Redefine Normal // Rediscover Hope

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Did we overcome and shall we now thrive

On the very first day of the year, I made a declaration:

I will not be overcome any circumstance, no matter how much it just plain sucks

I was speaking of my seizures, and I made a promise to myself and to you that I would not be the victim of my condition any longer. Even if nothing changed in the details of my life, I refused to let my illness define me.

I also invited you to join me in a year of overcoming.

As we near the end of the year, it seems a good time for some reflection. It time for some tough questions, both for me and for you:

How often did we allow circumstances beyond our control to rule our reactions, which we do control? Did we allow hope to give way to despair regularly in our daily living? Did anyone else notice that we were trying to overcome?

It was a year of mixed success for me. I definitely had some growth. Just the other day, I had a friend of mine tell me that I inspire him every time he sees me, because he knows I am in the midst of a battle each day. And I never give up.

Most days I can see in myself a resilience, a defiant refusal to succumb to the darkness that awaits on the fringes of my consciousness. I know what yielding to the darkness brings in my life – depression, anxiety, anger, and fearful concerned whispers from my family.

Unfortunately, I know this from recent history. I have not always had the strength to stand against the raging insecurity that my seizures bring. Some days, I lose. I miss trains and feel sorry for myself. I make baffling mistakes at work and fall into the heaviness of doubt.

My anger has exploded on more than one occasion. In one instance, it changed our family dynamics forever. Though I know many factors were in play, I also understand that my anger predicated the pain, confusion and misery that every member of my family is enduring.

So overcoming has been challenging, to say the least. But now, I know why:

Maintaining a stance of overcoming each day is exhausting. It requires a staunch almost militaristic approach to life.

And I don’t have to stamina for it, so some days I fail. Just from exhaustion. Plus, life is not meant to be a battle. We ought not approach every day with a “gotta win” attitude. We learn to ask the wrong questions of our moments.

Instead, I am learning to focus on blooming where I am planted. On thriving in every moment of the day. This is my theme for 2014:

THRIVE

I will be sharing thoughts on what it means to THRIVE throughout the year. I also invite you to share this journey with me. I would love to host your thoughts on thriving anytime between now and this time next year.

What imagery comes to your mind with the word thrive?