I really enjoyed watching President Obama speak yesterday during the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a Dream” speech. I enjoyed it in part because the first African American President stood there, where MLK once stood, to mark the anniversary of such an important moment in the civil rights movement. That alone is a powerful representation of just how far we’ve come. I enjoyed President Obama’s speech because it was a celebration of everyone who is a fighter — whether it be someone who fights for civil liberties or someone — like me — who fights every day against the tide of pain in my own body. His speech celebrated the fighter in all of us, but resonated especially with the fibro fighter in me. There were two parts of his speech that I liked the most and I have not seen them anywhere in the media as pundits favorite excerpts from the President’s speech. They do not speak to policy issues, the civil rights movement, current affairs, or anything else likely to catch the attention of the 24-hour news networks eye these days. They speak to something in the human spirit that lets us keep going even in the face of never ending chronic pain, as we sufferers chronic illnesses face. That part of our selves that said “I will not quit” or “I won’t let this beat me.” That let’s us never give up. That lets us keep putting on foot in front of the other and marching forward no matter what we face or how much pain each step causes us. I hope you enjoy these two quotes as much I as do.
His speech celebrated the fighter in all of us, but resonated especially with the fibro fighter in me.
I love this quote. It takes me a little extra umph to get through every day with my fibromyalgia. And every day is a little victory because of it. The difference between try and triumph is a little umph. –Unknown
Meditation has been a huge help to me over the years, and especially in the last few months as I deal with going through a divorce. I came across this passage from Ane Pema Chodron, a woman Buddhist teacher and long time practice of deeper meditation techniques. Meditation helps me clear my mind of its usual jumble of thoughts, focus on taking deep, calming breaths, and relax. It helps me relieve stress and is one of my tools to manage my chronic pain from fibromyalgia. I highly recommend meditation to you as it can reduce many things that trigger our pain: stress, emotional upset (anger, depression, etc.), physical and mental tension, sleep problems, and more.
“Wishing to be free of that kind of really self-imposed loneliness, self-imposed suffering that we create with our minds. The fact that our house burns down is not self-imposed. The fact that we get an illness isn’t self-imposed. What we do with that and how that escalates into such intense misery and feeling of separateness and feeling of aloneness and alienation. This, we do this with our minds. We do it to ourselves. We torture ourselves.”