Archive for the ‘health’ Tag

Write Your Own Story!   4 comments

Most of us have heard the old saying, “He who angers you, controls you.” I contend that anger is not the only emotion that we can let others to control us. These emotional ties come from many sources: past abuse or trauma, abandonment/rejection, unfaithfulness. Other sources include current disturbing behaviors such as substance abuse, violence run away, etc. They control us because we choose to have our lives driven by our emotional reactions to the behaviors of others. Lets discuss these two very different scenarios.

First lets look at control from the past. Please consider the following example;

A young man feels and believes he was abandoned and rejected by his birth mother. Despite being raised by a loving and caring step-mother, he never gets over the feelings of hurt, anger, resentment and bitterness. As a result of these feelings, he grows to believes that he is not worthy of being loved or wanted. So all of his relationships are either short lived because as soon as things start getting “too close”, whether consciously or not, he sabotages the relationship and pushes others away. This is not true just in romantic relationships, it can also be true in platonic relationships as well. If this is not what he does then he finds the “sickest” or neediest girl that he can and goes to work making her dependent on him. Why? If she need him to take care of her, she won’t leave, and thus abandon/reject him. (So he believes anyway).

 So what is the driving force behind these behaviors?

 His behavior is controlled by his unresolved issues from his mother. Thus, I would say that because he allows these beliefs and emotions to continue to shape and direct his life, he chooses to give the control of his life, the pen of his story, back to his mother, rather she wants it or not.

 When we continue to look back and let issues from the past control our emotions and behaviors then we are surrendering control over our destiny back to the person or persons that hurt us to begin with. I once said it like this: we had no control over the abuse in the past, but now we hand them the bat.

 Now, lets look at the other scenario, current disturbing behaviors of others that control our emotions and behaviors. As mentioned above, there are a number of behaviors that may contribute to this type of reaction: substance abuse, anger, violence, criminal behavior, run away, manipulation, etc. We have all been in this situation to some degree or another.

 Here again, lets look at another example:

 A young lady is in a relationship with an alcoholic/addict that disappears on binges for days at a time. She sits at home, crying and worrying that he is OK. When he does finally come home, she nurses him through coming down and withdrawal and then does everything that she can to clean up after him. If he misses work, she calls the boss and tells him he is sick. She keeps the secret hidden, yet she is miserable, lonely, depressed and hates every minute of it.

So here again, why? Similarly, she believes that is what a “good wife” does; “no one else would love me and want to be with me.” Whatever the case she continues to let his behaviors and her emotional response. This is especially difficult when the individual is not a spouse or even a parent, but your child.

To a degree, you feel responsible, you blame yourself, you ask yourself over and over, “What did I do wrong?” The truth is, for most of us, we did nothing wrong. Our loved ones/children have made their own choices. Despite all of our efforts now an in the past, we have no control over their choices and behaviors.

On the other hand, when we allow ourselves to be consumed by worry and attempts to “save them from themselves.” then we are giving them that exact control over our lives. We allow their behaviors and our emotional response to them to consume our very being.

We all know exactly what I am talking about; it is classic “codependency”. Sometimes we are aware of it and are even willing to acknowledge it, but we have been this way so long, we don’t know any other way to live. We have completely lost our identity as an individual because we are so enmeshed with our addicted loved one.

I hear you saying, “thanks for pointing out all that is wrong with me. That was really encouraging.” I truly understand, but what is the first step of solving a problem or fixing something is wrong? We have to recognize that what we have been doing to this point is number one not changing the other person, and number two and most importantly we are unhappy and in fact, miserable.

That brings me to the good news or bad news depending on your point of view, some recommendations on how to change this cycle and reclaim our emotions and behaviors. Here why I say it could be considered bad news: It is NOT going to be easy, and it WILL take a lot of work. So if you are ready to take the challenge and start living YOUR life again, then keep reading, if not good luck.

When we continue to look back and let issues from the past control our emotions and behaviors then we are surrendering control over our destiny back to the person or persons that hurt us to begin with. I once said it like this: we had no control over the abuse in the past, but now we hand them the bat.

Whether, it is the current or past, we must find a way, to do the hardest, but most important thing: “LET GO”.

 We must accept that there is nothing that we can do to change the events of the past. Holding on to the pain, anger, and any other related negative emotions only hinders our ability to move forward and meet our full potential. I know that this is a painful process and we can’t just let go and walk away that easy. Take your time, surround yourself with support. If possible being involved in some kind of counseling is also a good idea. This may be individual or a group of others with similar experiences.

