Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Take Your Breath Away Life

This year on May 28th I celebrated a whole year of being in remission from Lupus. That was a big day for me! Though I have some leftover "gifts" from Lupus, physically I had felt good for a long time. But reaching a whole year off of medication gave me the validation I needed to believe in my remission. I'm ok, I really am!!! In the following months I have felt like Rip Van Winkle. It's an incredibly happy opportunity to have my life back and to have a second chance at being all that God intended me to be; but it's also mind-boggling, frightening, lonely, and a wonderful challenge. It's a great gift from God to get your life back after fighting a disease for so many years. I am so grateful. But you know what? I'm grateful for the journey I had with Lupus, too.

Yeah you read that right. I'm grateful for having had my journey with Lupus. Because of my journey with Lupus I am who I am today. Being ill taught me how short the speck of time we spend on this earth is. It taught me that wellness is not just about not being sick. It taught me to value time spent on a park bench watching ants scurry here and there on the ground. More than that it taught me to TAKE THE TIME to sit on a park bench and watch the ants scurrying around on the ground. When was the last time you slowed down; got off the rat race merry-go-round and took time to relax and appreciate life? When was the last time you felt grateful?

My journey with illness taught me to laugh, to find humor everyday. It opened my eyes to the beauty around us in the wonders of nature. When I see a fluttering hummingbird, a soaring hawk or a rare Pileated Woodpecker I feel an attitude of gratitude for the beauty with which we are surrounded. I swear the red I see in a rose is more beautiful now then the red I saw before I got sick. It's just an awesome color! When was the last time you ever really looked at a rose or a flower and truly appreciated the wondrous colors? God is an awesome artist! Want to give your life a spark of joy? Always, always have a vase of cut flowers in the room you are in the most! Do you have a green thumb? Grow some flowers on your kitchen windowsill. We have an integral need to give love and whether it's to a plant, a pet or to another person that you give loving care, the giving of care will enrich your life.

In my struggle to make sense of my journey with lupus I learned how much of life I had taken for granted. In today's world it's so easy to get caught up in busy-ness, in things which don't add value to your life. There is so much busy-ness which is just a waste of time. What parts of your life do not add value to your existence? Is your work fulfilling? Are you utilizing your talents? Do your friends enrich your life or do they suck your emotions dry with their negativity? Real friends don't suck you dry. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.

I am reminded of my favorite quote "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away." I don't know who to attribute that quote to but I can say this: If you aren't having moments in your life which take your breath away then you need to change something in your life. Do what you need to to have a take-your-breath-away life!

Wishing you wellness and joy!
Pam Murphy,B.S.,RRT