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Innocent & Not Sentenced
This morning as I quickly leafed through my mail, one envelope caught my eye. It did not capture my attention in a positive way. Yes, it was one of those unwelcome letters with the “window” in it yet it was not a bill. On the outside of the envelope, there is a photo of a gentleman with a caption underneath of “diabetes is a life sentence.” That was not the start to the day that I was going to embrace that’s for sure.
The thing that troubled me most about this caption was the sense of powerlessness that I felt that statement represented. Hopefully you & I do not allow a sense of powerlessness to overtake us for long. We are human so a moment here & there of exasperation with our health challenges is to be expected. How long do we let these thoughts take residence in our minds though? Not long is my heart’s hope for all of us.
When we realize that we are so much more than our bodies, then we come to consider that our minds, spirits & souls have a health too. We choose to take the best possible care of ourselves physically when it comes to health challenges. Are our bodies getting the big spotlight though even after we have done all that we can to be as physically healthy as possible? Are we making choices to grow our minds & spirits too? They make up a healthy you & me too I believe.
Personally, I do not accept the term “diabetes is a life sentence.” It is not that I am in denial about having type 1 diabetes. I have been there & moved beyond that. I accept it is here. Is there going to be a cure in our lifetime? I don’t know. My heart’s hope is that there is a cure for this & the multitude of 365 health challenges. While that is happening though, there is no way that I accept a “life sentence” mentality for a “crime” that I did not commit. We certainly do not ask for a health challenge. Is it helpful for us to then label the challenge as a “life sentence?” We each get to answer that question for ourselves. My feisty self answers that question for myself with a resounding, bold & steadfast “no way!”
Are you familiar with the wise & famous quote by Henry David Thoreau? This gentleman left us with many gems to act as timeless guideposts. The quote that I would love to share with you by Henry David Thoreau today is: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Yikes, the wording may jar many folks. When I reflect often on this quotation, it propels & reminds me to spend my whole self living fully while I am on this earth but a short time. Many times throughout life, I have found myself in the outlier category. There is enthusiasm to be brought to life everywhere we go & I just go ahead & find it or create it. If folks are surprised or awakened by this, well, that’s fine & if not, that’s okay too. We don’t have to subdue our enthusiasm though to bring perceived comfort or sameness to situations. We can choose to dare to be excited each new day. We can choose to change up the day or our thoughts & behaviours to bring more life into every environment that we touch that day. Then, we can get up & do that tomorrow too. We can think & behave our way into lives of quiet desperation or we can think & behave our way into lives fully lived. Both are choices. Both choices can be made today & tomorrow & every day.
Diabetes is not a “life sentence” in my mind. It is one small part of life. It is a pain in the butt many times throughout the day yet it does not define me & I hope that it does not define you. Maybe one of my favourite references to diabetes in my life was when someone said to someone that “Saundie is that incredibly enthusiastic lady & oh, I think she has diabetes.” Notice, the diabetes is but a mere footnote. Diabetes or other 365 challenges are not funny yet we can use humour with others to enjoy a more human experience. One of the things that I have said when my insulin pump has beeped in the middle of a conversation is “sorry for the interruption, but I have to take this call from my pancreas” or “I will be right back folks after this commercial break brought to you by my pancreas.”
Diabetes, there is no crime. It is a tiny part of the beauty within each one of us. It does not define us. We do not choose to live quiet lives of desperation. My heart’s hope for you is that you go ahead & embrace a life of full aliveness. Let’s choose to let diabetes be a reason to fully live & discard the “life sentence” attitude. You & I are exactly, beautifully ourselves & not a label after all.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a hit it over the fence week & looking forward to sharing again this Friday with "There Is No Rush!" :)