butterfly wings

Soaring with butterfly wings

Do you ever feel weird? Like you are not normal…if there is such a thing? I know I sure do. I tend to think differently than most people. I find humor in just about everything. If you hung out with me, you would find me laughing at dropping my plate full of food on the floor, joking about stumbling on invisible cracks in the sidewalk, and giggling because I lost my keys for the hundred-millionth time.

At one time I lived life like a caterpillar. The only thing I could see day in and day out was the leaf I was sitting on. My world was small and limited to how far I could inch myself around. But then a transformation happened.  It took time, but I grew the most amazing and beautiful wings. They changed my life.

As I spread my newly found wings and flew above the trees, I found the world to be much bigger than I had ever imagined. I saw not just my leaf, but thousands upon thousands of others too. There were leaves and flowers and oceans and mountains. My leaf  was no longer my focus. There was an entire world to explore and discover.

The other caterpillars in my tiny little space on the tree didn’t like that I changed. They wanted me to stay who I was and to keep doing all the things I did before. But once you find your wings, you can’t go back. I discovered that I liked being weird. I liked the beautiful butterfly I had become.

Much like the caterpillar, many times we get stuck in our troubles and struggles and only see life from a small place. We perch on our leaf and see only our pain, frustrations, difficulties and troubles.  We convince ourselves that we are comfortable where we are not realizing that there’s so much more to living.

It’s time to become the beautiful butterfly that you are; to spread your wings and fly into the wind; to see life from a place above Multiple Sclerosis, financial difficulties, relationship problems, pain, and stress on the job. I’m not saying to pretend those things don’t exist, just let your focus shift to find the good around you, even in a chronic disease.

Can you think of one good thing that has happened in your life because of MS? I know you would have no problem coming up with pages of bad, but name something good. For me I would have to say simplifying my life by weeding out the work and people that I didn’t need around me became a good thing. The process was tough, but in the end I found I am much happier because of it. Also, I gained new friendships with people I never would have met before, I am able to spend more time developing my artistic skills through painting and writing, and I no longer have to wake up before the sun to the buzzing of an alarm clock.

Be thankful for the good. As you do, you will begin to see more and more good around you, and before you know it you are no longer seeing life from the perspective of a tiny leaf, but from the wings of a butterfly soaring in the wind. Be that butterfly!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

85 replies
  1. Beth Genicola says:

    I was put on disability unable to work giving me the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom for my two young children time spent with them which was so precious to me because we all know that time is something you can never get back once it’s gone

  2. Frances Anderson says:

    I discovered how to slow down and value the day ahead. To not judge myself or others and to be proud of my acheivements. I also met and am marrying an amazing man who loves me as i am and enjoys the showers we share. If only he could blow dry my hair too. Laugh love and keep swimming as dora says x

  3. Stefan Meulen says:

    I now understand more about how the human body works, about science, about pacing my life, about having faith in my self and my abilities, i listen to music more carefully than before, i see things in art i never took the time to see before and i appreciate the wonders of nature more than i used to. Having MS has, in general, made me more positive because i take a lot less for granted these days.

  4. Jo Potter says:

    Hell yeah….ms has made me appreciate the good so much more. Like everyone else I took too many things for granted and now I don’t. I Live in the moment as much as possible and wring every drop of joy and happiness out of every experience.

  5. Lorie Shealy Caratenuto says:

    I’ve learned that stepping back, simplifying, asking for and accepting help doesn’t mean that I’ve accepted defeat, nor does it mean I’m settling. It means that I’m taking care of me so that I’m able to have good, no, great days, with the ones that I love. ❤

  6. Jess Pampling says:

    Being 90% stress free. Enjoying living in the moment. Care factor is 0. I only surround myself with people who love me for me. Being able to have fun. Being a kid at heart (work in progress). Setting little goals I can achieve.

  7. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    You know that reads like my life before and after the onset of MS. I was a happy person and enjoyed life, got married and enjoyed and learnt a lot in that. Then MS came and took some of that away so I’m trying to get it back. This has been my main focus for a while now.

  8. Peggy Kivesh Burtrum says:

    It made me more sympathetic to other people’s pain, made me realize what is important and what isn’t. It made my faith stronger and be able to thank God for things I took for granted before.
    I love my family and friends even more and appreciate them
    for the love they return to me.

  9. Barb Davis says:

    I get trying to be positive but there is nothing good. It shouldn’t take a disease with no cure to make you retire, relax, etc etc. MS sucks and there is no good.
    I don’t mean to offend but seriously? Good?