 The same is true in regards to letting go of the expectation that we can change the dysfunctional and negative behaviors of our loved ones. Our worrying about them, nagging, yelling, threatening does not effect positive change, in fact many of these behaviors lead to exactly the opposite of the desired effect.

 The very best thing that we can do is express our love and concern for our loved one and then pray believing that the Heavenly Father will keep is eye and hand upon them. We can not go on protecting them from the consequences of their choices and behavior. When we do so, we simply enable the behavior to continue.

 Just like overcoming the past, and moving on, I know this is a difficult and painful process and we can’t just let go and walk away that easy. Take your time, surround yourself with support. If possible being involved in some kind of counseling is also a good idea. This may be individual or a group of others with similar experiences.

 The next step is probably just about as difficult, we must start reclaiming our own identity. For many of us we have been so entangled in the past or the behaviors of others that we have lost even the ability to recognize who we even are without that to define us.

 Start simply, set aside some time with just you, paper and pen or your computer.

  • List all the current roles that “define” you (mother, father,son, sister, teacher, friend, etc).

  • List your values? (What is important to you? – faith honesty, kindness, family, friends, etc.)

  • List the character traits that either define you now, or that you would like to do so. (strong, independent, hopeful, etc.)

  • List your strengths. (What are you good at?)

  • List your weaknesses. (What do you need to work on?)

  • What are your goals? (Where are you going, what do you want to do with your life?

  • Finally, write out a narrative that would describe you as person. Start with the list from above and describe your personality, your likes/dislikes, strengths weaknesses and most importantly where are YOU going in future?

Now, each day wake up, believe and strive to demonstrate this simple affirmation:

 “I and I alone choose my destiny, I control whether I am happy or sad. I am responsible for me and me alone. I can love and support others, but they must choose their own path. I choose to live MY life; I choose to write my own story!”

I feel like this article has been a little disjointed, but I hope and pray that it helps you to let go and start living your own life again.

Thanks for reading!

R2R

 

So You Think You Know Me….   4 comments

The Paradox of Masks

“Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character,and reveals it by hiding” Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all wear a mask from time to time, many of us more than one and to tell the truth some of us live in them.  I consider the afore mentioned quote, “Society is a masked ball….” I envision people all standing around talking, but each is holding a masquerade mask covering his/her face. Then as someone leaves one group to visit with a different group, they change masks before they get to the next group.

 Even the great Apostle Paul said the following, “I have become all things to all people” in 1 Corinthians 9:22.

It is actually natural and healthy to adapt and conceal our parts personality to a degree when we are interacting in different situations or settings.  We all have different roles that we play. We  are a father/mother, a husband/wife, son/daughter,  supervisor/employee, teacher/student, a friend, etc. In each of these roles, we portray a little different version of ourselves than we do with the others. This adaption is normal and expected. I was recently discussing the concept of masks with some other travelers on the “Road” and the idea came to me that in these situations, it is more like having a veil that only partially hides the face; we partially conceal our true personality rather than covering it entirely.

However, many of have taken that next step and we wear a various masks, thus hiding our true personality entirely.

The question that must be asked is, “Why?” Why do we feel it is a necessity to wear masks and hide who we really are from others?

There are many different answers to this question; we will focus on the one that fits more than any other.

Life experiences have taught that others can not be trusted. If others are allowed “too close”, then they will disappoint and hurt us.

What kind of hurts have we experienced? These include: abuse, neglect, rejection, abandonment, just to name a few.

I know in my life personally, I felt abandoned and rejected by my mother. So in order to feel loved and accepted, I would enter a group and look around at the attitudes, behaviors and personalities of others in the group and I would proverbially, paint my mask to be similar to theirs.

The mask that I wore more than any other was the mask of caretaker and hero. Everyone of my “romantic” relationships up until I met my now wife of 15 years, were very co-dependent and dysfunctional. I figured that I wasn’t good enough for the “normal” girls. So I found subconsciously I sought out someone that needed to be “fixed” or “taken care of” as much as I needed to be needed.

Along my way on this journey, I have met MANY others that due to whatever reason, they have taken on the same types of behaviors. We have become people pleasers and co-dependent, seeking to insure that EVERYONE else is happy even when doing so makes us miserable on the inside.

