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O Sole Mio Sundays — Measures of Acceptance

Posted Jun 22 2008 6:04am

Most Sundays, I devote my blog to the stories of others who let their Moonlight times inspire them to let the positive blossom from the negative. Al, age 56, from Wichita Kansas, has dealing with M.S. for more than 12 years. He recently shared his Sunshine-esque thoughts on acceptance and denial with me and agreed to allow me to share his musings with all of my readers today.

There has been much discussion about ‘acceptance’ and ‘denial’ lately. I think I need to be VERY clear here and I get the feeling that many really don’t totally understand the concepts from my point of view.

I ran from letting M.S. enter my consciousness too often for a long, long time.Kept making plans for the futureand ‘accepted’ that I could continue on my present path despitewhateverwas going on in my life. So I took care of some personal issues like divorce, dating again, property settlements, job issues, getting laid off, looking for work, etc., etc. Concentrating on them kept me from having to worry about M.S. and the gift I was given was all the distractions!

That was denial. I figured if it wanted me it was just going to have to come and GET me.

Sure enough, it DID. Damn … What do I do now?  About that time I ran across this piece of wisdom:

People want so much. We want to be someone else. “I want to be stronger.” “I want to be more directed.” “I want to be superwoman.” But it’s not possible. You must accept your condition. But “accept” is active. Who you are is active. Passive acceptance - that’s the immobile, inanimate Zen. It’s not the Zen I’m talking about. There’s passion here. Spirit for the quest.

This is important: the sincerity of our quest and how we go about it. It’s a long path. Are you prepared? Do you want to walk on this path? Don’t think about it too much. Just walk! C’mon, let’s go! That’s Zen.

—Jakusho Kwong

So I took anactiveapproach to acceptance … I knew that I would never be able to ‘beat’ M.S. and to even try would be futile and to do so would only mean signing on for adifferent versionof denial. The one that says, “If only I did the ‘right’ things or took the right drugs this would not be happening to me.”  I just don’t plan on being ’saved’ from M.S.

So I invited M.S. in, told him to put his feet up, and got toknowhim and introduced him to my Inner Healer. I did this for two reasons: 1. A problem never appears unless it has a gift for you in its hands and 2. The measure of a warrior is in the accomplishments of his enemies. You have to learn to respect an enemy in order to live in the same world with them .

So rather than trying to fight and defeat M.S., I have learned to workwithit. I got my bathroom remodeled and fixed my house up for handicapped accessibility; not out of fear that I would end up in the wheelchair but because it all make my life so much easier. I’m learning to live within my limits.

There are many who would say that since I am not on a DMD (Disease Modifying Drug) that I am ‘in denial’ . Sorry, but I don’t really think that you can use that as a yardstick for ‘acceptance’. I think I have done a pretty good job of ‘weaving it into the fabric of my life’ and I really think that qualifies.

Interested in submitting a story for O Sole Mio Sundays? What are the rules? There really aren’t any. I don’t care if your story is long or short. It doesn’t matter what your Moonlight situation was — whether M.S.- related or something else. Submit your stories to me and I’ll post them here. A lot of folks read this blog, so please let me know if you’d like your email address included with your story. Send along a photo if you’d like and I’ll post it, too. The only request I have is that you make a connection for my readers, explaining how your Moonlight inspired you. Describe the opportunities and the gifts you received from your Moonlight times and find a positive side to your story. Not everyone likes to talk about themselves, so if you have story about a loved one, a friend, someone who inspired you, send me their stories, too. As you can tell, we also take recommendations of nationally-published news stories that follow the themes portrayed here on Sunshine and Moonlight. Please submit appropriate links and citations when necessary.Click here to send Kim YOUR story! And, then be sure to visit Sunshine and Moonlight each Sunday for O Sole Mio Sundays!


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