At some point in our lives, everybody encounters tough times. It's part of life. We cannot avoid life's challenges, but we can choose how we respond to our misfortune.
Chronic health issues are among life's most difficult challenges. Several years ago, a close friend's health started to decline. Although nothing appeared to be life threatening, she often felt tired, lethargic, and achy. As she battled her illness, she modeled how to deal with a chronic problem.
Her first response was acceptance. Many people go into denial when faced with unfortunate circumstances. They think, Why me? This isn't fair. What did I do to deserve this? But when we think that way, we deny our own humanity. These things happen to humans and you are human. We are all at risk of bad things happening to us. No one is immune.
Because she was able to accept her condition, my friend could use her energy in a more positive way -- to make the best decisions for her health and her future. She didn't waste her now-precious energy lamenting her fate.
The actor Michael J. Fox was dealt a horrible blow when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the age of 30. Despite the seriousness of his illness, he continued his acting career and created the Michael J. Fox Foundation, advocating for research to find a cure. He said, "Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it."
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