What’s the one thing we all have in common? We all have MS! Because of that we are united…we are one. It affects each one of us differently and we are all in different stages of progression, but MS is the one commonality that brings us together.
Even though we all have MS in common, one of the worst things you can do is to try and compare your pain, your struggle, your difficulties with someone else’s. The reason I say this is because you will always be comparing your inner weaknesses with their outer strengths. That’s like trying to compare an apple with an orange. Once you get past the fact that they are both fruits, there is nothing left to compare. They are as different as different can be. They will never, ever, EVER match or fit.
On the outside I may look strong and confident to many people. I appear to have life by the horns and no problems riding out this disease and all that life throws my way. You may be someone that looks at me and thinks “I wish I could be so positive, but my life is just too hard and the pain is too real. I just can’t do it.” And as the tears begin to fall, you feel like a failure.
But if you looked past those strengths you see in me, you would see great weaknesses. I cry, worry, am fearful, full of self-doubts and insecure. Just yesterday I was sitting on the couch in a puddle of tears because I spent too much time reflecting back on the good ole days. Those days when I could just go and do anything I wanted, and had people to go and do them with. I have always been the type of person who feels deep and lives hard. That can be both a blessing and a curse.
One of the most amazing things about each one of us is that one of my greatest weaknesses may be one of your greatest strengths. But, do you know what? That’s what makes us individuals. It makes me, me and you, you. We balance each other out. That’s why we need each other to get through this journey living with a chronic illness. Something I say may inspire you to keep going and something you say may inspire me.
No matter what you do, you can always find someone else in this world that has more than you, is better than you, and is stronger than you. But you can also find those that have less than you, are worse off than you, and are weaker than you. You simply can’t win at comparing.
Mark Twain was right when he said “comparison is the death of joy.”
Your life is the one that you are living, so stop comparing it to others. Instead, compare yourself to you. Look at how far you’ve come in life, how much you’ve overcome, grown, and know. Look at the things you’ve learned and the wisdom you’ve gained because of the struggles you’ve experienced and the joys you’ve known. Those things are incredible. They make you, YOU!
Pause and reflect back…I think you will be amazed at what you see.
Live the life that you have and be proud of the person you are. Don’t be concerned with what other people are doing or not doing, how they’re living, or how great they seem on the outside. Don’t beat yourself up because someone else appears to be stronger, better, and faster. On the inside, it just might be the opposite is true.
Focus on who you are and being the best you that you can be. That’s all that matters anyway.