and forever…
    Howard you are definitely one of the gifts of the Divine…

  14. Barry T says:

    Howard, you hit the nail on the head by saying “Keeping your old rights is a choice.
    Giving up your old rights and transforming them into your new rights also is a choice.”
    I can’t help what feelings I have in reaction to any given situation, but I do have the choice not to dwell on the negative, and to rejoice on the positive. Is the glass half full or half empty? I choose the half full one because it makes me happy.

    Howard, you’re such a blessing!

  15. bailey says:

    As usual Howard, you are right on… (sorry! couldn’t help myself!). When I feel myself giving in to the tuggings of depression and self pity, I am reminded of something I said to my grandson when he was having a tantrum one day: “Let me know when you’re over it so we can have some fun.” I’ve been opting for fun lately and it sure beats the alternative! BIG grateful hugs to you Howard!

  16. Pat in FL says:

    What an excellent post, which I just read today for the first time. The essence of free will, bestowed by our Creator, is exemplified by our right to choose what we think in response to what life gives us. Thank you for expressing concisely two major types of rights we have (negative and positive examples) and the effect of each. But what I really like is using the tool of our symptoms as an alert that we are choosing to exercise the wrong rights! I plan to examine my attitude whenever I struggle with increased tremor, tightness, imbalance and movement.
    Howard, you are a blessing!

  17. Pingback: Fighting Parkinson’s, and practicing forgiveness | Fighting Parkinson's Drug Free

  18. Lloyd says:

    I am going over some old WORDS OF WISDOM FROM DEAR HOWARD! You are so incredibly right. Your wisdom is a gift to us all. You are so appreciated. SO APPRECIATED.

  19. Dr. Karen Zilverberg says:

    Thanks, Howard! This is marvelous and both Don and I will continue to work on this.

    Sincerely yours,

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