Knowing Your Standards
June 28, 2022
When I got diagnosed with MS and experienced its debilitating effects, I had a stint of doubt that I would ever recover. I was bedridden and had lost about 80% of the motor function on my left side.
That doubt could have turned into a belief that I would never recover. I could very well have never been able to walk or tie my own shoes again. Luckily, because of my recovery from substance abuse, I knew that I had to surrender to that possibility and that didn't mean giving up.
Back when I was recovering from substance abuse I learned that the ultimate goal for me wasn't to "not drink" or "not use." Sobriety is where it would start, but continued sobriety was always going to be a byproduct of my recovering myself. That meant recovering the resources of my mind and my spirit.
When it came to my MS diagnosis, I wasn't solely focused on recovering from its effects. I was recovering my mind, to accept that my future may not be what I had been planning, and my spirit, to step into the unknown that was unfolding in front of me.
I had to be the most important aspect of my life, not my body or my ability to walk. If at that point, I defined myself as someone who walked, I would be tortured by not being able to walk, or, if I did recover that ability, it would have been threatened to be taken at any moment. All of that would have simply been me embracing the role of victim. It would have been the equivalent of saying "There is a standard, I am supposed to walk!"
I wasn't being hard on myself, nor was I in denial, actually, I was just being honest. It was a fact that I may have never walked again or that it was going to get worse. If either of those things happened it wouldn't have been unfair though, it would have simply been my experience. I hope I would have been prepared to step into that experience, without losing myself.
We all have experiences and we look around and compare them with others. When we do that we gently fool ourselves into thinking there is some standard we were promised. There is no standard.
When I get testimonials, like the one in this email, I often see my approach being referenced as "NO-NONSENSE" and that's accurate. I am that way because, right off the bat, I confront the lie that there is some standard, which there isn't. Many of the people I work with are tortured by believing there is some standard that is "supposed" to be experienced. Their upbringing, their health, how others treat them, and even their money situation. The fact is that you are experiencing something, and your ability to step away from what is "supposed" to be happening and accept it, is your biggest asset.
Let's get you out of your own way and start using that asset. Reply to this email if you are ready to start looking at where you living under the influence of a standard you're ready to shed.