So, I've already penned Positivity In Pain: Finding Joy and Happiness Despite Chronic Pain, and I am proud to say that I am already working on my second book, The Chronic Illness Companion: A Book of Reflection and Hope For Those Living With Chronic Illness. The idea behind this book is basically like devotional, sort of, minus the religion. I'm taking 52 quotes, for the 52 weeks in a year. At the beginning of each week, an inspirational quote is read. Then, the week is taken to reflect upon that quote, especially in the bad times. At the end of the week, I want readers to journal about it. What they thought of it, has it helped them this week, etc. But, I would love opinions! I'm about halfway finished with the book, and I'm looking at self-publishing at the end of this year, so it will be available just in time for the new year! But I'd love your opinions! So, without further ado, here are a few excerpts from the book! I'm not going chronologically here, I don't want to give the whole book away before I publish it! Quotes are in italic, my take on the quote is in bold.
1. “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
- Og Mandino
This quote by Og Mandino is the perfect quote to start this book off with. It describes the ebb and flow of our lives, the ups and downs, the good and the bad. We live for the moments of light in our lives, whether it be our family, career, hobby or something else. However, we must look at the moments of darkness as well. We walk through the darkness, learning while we go, but we will always come out on the other side, better than the person that we were before we went through that darkness.
6. “The meaning I picked, one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder.”
- Richard Bach
We may not think about it very often, but there is so much beauty to behold within the world around us. I mean just take a peek out of your window, look at the lush green grass, the beautiful flowers, the shining sun. Depending on where you are, you may see snow, or gorgeous autumn leaves painted in every color of the rainbow. I speak about this beauty because it can be a great exercise in grounding ourselves, especially with something like an anxiety attack hits. Take a look around you, behold what is in front of you, concentrate on that and hold steadfast to it. You may even find that you'll notice your pain just a little less, too.
11. “We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too.”
- Helen Hayes
This is something that we often forget. We lose confidence within ourselves because our illnesses can take it away from us. But we, ourselves, are truly amazing people. Each and every one of us has something unique to contribute to the world, even if you think you do not, I can guarantee that you do. You have touched lives and done extraordinary things, no matter what you think. You are an amazing person. Never, ever forget that. Ever.
13. “Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
- Alan Alda
You may remember good old Alan Alda from the hit series MASH as Hawkeye Pierce. But he is quite the wise man as well. There is a creative person within us all. Perhaps we have already found and embraced it, or maybe we have not found it yet. But it is in us all, residing within us. But we have to lean on this creativeness in our times of trouble. This goes back to talking about hobbies and distractions. They are extremely important to have, especially during the times of stress and pain. By refocusing our minds onto something else, we may begin to feel better, and perhaps, just maybe, our pain will lessen, even if only for just a little bit.
17. “Fortune cookies are a good idea. If the message is positive, it can make your day a little better.”
- Yao Ming
Fortune cookies are deliciously packaged little pieces of edible inspiration. We should all eat more fortune cookies (gluten free, if need be). That is all.
26. “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.”
Oh, Voltaire. How I love this philosopher. So much so, that my husband and I even gave our son the middle name of Voltaire. He was a wise man, and his words still ring true to this day. When we wake up in the morning, we can choose two paths, happiness, or despair. Sure, our day may be wrought with some curve-ball that life chooses to throw at us, but that happens, not only to us who are chronically ill, but to everyone. It is what we do with it that matters. If we choose despair, it can drag us down deeper and deeper. However, if we choose to be happy, then nobody can break our stride.
27. “An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.”
- Bonnie Friedman
Ah, time. It comes and goes as it pleases, whether we like it or not. But there is so much hustle and bustle these days that it feels like it can be hard to take time for ourselves. To take time to “smell the roses,” essentially. This life, no matter what way we look at it, is short. Chronically ill or not, we all have a limited amount of time on this earth, and we should spend it doing the things that we love. Take time to do your favorite activity. Take the time to read that book you have been meaning to pick up, draw yourself a bubble bath, color, build something, just find something that you love to do and go do it. But do not rush it. Take your time.