A recurring theme has surfaced recently, so I feel compelled to write about it. Some people have expressed that they look at themselves and their Parkinson’s with some guilt for having it, a sort of, “why me?” followed by, “because I have done something wrong in life to deserve this disease.”
Nearly ten years ago, I wrote about this topic, and today is a good time to discuss it again. For those of you who have these feelings, I have learned that “I have the power to heal myself” has become a very large hurdle to overcome. Today, I provide you a new perspective on “why me?” in showing you that Parkinson’s is not a punishment.
The way it has been expressed to me is mostly this type of scenario:
“From my religious background and upbringing, I have this sense of guilt for bad things that occur in my life. Essentially, that I have committed some sin for which I am being punished, and my punishment is Parkinson’s. No matter how hard I try to do the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®, and no matter how hard I try to “be” in the moment of “I have the power to heal myself,” I get despondent because some past transgression has delivered me into the realm of Parkinson’s and I question if I ever will get to leave. I feel overwhelming guilt over whatever bad thing I did in life to have landed me where I am now with Parkinson’s.”
I see it much differently. Here is how I have explained my comparison within the framework of the scenario provided above.
Two people having done the same “bad things” prior in life (and for our Eastern philosophical and religious readers, in past lives as well).
Person 1: Walks down the driveway to get the newspaper and has a heart attack and dies on the spot, past transgressions never addressed.
Person 2: Gets Parkinson’s. With Parkinson’s, Person 2 has been given the opportunity to explore past transgressions and to deal with them and resolve them, thus cleaning out all “past transgressions.”
Person 1 dies without the opportunity to bring life back into balance before death. Person 2 has received a gift, a golden opportunity to bring life back into balance and to live a happy life before death.
As you can see, Parkinson’s, although physically and mentally challenging, is spiritually liberating. Parkinson is not a punishment. In fact, it is a gift…yes, a gift wrapped in the worst looking wrapping paper.
However, when you get beyond being obsessed with the wrapping paper and accept yourself, the beautiful, precious, joyful, loving, compassionate, grateful soul underneath, then the wrapping paper falls off and the full recovery blossoms and is experienced.
That, my friends, is a gift. And, as I have been telling you since the beginning of the year, they all are good days.
This is what I have written in the past regarding this topic:
“Am I grateful for having had Parkinson’s? Yes. Through that bump in the road in a life already out of balance, Parkinson’s stood as a bump at a fork in the road leaving me two choices: 1. Fix the imbalances in my life and it would go away; and 2. Do not fix the imbalances in my life and it would stay with me forever. I chose the road less traveled, I had no plan B, and every day I did the Recipe to find balance in my life. And every day that I awoke with Parkinson’s still there, it was a reminder I still had more work to do.
However, in the end, when I awoke on June 12, 2010 with no Parkinson’s, I knew it was not coming back — I had re-balanced my soul, mind, and body, and I no longer needed the message or symptoms known as Parkinson’s as a reminder that I had more work to do.
I was finished with that part of my life, and I am grateful for that as well.”
So, instead of looking at your Parkinson’s as a punishment for some past transgression and thinking “why me?” why not adopt a new perspective.
Why not adopt a new perspective that says, “Whatever good things I have done in my life to have received the gift of Parkinson’s as an opportunity to re-balance my life and live an extraordinarily happy life, I am grateful I did them, and I accept this opportunity graciously.
I have the power to heal myself…I have the power to re-balance my life…I am recovery, and I am worth it!”
Okay! Now, grab onto to your new perspective (or enhanced perspective for those of you who did not have this issue), and grab onto the Recipe, and get balance back into your life.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
I was about 61 when I first noticed symptoms of PD , but I never thought at anytime why me as I’ve seen family friends a lot younger pass away ! My Grandfather who used to captain the Auckland team in NZ rugby passed away at 48 with a heart attack , so I feel grateful to get to 65. I’ve always been fit and healthy , so when I see people of all shapes, sizes and ages walking naturally I do find that interesting but I never ever think why me as I’m grateful for me being me. Western medicine says there isn’t a cure but thank you to Howard and all his time he gives us we now have a website where people are going into remission from Parkinson’s , but you must work at it and be persistent and it will come and I also truely believe this ! My 10 year daughter said to me this week , Dad when you get rid of your PD will you go on TV lol ! Also I don’t like surrounding myself with doubters and there’s many as I like positive energy! Love and blessings to all and much love to Val and Karen as this blog wouldn’t be the same without you both 😊😊😊
What a beautiful person you are. Nice to know you Rick!
