I try to live my life with an optimistic outlook. After all, I couldn’t have made it successfully through the past 15 years watching as my body has deteriorated, my health falter and my life change forever by focusing on the negative. I know that my life experience depends on how I approach this challenge and it is for this reason that I try and look at the blessings I have been given instead of all that has been taken away. And for the most part, I approach each day with a feeling of gratitude and optimism but I’m only human and I too have my down days – days when this journey seems too difficult to navigate, times when I feel defeated. Thankfully those days are far and few between and I’ve learned to recognize them for what they are, accept them as being a normal part of this experience and allow them to run their course. It is during those times that I turn to the wisdom of others, the words of visionaries that put my own struggles into perspective and help bring me back to a place of inner peace, acceptance and empowerment. Here are six of my favorite inspirational quotes.
“Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person.” (Phillips Brooks, noted American clergyman and author)
This one is more of a daily mantra for me. An important reminder that life is all about learning and that those lessons are meant to be. We are shaped by our challenges so pray that you find the strength to navigate through them successfully.
“You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.” (Author unknown)
This quote gets me through the “why me” days. It reminds me that my life has turned out exactly as it should have. It turns that question into “why not me”. Better me than someone I love or someone who doesn’t have the same support that I have been blessed with.
"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit." (Nelson Henderson)
To remember to focus beyond your own challenges, to remember that life is about giving to others, is what this quote is all about. It reminds me to continue to be of service to my PD community and the global community at large.
“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.” (St. Francis of Assisi)
This beautiful prayer also reminds me the true meaning of life, to look beyond myself and my own difficulties, to focus on the needs of others and that by doing so, I am fulfilling my life’s purpose.
“Dream big. Always know that you are important. Feel it in your heart. You are the best. You can do anything. You have two choices in life. Either you can dissolve into the mainstream or be champions and be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different and to be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you, can be." (Surjit Verma, my father)
The loss of my father in 2010 was the greatest I have ever suffered. He was not only my father but truly my biggest supporter, my very foundation. He always believed in the potential of all children as evidenced by this quote that was part of his motivational speaking program to elementary school children. I was so blessed to be the focus of his encouragement and unconditional love. It is due to his support and the amazing example of excellence that he set, that I have accomplished anything in my life.
And the one quote that tends to light my fire, brings my headstrong determination back and strengthens my fierce commitment to live well despite this disease…
“Go ahead, underestimate me.” (Author unknown)
It was also a time that he was learning to cope with his Parkinson’s diagnosis…
Recognize that within you lies great inner power – your ability to choose your reaction to any given set of circumstances. How you face the challenges that come your way is truly yours to determine. And in that moment of choice is your true strength, tp determine your life experience.