This is no surprise to anyone, but if we live our lives hiding behind a mask, we will never be happy or find peace. We go from place to place and group to group always making sure that we are wearing the “right” mask for the occasion. Then we find ourselves in a crisis when we encounter people from different groups simultaneously. For example you out to dinner with your significant other, and “one of the guys” form the office comes up to you and tells you an off color joke that you know that your date is going to find offensive. What do you do? Which mask to you reveal?

Although I know it’s unfair I reveal myself one mask at a time” Stephen Dunn

 “It’s a terrible thing to be alone — yes it is — it is — but don’t lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath –as terrible as you like –but a mask.”Katherine Mansfield

There comes a point that as much as he hate it as unhappy as we are wearing masks, we get to the point that we no longer know how to live without them. We do not know how to interact and relate with others in any other way. We wear s certain mask for so long that we “become” the mask that we wear, yet we despise every moment of it, and start hating ourselves for getting to that point. We are miserable within our own skin and consciousness and have no idea what to do about it. This misery has led to many of the self-destructive habits and behaviors that led to us being on this journey; substance abuse, self-harming, eating disorders, suicide attempts and ideation, etc.

“Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.”  William Somerset Maugham

 “He who wears a mask cannot see within himself.” Anonymous

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. …You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.” Jim Morrison

We have gotten to the point that we have completely lost knowing who we really are because all we see is the mask. We have even tried to “look inside” and we don’t know “who we are” anymore. Our personality has become so enmeshed with our mask, we do not know which are which and what emotions are real and which are the result of wearing the mask. Eventually, we get to the point that we stop feeling completely.

So, no what? Seems like the picture that I have painted to this point looks pretty grey and dreary, BUT there is hope! One day at a time, one step at a time we can RECLAIM our emotions, our behavior and ultimately our personality!

First of all you MUST learn to believe in ourselves again, and that often entails rebuilding our self-esteem.  Here is an except from a previous post “Baby Steps – Self-Esteem”

Self-Esteem has to be built from the ground up and learning to walking in it really is a step by step process. Let me borrow from a life experience and lesson that we have ALL learned from.

When a child learns to walk, he/she does not turn 10-months old and just start walking independently. There are MANY smaller steps that have occurred over the months leading up to day.  He/she rolled over, scooted, crawled, pulled up to stand, etc. He/she took one “baby step” after another until he/she got to the point of taking those first steps. Even then, once he/she starts walking, there are going to be falls, bumps, and bruises.  Does the child give up? NO. He/she cries for a bit, but then gets up and tries again. Slowly but surely, he/she gets better and better, more stable, and ultimately more and more confident.

We must translate these same “baby steps” into our recovery. As we start out, we slowly put one foot in front of the other, a little wobbly at first and reaching out and relying on our support systems to a degree. We begin with simple say day to day challenges: getting out of bed, taking a shower, eating, going to support groups or meetings. If faced with more difficult decisions we seek counsel from among our peers and support. As we grow more confident and stable in making these simple day to day decisions and solving problems, we gradually start taking on more difficult ones. Again, we are becoming more and more confident in the process. Just as with the child learning to walk, we are learning that there is hope, we can be successful and it really is not as scary a place as we thought that it was. We have learned to be hopeful, seeing ourselves and our circumstances from a optimistic perspective, seeing the good that our lives can be and how we can be an asset to those around us.

I want to leave you with a few practical exercises to help as you begin “crawling” in your self-esteem:

  1.  List 5 positive things that other people have said about you.
  2.  List 5 positive things about yourself.(Attributes or accomplishments)
  3. Share a compliment with 5 other people.
  4. Do something unrepentantly kind for someone that you perceive to be  “worse off” than you.

As you complete each “step” take out a pen and journal about how completing the activity made you feel. Take note to how you feel about your self before and after each activity.

Of course that is just the FIRST step, and as we all know that is a definite chore in and of itself. The good news is that as we are working on our self esteem, we become more and aware of our aware, comfortably and happy with our REAL personality. As we do so, then how do we get out from behind the mask and start revealing this “new person”.

Similarly, to building our self-esteem, we MUST take BABY steps. We start by taking little risk in trusted and safe relationships.

You and a group of friends are going to the movies and they are discussing what to go see, SPEAK UP! Jump into the discussion and share your opinion. Very low risk, but you’re giving yourself and your wants/needs a voice.

Slowly, over time take bigger and bigger risks in your relationships.