Hi Rick, I am laughing to myself as my first thought was “ awww bless your heart for your love to me and Val. My second thought was, Karen you are going to look a right fool if you are not the “Karen” Rick is talking about lol. So I am going to say a big thank you for your lovely words, from ALL the Karen’s 😘 We ALL know there is only one Val and we all love her dearly for her intelligence, her dry witty humour and honesty. I agree with Maree and think you are not just a lovely person but a bright shining light of positivity and determination all the way from Australia, which I find to be inspiring and infectious. So thank you for being you.
There is much love here for you. 😊xx
That’s typically modest of you to accept the accolade from Rick on behalf of all the Karens out there. This is definitely the Val you know saying thanks for your kind words about me and for holding me in high regard. It’s mutual. Seeing myself through your rose-tinted specs reminds me that I don’t need to judge myself so harshly all the time.
Howard, thank you for addressing the issue of punishment head-on. As you know, I have questioned whether it’s wrong to want to get better if Parkinson’s is perceived as penance for sins. But, lately, I have been recalling episodes from my life that show me in a good light and I feel that God is leading me to Bible passages which remind me that the balance sheet has two sides. Your blog this week feels like another message meant for me. I also remember Marie talking about the importance of just sitting around and loving herself as part of healing. So, yes, I am grateful that Parkinson’s has given me a chance to recalibrate my life. I’ve got the power.
I think someone once described Howard in a testimonial as ‘a poster child’ for Parkinson’s recovery. It would be nice to think that another handsome victor could someday join him on the podium. Your young daughter obviously has complete faith in you and thinks her daddy is the greatest (I have Karen for that, LOL). Seriously, though, I’d love to see you on the telly, telling your recovery story – especially if the cameras then panned to me, symptom-free! Thanks for sending love to Karen and me. You are both becoming old friends. And I’m certainly benefiting from your positive energy, so keep it coming! Thank you.
Thank you for this important issue it will help all of us. Dear Rick, you are really positive too and we can learn a lot from you, thanks!! We wish you all a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for the wonderful advice dear Howard
You always have something brilliant to teach me. Lifting up my spirit “at a time when I
Love to all
Hello dear friends.. I love the concept of the gift wrapping paper and work on it with the recovery recipe till you can remove the old gift paper and put on a new one. I know it’s hard, but with Mr Howard’s encouragement and positivity and with God’s blessings, let’s remove the negative thoughts that we are punished for our sins and concentrate on becoming better and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I wish all my friends a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend and ask God’s strength to help us through our recovery with good thoughts and positivity. Ameen 🙏🏼☺️
Beautiful post Howard, I do have those dark thoughts from time to time, thank you for shining a light on them – they will never bother me quite like that again. Little by little, day by day, I am growing, learning and healing – why me? because I am WORTH it!!!!
Wishing my fellow warriors a beautiful day/weekend/year/life of joy, happiness and forgiveness.
Thank you Howard. Your blog is a life saver. An oasis in a long slow trek across the desert. Yes it is hard but the rewards are immense. Cherish and embrace the small pleasures as they grow. When my physical symptoms increase I say to PD “I don’t believe you” . My neurologist recently said I had not deteriorated so how can they be evidence of harm? Much love as always. xx
When the negative voice gets loud, I think ‘What would Howard say?’
Thank you Howard for your uplifting posts! ♥️
Thank you Howard for that reminder. My GOD only gives me gifts! This is what I say to myself every time I start sinking into that cesspool of guilt and shame. The pool is deep and pervasive because these messages were pretty consistent throughout my life. But now I have tools and techniques to help me out and a community who is traveling along the path of recovery.
A year ago, I used to feel “Why Me” and felt that I have done something in my life to deserve this condition.