  10. Tricia Williams says:

    Wow. What a question. I’m still trying to think of my answer. I’m sitting waiting for my radiotherapy treatment as I was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 days before
    xmas. So will think hard on this as the answer I expect will come at some stage.

  11. Sally Lloyd says:

    The same for me too, I gave up my stressful work in insurance and are now a housewife plus helping hubby on our farm…it’s funny how things pan out, everyday I prayed to god to stop doing insurance…xx

  12. Heather Adsit says:

    Because of MS… I feel I’m stronger.
    I use to be the person who complained about every little scrape in life.

    Now I tolerate allot more.

    I lost the ability to work…. and I didn’t even find a way to enjoy work.

    Now I’m gaining back some abilities…. may be not working yet but I really miss it and I know when I get that chance again I will apriciate having a job much more 🙂

    I need to read the rest of this 🙂
    I had to coment …. for me…
    I’ve become a better person because of MS.

    Ya it takes away… but I remind myself every day that trials are on this earth to teach us 🙂
    The lessons we learn are priceless and worth the struggles because it helps us grow.

    That’s how I get through the bad and find the good parts for me 🙂

  13. Richard Eklund says:

    It showed me Im not the most important person on the planet!. To try harder to have empathy for ALL people!. But also to guard my heart!!. ALL PEOPLE HAVE THEIR TALE OF WOE. THAT’S EVERYONE!!!.

  14. Lucia Wyles says:

    When I was first diagnosed I thought that God wanted me to do something urgently. I started to teach post 16 at college. The students were amazing. The work was hard but I worked through the pain to meet deadlines for performances. I rarely had time to think of myself until one day I knew the monster had caught up with me. I left my work but I hope I gave my students half what they gave me! I received an award for positivity when I left but best of all my students had set me free. Fora time. Love and miss them all. Xxxxx

  15. Adam Havens says:

    Made me appreciate my wife so much more than I ever had. Weeded out the toxic people as well. Had to stop working, giving me more time to appreciate the little things in life.

  16. Theresa Rose Lake says:

    Nothing it seems like! I think my MS diagnosis has actually pushed people away from me…..the cancelling of outings, the midnight help to the bathroom, and the inability to work on some days seems to affect others. The suttle comments that are made justifies my thoughts. If I had to pick something, I would same my “hope and faith” has gotten stronger. Without that I have nothing! We will see what the future holds on who needs weeded out, who stays, and what I need to do to make life the happiest it has ever been!! I want to say thank you for all your daily post, reading them helps get me through the day and helps me keep the hope and faith that I still cling to!

  17. Esha Nagpal Sharma says:

    MS has me so STRONG…
    I started living in the moment.
    Now the good is that i dont have cravings for future.
    I know now i have to make my present beautiful with all the pains and sufferings too

    • CJ Parks says:

      I completely understand. 💞 It is very difficult to find any positives whilst living with this horrible disease. I think you/we are strong-willed because it takes a determined person to go on day after day with MS and some days are easier than others. ❌⭕️

    • Ana B Housen says:

      Thank you cj parks , my husband is the one who has ppms, I just don’t see any positive about it. He went from being a normal person to can’t walk , sit up, bathroom difficulties, on and on< less than 3 years!! I try to stay strong , I guess. But I see no positive 😩

  18. Karen Stachowiak says:

    I’m​ much happier and at peace now because of reprioritizing my time with God first and foremost, as well as weeding out the toxic people in my life. Work no longer consumes all of my time and energy, and although at first I missed my job and co-workers terribly, I’m now very thankful for the slower pace.

  19. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I found, what I always knew but had forgotten, that my family truly love me and I also looked away from my small world and now I see the amazing beauty of this world.

  20. Cindy Price Jesse Caldwell says:

    Some good things came from my going on disability. I was able to homeschool my boys during middle and high school. (It was computerized so I supervised and scored tests )
    When my Daddy was dying from cancer, I was able to spend his last few weeks with him….helping Mother with his meds, etc and just spending time with him.

  21. Lynn Sherwin says:

    I’ve become a more patient & empathetic person. I understand what is really important in life since I divorced my husband of 19 yrs – he wasn’t good for me I now know who my real friends are.

  22. Gina Stillwell says:

    Getting some people out of my life, getting new people in & appreciating what I have now more.
    (Understanding how good I have it more and more over the years & how lucky I am to have what I have too, most comes from stubbornness x)

  23. Meeya
    Meeya says:

    What lovely Image – thank you again, dearest Penelope!
    Done my bit of weeding, too, not the easiest thing to do, but well worth it!
    And now watch me fly… 🐝

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