I know this sounds paradoxically TOO simple, yet at the time very difficult. The techniques are rather simple, the application “not so much”. I know from experience that working through the emotions related to this issue can be very painful. But I ask you, would you rather suffer the pain of dealing with the issues that got you to where you are, or do you want to continue to suffer in the misery of nothingness hidden behind a mask.

I hope pray that you choose to BELIEVE in the good that is within and the good in others.

When you hide behind a mask, it is like taking a priceless jewel and hiding its beauty from those desiring to admire it. You steal a little piece of the beauty out of the world.

So as was so appropriately stated my Jim Morrison, “The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are.”

Be Free,           Be Beautiful,                Be Happy!

Road to Recovery Manifesto   Leave a comment

This post is LOONG over due in being posted, both in the amount of time since my last message and in its content.

Road to Recovery Manifesto

At it’s inception, Road to Recovery was simply a coping skills class offered with the Patient Education program of aBig SpringStateHospital. It utilizes an active, interactive model for sharing and communicating information. The idea initially was to use a holistic approach to addressing recovery in regards to mental illness and substance abuse.

 In the process of interacting with those that attending the class, some seen of which would be discharged and re-admitted, I finally acknowledged something that we all know too well, “there are NOT enough resources available in most communities to adequately support those that are on this journey on a daily basis. That being said, in April of 2010 Road to Recovery took its first steps standing on its own feet with the launch of the Road to Recovery Blog. Not long after that Road to Recovery hit Facebook. Initially as a “Page”, which is actually still active, but then as a “Group”.

 Also in this time of getting up and walking, Road to Recovery has also gone online with Twitter and Tumblr.

 Just a few months ago, Road to Recovery, became its own “profile” on Facebook and within the last 3 weeks has added more than 150 friends, with more being added on a daily basis.

 So what is R2R today?

 Well, Road to Recovery continues to be the persona taken on by this writer with the hopes that through our interactions either personal, one on one, in the blog or other means of communication that you will experience on of the following as a result of that interaction:

  • Enlighten: To me, to enlighten is to share information with others so as to teach them something that they did not previously know, in order to allow them to improve the state of their lives.
  • Encourage: I recently described encouraging as offering a hand to another whom has slipped and fallen along their way and helping them to get back to their feet,
  • Inspire: Continuing from the previous thought, once the individual has gotten back on their feet; to inspire is to walk alongside and urge them on in their journey, rooting them on saying “you can do it”.
  • Instill Hope. To give, to share or impart hope. Hope is the belief that something good will happen and success is possible.
  • Empower: Finally, to empower is to have others come to the realization of the strength and courage that resides within, so as to believe in themselves and their potential for success.

To this day and as long as I am blessed to continue this journey, this will be me mission and my purpose whether it is in face to face interactions or by utilizing modern technology.

However, I have also learned a very valuable lesson through this process, I have come to realize that I am merely A voice. I am not THE Voice. That brings me to the second and probably the more important part of Road to Recovery today.

 I see it as a caring community of travelers who are all on the same journey, striving to overcome our “issues” and be “better” than we were yesterday. 

 We come all parts of this great planet on which we occupy, with all different types of problems including but NOT limited to any of the following:

  • Mental Illness – Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc
  • Substance Abuse/Dependence
  • Co-Occurring Disorders – Both of the above at the same time.
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality Disorders – Borderline, Dependent, Histrionic
  • Trauma – Abuse, PTSD, etc.

 We come together to share of struggles, our victories our joy and our tears. In sharing our experiences, we draw strength from one another, and individually and corporately we are one step further along in our journey. We acknowledge our similarities as well as our differences, respecting both. We will not always see eye to eye, bit we can always accept one another’s opinions and discuss issues and ideas without resorting to personal attacks. 

Every physical road has curves, mountains valleys, pot holes, signs, etc. The same is true in regards to personal recovery process and our growth as a community.

What determines if we are successful in our recovery and maintain our personal and corporate  well-being is how well we navigate these obstacles as we face them on our journey? Just as in driving, if we do not navigate these appropriately we will find ourselves in the bar ditch, or in recovery terms, relapse.

 I hope and pray that as you travel day to day o in your journey of recovery, you will be enlightened, encouraged, inspired, instilled with hope and ultimately empowered to face every curve and obstacle on your ROAD TO RECOVERY.