Now after doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery for >18 months, I feel
I have the power to heal myself…
I have the power to re-balance my life…
I am recovery, and I am worth it…!
Thanks Howard for your support and continues encouragement.
I thought I’d be cured by now, and lately began to think just that, that I’d done something bad in a past life, so thanks for this. My daily life has become a painful battle mainly caused by dyskinesia from the meds, so all I can do is try work on the mind and soul parts of the recipe. Thank you 😊
Hi Melanie, it’s so lovely to see you posting old friend. I know the meds are so challenging but we will get there in the end. Life always wins, like the grass grows through the cement lol. Stay strong in your knowing. With you in spirit. Karen xx
Thank you beautiful Karen ❤❤❤
Hi Howard and fellow warriors, this week’s post is a deep one I think for most of us.
We all have done things in life that we look back on with regret and we feel great guilt and even shame and so we feel unworthy. I truly believe that God IS my spiritual father and as my father, when he knows that I am genuinely sorry, he forgives me as he knows we are human. If I am really honest, I don’t think God judges any of us because he gave us free will, as he knew, the only way for us to grow spiritually and evolve, is to make mistakes. The pain comes when we don’t learn from our mistakes and keep repeating the same patterns over and over, which we tend to do when we don’t learn the lesson . The secret is to find the blessing in every situation, to the best of our ability and move on. Forgiving ourselves is the most challenging part. The result being the ultimate poison of our feeling unworthy of love, happiness, success and of course, HEALING! So as Howard says, to balance out our lives, we have to connect to the powerful essence of who we are within. The qualities of our soul are Love, Joy, Trust, Happiness, Perfect Health, amongst others. I believe that when we all FEEL those qualities, on a regular basis, all lower energies of fear, anxiety, worry, blame/shame, will we find that our symptoms will just melt away and become a distant memory. (YES, I know we will never forget the experience of good old parky, the meanest teacher in the land 😁) but maybe then, can we look back and see the gift he brought. Now warriors, if I have said similar in previous posts, I apologise in advance. One of my meds, that I am working on eliminating causes short term memory loss 🤪, so just don’t read this! Lol 🙃
Lastly, I know I have shared this quote before but I LOVE IT SO MUCH, I am sharing again for the new warriors (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking by it. lol)
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that crushed it.”
Big Love to all friends old and new.
Karen. xx 💕
The more I hear about negative side effects of medication, the more determined I am not to bow to the pressure to take them.
So true, I have had Parkinsons for 9 years. I don´t feel guilty, I feel blessed that I have been able to change a lot in my life in order to get better and get rid of almost 90% of the meds in 3 years time. Today I have no symptoms left except for minor tremors. I feel grateful every day and I look forward to even get better this year and if possible reduce the meds that I have left. The most important thing is to have the right mindset in order to get well again, for me it was hard work to change and it took some time but it was all worth it!
Well done Anne.
My first visit with your group.
I read Howard’s book this past week.
Encountered his work about a month ago, when I finally choked on “impending doom” and started truly looking for something else. In my heart I never believed it, anyway.
A monumental blessing to me from Parkinson’s has been the opportunity to recognize
how I so often fail to take notice of the Holy Spirit’s prompting, lacking the faith and courage; but even more remarkably how much I was able to take for granted a body and mind which functioned so well, without notice, for most of my life.
The gift of conscious awareness is extraordinary enough, but that it should turn out to be so readily a shared experience, is a gift which only a loving God could have invented.
As a Human, I have so lived the life of a spoiled trust fund kid, finding so much suffering in the cost of being free to make choices. I have run out of individuals or circumstances to blame for the fact that even the freedom to be foolish has been part of my birthright.
Now on the verge of my 75th birthday I have stumbled into Sherwood Forest where Howard and his band of “merry bandits” are prepared to celebrate with me the best part of my journey–becoming a “grown up”–in front of joyfully disbelieving friends and family. WOW!!! HOLLYWOOD!!!
Excellent debut, Denis. As someone on the verge of my 65th birthday, I am interested in your senior’s wisdom. So, welcome to the group of us warriors, or foresters as you may prefer. Here’s to your personalised coming of age!