Through the years that I've lived with daily pain and physical limitations imposed by chronic disease and injury, the feeling of being powerless has been the most destructive.
Being a "good patient" meant waiting to see what the doctor's would think of next to try to alleviate my suffering, hoping they would take me seriously, hoping they would have an answer, a cure. It took many years before I realized that I had to take matters in my own hands in order to get help.
Then I learned that I whether I was conscious of it or not, every time I met one of life's challenges I was actually choosing a strategy.
The four classic strategies I chose from were:
1. Blame / complain: Trying to make the other person see why they should help me, by telling them what was wrong. Sometimes hiding behind my affliction to justify my actions.
2. Leave / detach: If a situation or relationship was uncomfortable I could choose to leave it, or emotionally detach from the situation that was hurting (thereby also losing touch with other, positive emotions).
3. Accept / focus on what was good: Trying to see things as they were without trying to change them, and choosing to focus on something that was more uplifting.
4. Change / do: A natural fighting instinct sometimes wakes up, urging me to DO something about the situation, however small. I did things like consulting a new specialist, trying a new treatment, learning meditation, starting exercising or changing my diet.
And when I look back, every time I did something it brought me further down the path of healing, and closer to the life I wanted.
Which strategies do you choose from today, and which would you like to choose more often?