Gratitude   1 comment

Mental Health Recovery   1 comment

 

In December of 2004, SAMHSA, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a department within the US Department of Health and Human Services, convened 110 panelist including: mental health consumers, family members, providers, advocates, researchers, academicians, managed care representatives, accreditation organization representatives, State and local public officials, and others. As a result of there discussion and the developed the following consensus statement as a definition for Mental Health Recovery

Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

 Though I had not read or seen this definition prior to adopting the name of “Road to Recovery”, I have long believed that recovery was a “Process” and the more and more that I thought of it the concept of comparing it to being a “journey”, and thus the “Road” where one embarks on a journey. Summarizing from a previous post:

 Along our way on any road or journey, we will encounter trials, obstacles, mountains, valleys, plains, rain and sun. The same is true for our journey towards recovery and wellness. We will have good days and bad, struggles and victories. What determines whether we succeed or fail in this process? It is how well we navigate through each difficulty as we face them; if we do not navigate these appropriately we will find ourselves in the bar ditch, or in recovery terms, relapse.

 That brings me to the next phrase “healing and transformation”.  I have long believed that Recovery is no just about medication and therapy. It truly is a process of getting better, gaining strength as we face “our issues” struggling through the pain in order to eventually overcome them.  It is a way of life; a complete transformation in how we perceive the world and our place in it. Thereby, it changes how we respond to it. We learn to make better choices that are going to enhance our lives and well-being rather than exacerbate it.

 It is amazing how deep five little words in a simple phrase can be, but “to live a meaningful life”, is just such a phrase. Simply beginning with the word “live”, I imagine some that experiences life and is an active participant in the world around them. Someone that seizes life, experiencing every moment for all that it is worth. So many of us have been content to “survive” and “suffer through” our lives and experiences in the past. As we continue along our journey and transformation we finally, and for the first time for some of us actually start “living”!

 “A meaningful life”, for too long many of us have had no concept what actually having a meaningful life meant. Our lives have been ravaged by the symptoms of our illness, trauma and poor choices and behavior to the point that we came to believe that life, ours anyway had no meaning. As we grow and begin to see ourselves and our world through the new insights and perspective of recovery, we will gradually, yet slowly begin to recognize that our life does have meaning. Even more so, we acknowledge that we have value and have something to give back to the world around us.

 As we learn to “live” and not just survive from one day to the next, we realize that we have strength, and abilities that we had either never realized or forgotten. This insight fosters hope that we do not have to settle in our lives as they are; we can be and do ANYTHING that we set our minds to do. We are now able to realistic believe that we can set goals and trust in ourselves that we can actually achieve them. We can LIVE our lives to our full potential, no longer holding ourselves back in self-doubt and fear. We strive to “Be all we can be!”

 So today as you continue along your journey of healing and transformation, tell yourself, “The pain and difficulty that I am experiencing now is worth it, because I know that in the end I will become the person that I have wanted to be and I WILL achieve all that I am capable of doing.”

 Carpe’ Diem – Seize the Day

Remember Yesterday,

Hope for Tomorrow

LIVE Today!

Recovery   1 comment

Recovery similar to hope is a term that we all use on a regularly, but its meaning is very obscure and abstract. This is especially true when discussing recovery from mental illness and/or substance abuse.  To begin, lets look at the most basic definition of recovery: ”a return to health: the return to normal health of somebody who has been ill or injured”. In other words to get better after being injured or sick. We recover from a cold, flu, broken leg, etc. This concept is also true regarding our mental illness. We “get better” following a return or increase in symptoms that affects our ability to continue function normally.  As we all know, recovery from any set back, physical or psychiatric doe not happen overnight, it is a process, a journey. It will take time and effort on our part to achieve.

Another definition of recovery is “gaining back something lost or taken away.” I know many of us have made the statements or thoughts “I am loosing my mind,” or “My life is out of control.”  Relapse of her illness can and/or has taken many things from us: freedom, relationships, employment, housing, children, etc. The good news is that with time and effort, some of these things that have been lost or taken away can reclaimed. I once heard a persons describe their life during a relapse as feeling like it was a wasteland with nothing of value left. Through the journey and process of recovery, he was able to salvage his own value, purpose and usefulness and eventually also started reclaiming his freedom, relationships, employment and other things lost or taken away due to his illness.

