March 20th, 2017

An array of emotions. Where do I even begin? For the last three days I have been attempting to raise funds for one of the labs we have chosen that is doing exceptional work for autoimmunity. I’m unsure where the energy has come from, but I’m driven. I refuse to give up. And though at times boring and exhausting, it’s filling my heart with so much joy. To know that I have a support group and that we are all in this together to fight which ever autoimmune disease it is they have there are not words for.

Chapter 1

I was sitting there in my neighborhood. I had made a sign with information about lupus and other autoimmune diseases and the research that that we were raising money for. I felt like I was making a science project for school. As I sat there in the neighborhood park, in this grass, I kicked my shoes off to feel the grass under my toes. Suddenly I felt like a kid again. The weather was perfect. I found a shady spot and people walking by were waving. All felt right in the world again. Just as it did when I was small and playing outdoors without a care in the world. And in this moment of bliss I thought to myself, “never in a million years did I think I would be sitting here, trying to raise  money for a disease that I have and many others have. I never thought I would get a disease.” For a brief moment I felt sad. However the feeling of the grass beneath my feet and the blowing wind brought me back to a place that that a child would go. Seeing the positive, finding the fun and carefreeness of life and feeling free. In that moment, again, I realized this disease does not define me. Yes, I have this disease, but who is it to say I have to stop living my life? Who is it to say my life is over, that I cannot feel the grass beneath my feet and feel a state of euphoria? Who is it to say that I cannot enjoy the breeze against my skin and enjoy nostalgia and look forward to a life of more amazing memories filled with happiness. It is only a disease that will take those things from me if I allow it to. And I refuse.  Yes I have no control over what it does to my physical body. It will put limitations on me physically. Yes, it will cause pain. But what I focus on, I magnify. What I focus on. will manifest. No I don’t believe I can cure myself. But I can enjoy life. I will enjoy life. Life is not over. I can feel how I once did, in my mind, in my heart. I can view through the lens I did in the great moments of my life. This disease does not get to take that from me. And so as I go about this new mission in life, I will go forth with intent that it is a life obstacle. But not one that will suffocate me. Not one that will ruin me. One that will bring positivity, joy, peace, a full heart and connection. Connection with people. Vulnerability, authenticity and realness with people. How amazing is that? To live that way.

Chapter 2

These last three days have brought me some curious observations. If what I experienced is a microcosm of the world, I would……well, I would have a lot to say. Mostly controversial. I won’t go that far. It will only bring negativity. Let me start here…….for a moment in time I felt about 1% of what it must feel like for a homeless person on the side of the road asking for help. I cannot compare my life to theirs. It wouldn’t be fair. I have no idea the hardship they face. Yes, I could get into their choices and perhaps they want money for drugs and alcohol and this and that…but whats the point. The reality is……all over this world we have people struggling daily to survive. I imagine that those still addicted, those that are homeless did not want this to be what their life has become. I doubt no one ever dreamed their life to manifest that way. So what ever their story may be, they suffer, they struggle. They need help. They are human beings. And I focus so much on this because as I sat there those three days in my own neighborhood, I noticed two kinds of people. I don’t believe in a black and white world, however, I saw a black and white pattern. Many, many, many people who clearly, or at least appeared as if they could not afford to donate, donated……..were interested to know more, were kind, were loving, had stars in their eyes, had a positive message. Now so did many other people who appeared to be able to afford it. Please do not get me wrong on that. But then there was this other crowd. The crowd that wouldn’t make eye contact for the life of them. This is were I felt the 1% of what it must feel like as a homeless person on the side of the road asking for help. I felt…….like a monster. I felt purposefully avoided and rejected. I felt saddened, not for me, but for them. I wasn’t selling anything. I wasn’t doing anything but trying to promote a good cause, but still………..I got the purposeful avoidance. Some people walking even made it a point to walk a long ways around me to get to where they were going. And I wondered……what goes on through their mind? That I will annoy them? That they are too good to or so uninterested that they feel the need to avoid? That they are so self-centered that they must not even make eye contact? I waved any ways. Because even a wave can go great lengths. And then I thought about myself. How have I reacted when i see people on the side of the road. Sometimes I have judgments, sometimes I distract myself as if Im doing something important and Im actually not, and sometimes I just simply do not make eye contact. I questioned my own self, why do I do this? All I could come up with was…..GUILT. Why though? Because I had nothing to give? Because I didn’t want to feel bad if I made eye contact with them? Have I been self-absorbed. Have I been in judgement. Yes. And all of that brings guilt no matter what my ego thinks it can protect me from. I still feel. And its guilt. I won’t go into the description of those who avoided me, but it was clear they could at least donate a dollar or even just wave. Now, I do not feel entitled to anyone’s money and no one even researchers are entitled to anyone’s money……….perhaps money though………for some, may change them for the worse? Maybe? Maybe I am wrong and not perceiving correctly. Maybe I am in judgment. I have however seen money change people. I am not attempting to be controversial or offensive. Nor is anyone, again, entitiled to anyone’s hard earned money. However, there was a seeming coldness to it. Again, I know this isn’t a black and white world……just a very interesting observation. A very humbling exerience indeed and a reminder that no matter what, care for your fellow human beings……even if its a smile.