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This blog is another opportunity to feel grateful and thank you dear Universe: You continue to bless me with recovery and overall health.
Tough times aren’t there to stay.
It was the little things that made all the difference during the toughest moments of my journey. Inspiration could come from all sorts of sources especially when they are narrated as stories that have powerful messages and could prove life changing. A small sensible story that was narrated by my friend made such impact while I was hospitalized post getting diagnosed with a rare disease, Isaacs’ Syndrome (a neuromuscular condition stemming from muscle hyperactivity), and following that diagnosis, suffering from some chronic ailments like Lyme disease (a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks), Glaucoma (which damages the optic nerve), and Membranous Glomerulonephritis (a progressive kidney disease).
Storytelling is a strategy for conveying information and this story shared similarities with my situation including the identical name of the protagonist with my diagnosis and it goes:
Once upon a time, a young boy while traveling for days together in search of true wisdom, reaches a small village. On enquiring about food and shelter, people acknowledge that a man named Isaac is known to be kind and hospitable. As expected, the boy was graciously welcomed by Isaac in his mansion and was given food and a place to stay. Soon they became friends however it was mandatory for the boy to continue his journey. He left with a heavy heart with some words of wisdom by Isaac that mentioned ‘This too shall pass’. Though the message was confusing, but the boy continued.
Years passed and now the boy turned into a young man yet his search for true wisdom continued. As he was travelling in search of his final destination, he randomly crosses the same village. Remembering Isaac, he made his way to his house but realizes that he moved on and was working for the chief of the village. The young man inquires and finally makes his way to meet his dear friend but to his utter surprise Isaac worked as a servant with the chief and was in shambles. Isaac welcomed the young man with the same kind of smile and explained how a flood turned his life upside down. After a couple of days, it was time for the young man to leave but he felt extremely sad seeing the condition of the kind-hearted soul. They hugged each other and Isaac whispered ‘This too shall pass’. Though the young man was perplexed hearing the same words, he continued.
Once again after a couple of years their ways crossed each other but this time, the young man discovered that Isaac had passed away with his grave engraved with the words ‘This too shall pass’.
By now, the young man turned old and gathered a reputation of a wise man. He understood that the search for wisdom is a lifelong endeavour however had a clear revelation of what Isaac was trying to communicate. One day he received a letter from the King’s court asking for help, saying that the king had recently lost his close family, was very anxious, and found no solace.
The old wise man wrote a letter to the king. The king on reading it smiled with tears in his eyes. It read ‘This too shall pass’ as nothing in this world is permanent.
The wise man had learned the true wisdom he searched for years that everything around comes and goes, nothing in this world is permanent, our happiness, sorrows, in fact does not even us.
With time my realization went deeper that it’s the ‘Thought that matters’ most. Through various practices when we assure ourselves that even a tough moment is a passing cloud, it instantly generates positive energy and hope. Positive thinking is not about ignoring the unpleasant but instead, an optimistic change in our perspective which has many immeasurable healthy benefits like staying happy, better physical, mental, and psychological outlook, reduced risk of chronic ailments, a stronger immune system, etc.
Life happens to all however many a time it doesn’t pan out as anticipated and unwanted things just pile up. I think post-diagnosis there were multiple contributing factors that accumulated much of negative emotions in the air for me to handle, I was feeling scared about the entire episode when my doctors addressed me as ‘rare’. It gave me a sense of guilt when instantly my illness became the illness of the family. I was under tremendous physical and psychological pain, dealing with the illness, loads of medicines, many unanswered questions, future uncertainties, and diversified symptoms however the mental pain was much less with the assurance that this too shall pass.
My key takeaways:
Dealing with a situation is very individualistic in nature as two people given the same circumstance could react completely differently depending on factors including how they perceive things however a self-reminder always helped me:
- Acceptance: that things could only get better
- My challenging situation would leave behind wisdom and make me a stronger person.
- I read real inspirational stories.
- Remembered Mindfulness
- It’s just a matter of time: even a global event like the Pandemic is history, now.
It is important to start practicing an optimistic state of mind which includes a level of acceptance and less self-criticism. I took this more as self-help advice. Let’s hold on to the hope of regaining complete health even in the midst of some unpleasant moments as ‘this too shall pass’.
The views expressed above in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.