Another view of Recovery is quite similar to our first definition, but one significant difference, “the return of something to a normal or improved state after a setback or loss.”  The most important part of this definition is the simple phrase, “or improved state”. Mental illness and Substance Abuse are the only conditions in which I feel this is possible. With most, if not all, other conditions there are residual effects of the illness that never truly heal to their previous state. Some have said, “How can I recovery to a better place than where I was before I got sick again.” This is possible because through our journey of recovery we learn new things about our illness and gain new skills for managing it and coping with the other issues of daily life. Thus we are better equipped for our journey as we continue our journey.

Personally, I fell the most important thing for all of us to remember is the journey of recovery is different for every individual that endeavors down this path. Due to the multitude of varying circumstances, strengths, weaknesses, supports and perspective, each of our journeys are as different as the snowflakes, none alike. Consequentially, we each of have a different interpretation of what recovery means to us, and we should.

On finally definition, that I think summarizes these concepts better than I feel I may have in these paragraphs.

William Anthony, Director of the Boston Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation developed the following definition of mental health recovery.

Anthony (1993) Recovery is “a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with limitations caused by the illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness.”

So no matter where you find yourself on your journey along the Road to Recovery I hope that you are moving forward and actively making progress towards getting better and reclaiming those things in your life that have been lost or taken away.

Anthony, W. A. (1993). Recovery from mental illness: The guiding vision of the mental health service system in the 1990’s. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal, 16(4), 11-23.

Hope   1 comment

It is my belief that hope is the foundation of all recovery. For without it, there is nothing within us to push us to look to the future, no reason to put forth the effort to overcome our present circumstances in order to reach a better end. Hope is the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”. Hope at times is all that we have left to encourage us to keep up the fight and not to give up even when the road grows rough and steep. Hope pushes us on.

Let’s look a little deeper into this simple yet very deep word.

 To start here are a few definitions:

  • noun: the feeling that some desire will be fulfilled
  • noun:   someone (or something) on which expectations are centered
  • verb:   intend with some possibility of fulfillment
  • verb:   expect and wish
  • verb:   be optimistic

 “The general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled”: Hope has many different forms. At times is experienced as a general positive feeling that what we desire will at some point be fulfilled; and the more imminent the fulfillment the more fervent our hope. This is experienced most generally as an overall optimistic attitude and perspective regarding life as a whole. At other times our hope is more of a “spot light”. We hope for specific things, relationship, promotion on the job, good health, happiness, recovery, etc. Hope is believing that a certain occurrence will come about for our benefit. It pushes us to give our best effort and energy to see that desire achieved. However, it is these hopes that are most often dashed, especially when they are affected by other people and situations that are outside of out control. 

“Intend with some possibility of fulfillment”: Hope is to determine, to purpose the fulfillment of a goal or desire. In simplest of terms… Hope is a CHOICE. Hope is that choice that you make, no matter how you feel at the moment, that says, “I will succeed”, “I will get better”, “I will …”. Hope is what sets are hearts and minds ablaze with ambition and energy to achieve an expected goal.

 This reminds me of a quote made by a gentleman that most of are very familiar with, Christopher Reeve. He played the role of Superman in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s movies. Later in life he was injured in horse riding accident and led to him becoming a quadriplegic. He stated, “Once you choose hope anything is possible.” Having made this choice, and with the help of some of the best doctors and therapist, he moved again. It was in a very controlled environment, but he did it. Repeatedly after his accident, he talked and encouraged those with disabilities that hope was the only choice. If you don’t believe it here is the video: Christopher Reeve Walks

 George Weinberg, a famous psychologist and author, stated similarly, “Hope never abandons you, you abandon it”. Hope is always present, and available. We give up, allowing our feelings and circumstances to dictate our lives to us, rather than choosing to hang on to hope and refusing to give up on our dreams and goals.

One final quote from another individual that we are all very familiar with, and from one of the most famous speeches of all time: Martin Luther King, Jr., from “I have a Dream”        

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.

 Hope is that unseen, unheard, and often even unfelt force that is within every human being that keeps “life moving”. It is that force that gives us the strength and courage to be who we are, ourselves. Despite our weaknesses and faults we can be ourselves and have strength and faith to keeping moving forward in spite of our past, our hurts, our mistakes and circumstances. In spite of it all we must “still have a dream”, something to hope for, some goal some expectation that we set our hearts, our minds, our entire being towards achieving.

  When all else has failed …  CHOOSE HOPE!!

 HAVING

OPTOMISTIC  &

POSITIVE

EXPECTATIONS

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