After my Mother’s Day post, some people have mentioned to me how fortunate I was to have Sally with me on my journey to full recovery from Parkinson’s. When I expressed that I agreed, and it was a blessing beyond comprehension to have her by my side while fighting the disease, they each said that is not what they had meant. They told me what they had meant was having somebody in their lives for whom they wanted to get better. I told them that the somebody in their lives for whom they needed to get better was themselves. This realization was critical in my ability to defeat Parkinson’s.
In the beginning of my recovery, I had a difficult time coming to grips with my new physical limitations, and I felt badly about myself. Each morning as my Parkinson’s self was trying to talk me out of doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, I would win the argument by saying to myself, “It is not fair to Sally and our children. This is not the life with you they signed up for.” And then I would do the Recipe…for them…I owed it to them.
Also, with my new physical limitations, there were things around the house that I no longer could do, and Sally and our children picked up the slack. Initially, this made me feel even worse about myself than I already felt, if that was even possible. I did not feel worthy of the love they were expressing for me. Clearly, I did not love myself…at that point, I barely liked myself.
What was a turning point regarding this issue was one day when I realized I needed to get better for me. That’s right, I needed to get better for me, and getting better for me was not selfish. It was necessary!
I realized it was not enough to want to get better just for them. I was blessed as the lesson appeared right in front of my eyes – I needed to like myself enough and love myself enough to want to get better for me…yes, for Sally and our children, too, but for me first.
If I had been able to get better only for them, then I would not really be recovered because I would still be suffering from all of the things that helped me get the disease in the first place, which included that I had adjusted the essence of who I was so I would be accepted or liked or loved by other people. And, throughout my life, those adjustments to the essence of who I was to make other people happy occurred again and again and again because it was my perception that it was how I would continue to be liked and loved and accepted…even if it caused me to suffer.
I learned that once I loved myself enough to want to get better for me, I would be filled with so many blessings that I never again would have to worry about being loved or accepted by other people because it would happen if it was supposed to…and if it did not happen…”Okay!” I accepted that, too.
The old me (Parkinson’s-me) would be gone, and the new me (which was the original-soul-me), my true essence of me, would exude love and joyfulness, and I would be devoid of worries and fear; I also would be devoid of Parkinson’s. And with this understanding, I realized that it did not matter who liked me or loved me or accepted me, because as long as I stayed true to the essence of who I was, I would be joyful. And joyful I am!
It helped push me over the top. It can help push you over the top, too. Moreover, it is not selfish – when you think of all of the people who will be inspired by your recovery, there is no way anybody could say curing yourself of Parkinson’s is selfish; no indeed, it is the ultimate blessing.
So, what are you waiting for? Give yourself a hug filled with love, and get recovered for you!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
By the way, Happy Birthday, Sally! You remain a continuing inspiration of love and joyfulness in my life.
So true Howard. I’m learning how to be authentic and please myself because I’m worth it and deserve it. It’s taken me a long time to reach this point but now I’m here I’m loving it! I’ve realised that its not my job to rescue others from themselves and their thoughts and judgements. My job is to rescue ME! I’m the most important in my life.
Love and blessings to all,
The posts just keep on getting better and better.
Thanks, Howard, thanks so very much. This morning when I awoke and felt the body wide internal tremors I rubbed them down and told them that they were getting better and better. They listened to me and quit it.
Love and hugs to all
Thank you Howard. You seem to have a 6th sense knowing exactly what to post when I need it the most.
Loving ourselves is truly at the root of recovery and is something along the way many of us who suffer have lost sight of.
We are such wonderful people but don’t know it yet in our own heart and soul. We are so deserving.
Great post Howard,
Here is a piem that speaks about that ultimate blessing:
Charles Bukowski: Roll the Dice
if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.
if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.
go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
how much you really want to
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
you can imagine.
if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with
do it, do it, do it.
all the way
all the way.
you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it’s
the only good fight
Thanks, Howard, for hitting the mark again with this blog. discovering the essential ME, how Truly selfish!
Zeljko, Thanks for the Bukowski poem.
Jeffers’ books rock. also see Steindl-Rast on Gratitude.
My speech symptom keeps me from nonsense coming out!
Great post thank you Howard. Happy birthday Sally. 😀Acceptance and love of self and the recipe are our key xx
Thanks Helen for the reminder. It’s good to hear from you.
When I realized that I had to put myself and my well-being FIRST in my life, it was a turning point in my recovery
Thanks for sharing that Marie. It’s great that you’re still supporting us all.
Love for one self is a priority for this illness but sometimes we forget to do this. Since Howard is leading us to do this why not do it for our sake and our love ones I am grateful to you Howard for another very important blog
Thank you Howard for the most important blog so far for me. God bless you for your insight.
thank you, Howard. Focus, focus, focus!