In my previous post, our discussion focused on acceptance of the reality occurring right in front of your eyes. Today’s post is the next step in growing that acceptance into gratitude.
Okay! When something occurs that you like, it is easy to say okay. In fact, it probably is easy to say “Okay. Apparently, this happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.”
What if something happens that you do not like? From the last post, at least you can acknowledge that it happened: “Okay. I accept the reality that this happened. I do not like it. What am I going to do about it?”
Here is the bigger challenge. Can you also say, “Okay. Apparently, this happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.”
I asked a few people about this over the last week, and for the most part, is was acknowledged that this is a bigger challenge. Some said that is was nearly impossible to look at an unfavorable situation and say that apparently it happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.
I had the same challenge when I had Parkinson’s. As you know, the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® is a soul, mind, and body recovery program. This “okay, apparently” attitude required quieting my mind and opening up my heart to accepting life as it was right in front of my eyes.
To quiet my mind, I built in an intermediate step between “Okay” and “Apparently, this happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.” It was a conversation that focused on finding a potentially good reason for the seemingly unfavorable circumstance, and it looked like this:
On a particular day, I had terrible pain in my lower back. It was the kind of pain that made me feel like somebody had used my kidneys as punching bags the entire night while I was sleeping. My mind, of course, said, “Oh, your Parkinson’s is getting worse…be afraid.”
Instead, I used my logical mind against itself. I asked myself, what could possibly be a good reason why this was happening. After some thought, I remembered that the previous evening, Sally had prepared us a wonderful dinner of blacks beans and rice.
So, I told my mind this, “Last night, we had black beans for dinner. Black beans not only are a wonderful source of protein and fiber, but they also are a wonderful kidney scrubber. The black beans must be doing their job scrubbing my kidneys from toxins. As much as I do not like pain, this is good pain.”
With this good reason for a seemingly unfavorable physically painful event settled, I then could say, “Okay. Apparently, this happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.”
Obviously, this level of acceptance carries with it a bit of surrender. Essentially, it is surrendering that not only is reality being accepted and acknowledged, but also, that the reality in front of your eyes is happening just as it is supposed to be happening.
The best way to practice growing your acceptance to this level of acceptance is to start with something favorable. For example, you see the sun shining on a beautiful spring day, and you smile and say, “Okay. Apparently, this happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.”
I found in my recovery that this level of acceptance of what was happening helped me search for the silver lining in every cloud. It shut off fear, worry, anger, and frustration. It shifted my energy from over-thinking the negative aspects of things to relaxing into a feeling that everything was happening just as it was supposed to happen, including my recovery.
I still use this “Okay. Apparently, this happened exactly as it was supposed to happen.” It is a life lesson, not just a Parkinson’s recovery lesson.
So, you have Parkinson’s…okay! What are you going to do about it, right here, right now? Why not say, “okay,” get on your path to recovery with the Recipe, tell yourself, “Okay, apparently my recovery is happening just as it is supposed to be happening,” and stay on your path to recovery until you fully recover.
Okay? Yes! Okay, okay, okay!!!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
So by taking the time to come up with positive interpretations for whatever negative events turn up, we can truly take charge of our lives and flood our minds and souls with the positive thoughts and emotions that heal our bodies and keep them healthy.
I love it! A most excellent stratagem for life. Thanks a lot, Howard.
Feeling positively buoyant in Wisconsin,
Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom!
This is definitely an area I have struggled with, missing my previous healthy fully functioning busy life. I do realize and am very grateful I am able to spend more quality time with my teenagers because of this illness. For this I am eternally grateful, the joy of impromptu long chats in the afternoon after school or being able to attend their sports events are priceless. I know in the blink of an eye they will be off leading their own lives.
So in the moment as difficult as it often is I have to remember “this is exactly the way it is supposed to happen”
Wow, what a wonderful, wise insight!
Thank you very much for instructing us more possibilities to get used to a positive path!! Smart and helpful as always, dear supporter🙏
OK .. it means I can eat chocolate — lots of chocolate — and don’t put on any weight! Now that’s positive. Love from Jan
Thank you Howard