“Aim at heaven and you will get ‘earth thrown in.’ Aim at earth and you will get neither.” C.S Lewis
Last few weeks, I feel like I have simply run out of steam when it comes to Parkinson’s advocacy. After, nearly 3 decades of living and breathing Parkinson’s I simply don’t feel like talking and writing about it all the time. After all like it or not it is a part of my daily life. Hour to hour minute to minute, my faithful friend never leaves my side. Parkinson’s has become my shadow, my constant companion which had begun to make me weary and feel stifled because the shadow seemed to be growing. But then I realized that shadows only grow bigger and less defined as they get closer to the light. Suddenly I felt better. I remembered why I became a doctor and why I began this advocacy journey. I wanted to be a beam of hope to those who had lost their way but in so doing I have found a greater light reflected back on me.
Today, I admonish those who like me are beginning to feel themselves disappear next to the growing shadows, to not let your fears and weariness over take you. If you retrieve now you will also depart from the light that surrounds you. Because one cannot have shadows unless there is a bright light shining on us.
If you feel like you are losing steam like me go back to your roots and make your passion contagious once again.
First, take care of yourself and rest. You are no good to others if you can’t even take care of yourself. Exhaustion can cause us to loose perspective.
Second, start small- even the smallest act can create a ripple effect. May be just become a friend to someone else who is struggling. Start by sharing your story.
Third, be patient. Things take time. In the “confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins; not through strength but through perseverance.” ~Budda
Fourth, step up for those who can’t. I speak on behalf of my patients and those who are no longer able to participate because of their illness.
Fifth, Must have the courage to have tough conversations and expect to be uncomfortable – not everyone cares for your passion, believes changes need to be made, or has your own perspectives. Always be gracious. And start by asking why they feel the way they do? Everyone has a story and an experience so allow them to share their perspective with you. We all can learn from one another to make this world better. Start conversations in your community with people of all walks of life.
Today, I regained my strength by contemplating the work that’s been carried out thus far by me and others as they attend the Kyoto WPC in the next few days whose theme is rooted in hope. I will then live with the certainty that the things I hope for will come to pass.
All right reserved by Maria De Leon MD