Okay, this year, 2020, the year of gratitude, started with giving gratitude to the Parkinson’s followed by giving gratitude to yourself. Now it is time to give gratitude to others.
When your family, friends, or helpers are helping you, it serves them too. They feel love and compassion for you and they feel the joy of being able to assist you because you are their loved one or friend and you need their help. It is no different than how each and every one of you would act if the roles were switched. Accept that you are worthy and deserving of their assistance and give gratitude to them.
Many people have explained to me that they simply cannot accept the assistance without feeling worse about themselves. Mostly it was because they were used to doing for others, and with the Parkinson’s they felt they had nothing to offer others (especially nothing to offer in return to those who were assisting them), so the assistance just made them feel worse about themselves.
I have explained to them that I suffered in the same way. At one point early in my Parkinson’s recovery, Sally and I had a conversation regarding this topic. She sat me down and asked if she had said or done anything that made me feel like it bothered her to be assisting me with certain things around the house.
I told her of course not and that I was quite grateful for the things she and our children were doing to assist me. She then pointed out to me something that I had been doing but was completely unaware. Sally told me that when she or our children were assisting me with things around the house, I was apologizing to them that they had to help me.
She pointed out to me that they were assisting me because they loved me and that I needed to figure out whatever was my issue because I needed their assistance but I was making them feel badly when they helped me.
After a lot of soul-searching, I realized that I felt unworthy of their love. I was the one who was supposed to be doing for them and I was failing them. How unfair it was to them that I had Parkinson’s. I didn’t even like myself enough to feel compassion for myself about the Parkinson’s, but only to feel how unfair it was for them. I remember thinking, “This is not the life they signed up for, me with Parkinson’s.”
Sally is the wisest, most compassionate soul to have graced my life, so I heard her words and took them to heart. At first, it was quite difficult, but I responded to assistance from Sally and our children with “Thank you” or “Thank you. I love you” or “Thank you. I love you, too.” It was healing for all of us.
I have cried with quite a few people who are experiencing the same situation that I had experienced, and some have told me that their spouse or significant other has had a very similar conversation with them as the one Sally had with me.
When Sally and I discussed this topic after my recovery, she told me that she loved me so much and I was such a special person to her that it was very painful for her to see that I was struggling with even being able to like myself. As you all know, I eventually got all of this worked out and learned to love myself and to know that I am worthy.
On that note, I feel compelled to tell all of you one of the most important things you need to know about yourselves:
You are special just because you exist. That’s right. You need to accept this. You are special just because you exist. Your achievements, attainments, performance, and successes, they are icing on the cake. You are the cake, your heart and soul, perfectly baked just because you exist, uniquely you. And, a perfectly baked cake doesn’t need any icing at all. It is gloriously radiant all by itself.
“Thank you” says two things: “I am grateful for you” and “I am worthy of your assistance.”
When you accept this, then you can accept assistance graciously. It is time to accept assistance graciously and let anybody and everybody who is assisting you in any way know how grateful you are.
Look him or her in the eyes with an enormous smile and say the two most wonderful words you can say to them in that moment, “Thank you.”
YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!
All my best,