Deepak Chopra says, “The best thing that can happen to me is happening right now.” Now that my rheumatoid arthritis inflammation has calmed down and my body is able to do so much, it is easy to believe in this philosophy. When I feel good my whole relationship with life is different than when I am in the midst of a flare. But as I took a long walk with my border collie Izzy the other morning, it occurred to me that all those years I have spent dealing with one flare after another was actually the best thing that could have happened to me. It was the best thing that could have happened to me because it was preparing me for where I am today.
I like where I am today. I feel happy with who I have become over the years. I like rejoicing in the small everyday events of my life that I didn’t focus on as much before rheumatoid arthritis slowed me down. I like that rheumatoid arthritis forced me to stop and think about the time and energy I spent doing “things”. I can now look at my day and decide what is really important to me and let everything else go. Rheumatoid arthritis has helped me to focus on my goals in life and to let people and things that are filling voids in my life go so that I have room to give to those who are filling me to the brim with love, worthwhile experiences, and fun. I have learned that it is okay to ask for help and that people actually want to be there for me. I have built stronger relationships. I have learned to eat in a way that is not only providing my rheumatoid arthritis some relief but also the stomach issues I have dealt with since I was a young girl. I have discovered passions that revolve around food choices and health choices. I have learned that everyone has a very unique path they need to follow and even though it may be quite different than my path, it doesn’t mean it is wrong.
Although I don’t like the pain that rheumatoid arthritis has brought to my life and those around me, I know it was where I needed to be. Rheumatoid arthritis needed to be a part of who I am.(And still does) All the awful days I spent in flares forced me to take a deep look at who I am and what I really want out of life. I needed to have those days in my past to get to where I am today. Each day I have experienced with pain, swelling, and tears and each day I have spent without any of those were exactly where I needed to be each day. Each day is a chance to learn and to grow. As I write this post and reflect on my day, I know “The best thing that can happen to me is happening right now.”