Change Yourself, Then The World

Our outlook on the world is literally everything. It makes us who we are, it defines the people around us and the day to day events that leave impressions on us.

Our outlook’s aren’t as mindful as they should be. As a society, we may want to focus on ourselves, or better ourselves, but we narrowly forget the world around us. Yes, one must find peace within one’s self before affecting the world, but the only path that’ll allow us to change the world, is that of mindfulness.

Thich Nhat Hanh said “The bell of mindfulness is the voice of the Buddha calling us back to ourselves. We have to respect each sound of the bell, stop our thinking and talking, and get in touch with ourselves, breathing and smiling. This is not a Buddha from the outside. It is our own Buddha calling us home.”

He went on to talk about the idea of bringing a bell into your home. Particularly for families to ring, say during an argument, to allow everyone to take a moment to step back and reflect. But the idea is simple. If you hear a bell chime, take a moment and step back from the present and be mindful.

So I bought wind chimes.

There’s this idea, that through meditation, one can heal themselves. No, I don’t believe that my incurable sidekick of a migraine will magically disappear if I meditate and practice mindfulness, but I certainly believe it can’t hurt. The mind is a powerful thing. If you accept that you’re going to be in pain and that nothing will aid in the pain, nothing will.

In allowing myself to listen to my own body, respond as needed, and take time to focus on what I need, I have to allow myself to be mindful of those around me.

Under no circumstances do I want people to bend over backwards to accommodate me. So when I say I want to be mindful of those around me, I’m not talking about being polite, holding doors, saying please and thank you, or wishing then well… I’m talking about including them in my day to day, in not holding back, about being open and allowing those who want to listen and understand time to understand and listen.

Its selfish believing that the people I surround myself with, intentionally or not, don’t care. I can’t pretend that I don’t have good and bad days. If I allow myself to always say I’m feeling great, or to pretend that I don’t have limits as to what I can and can’t do, I’m going to sell myself short and regret it.

So, here’s how I can change the world.

All of you reading this, following this journey, already have discovered good and bad and learned all sorts of ins and outs of this disease you didn’t already know.

I may not want my disability to define who I am, but its foolish to pretend my disability hasn’t made me into the person I am today.

I have to talk about this journey.

I have to allow people I see everyday to understand what I’m going through.

I have to be open. I have to be able to ask for help. I have to be able to admit that I can’t do the things normal people my age do.

But it isn’t because I want sympathy.

I don’t want people to feel bad. Or feel that I’m up against incredible odds. Or feel like I’m using this as an excuse. Or be able to undermine me.

I’m creating a new normal. Being disabled doesn’t mean I can’t be just as successful, just as motivated, just as happy, as anyone around me. I just have to do things differently.

We live in a world full of people who expect the worse in everyone around them, but if you actually take the time to look around, these people are full of compassion and stories and love that we’d be foolish to ignore.

Not to be cheesy, but sharing is caring. Sharing my journey. Sharing how I really am in a given moment, that’s caring. And other people want to care too.

We just have to let them.


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