This past Thanksgiving weekend, I did something I had previously swore I would never do. It was huge, and it was scary as hell, and I did it anyway. The details of precisely what was this huge, scary as hell thing are unimportant and really, not for public consumption. But that’s not the point.
The point is this: It becomes all too easy for those of us with disabilities or chronic pain to say we can’t. Our doctors say we can’t. Our parents/children/spouses/siblings/friends say we can’t. The self-help books and online forums we read say we can’t.
- It will only make your condition worse.
- Don’t you want to get better?
- The (insert authoritative body here) recommends against it.
- With your condition, you shouldn’t be doing that
All of these things, battering away at our defenses and our determination to DO. Sadly, it just takes one small bit of this to slip in under the radar and convince us that we CANNOT DO. I’ve fallen into this trap more than once, and odds are good I will do so again many more times.
But even the fact that we are human and we sometimes fall down shouldn’t stop us. The fact that we don’t try again will do so. In fact, it is guaranteed to do so.
Some days, you just need to decide that despite all the warnings and cautions not to do, there is no choice but for you to do. That the thing you swore you’d never be able to do, that you were TOLD you could not or should not do, is the thing you will do.
Because wouldn’t you rather reach the end of your days with a long list of what you accomplished than an equally long list of what you didn’t?
One of my favorite children’s authors is Shel Silverstein. The man had a rare gift of not only understanding how to talk to children, but the way in which children think about the world around them.
“Listen to the Mustn’ts, child,
Listen to the Don’ts
Listen to the Shouldn’ts
The Impossibles, the Won’ts
Listen to the Never Haves,
Then listen close to me —
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.”