Monday, November 6, 2017

Blessing in Disguise

What does it mean to have glorious opportunities?  Yes, you did attend one of the best universities in America and gained an outstanding education.  Having landed a top job at a prestigious law firm you're moving up in your career.  What have you achieved?  You married the woman of your dreams and have three wonderful children.  But you like taking chances, so you bought a raffle ticket and hit the jackpot.  What else has enhanced your life of dreams?  You’ve become a well-known motivational speaker.  And having success in life, you conclude you’ve been blessed with special gifts.

Turned Upside Down

Sometimes a misfortune has a strange way of changing one’s life.  You never expected to be diagnosed with dementia.  You were now like British retired medical professional Dr. Jennifer Bute, who was diagnosed with this disease.  In “Dementia – A Glorious Opportunity” by Kreativity on Vimeo April 26, 2011, Dr. Bute told the public of her remarkable years as a General Practitioner, and all the wonderful things she did for her patients.  Talking about her disability she viewed her affliction as a glorious opportunity from God to do more good for people.  Will Joe be like her?

Joe’s dreams, plans, and fortunes were turned upside down.  His life’s landscape was re-arranged and transformed.  What a dilemma has his situation become? His life has been blunted and everything appears as though it has changed for the worse.  Some friends misunderstood his misfortune, but, “Is his affliction necessarily bad?”  But loving friends and neighbors rallied around him as a superb role model.

A Filipino band SIX Cycle Mind sings about Joe’s phenomenon because his world was turned “Upside Down.”  It released two albums - Shine (2003) and Panorama (2005).  His situation could be likened to a person who now has to do metaphorical handstands, headstands, and somersaults to get through life.  For Joe, it was contemplating life changes like those of Dr. Bute, in coping with the new person he has become. 

Missed Chance?

Some might feel that Joe missed the chance of a life time.  They might experience emptiness while afflicted with a debilitating disease.  But is it right to see when one door closes another opens?  An essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) observed, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”  In viewing your situation as gain, and not a loss, brings untold benefits to life.  Why not be like Dr. Bute?

Just view your life as having a new meaning when imagining different ways of thinking and coping.  It’s like starting over from scratch and being assured everything works out for the better.  Strange as it may seem, your dementia may well be a blessing in disguise.  It’s right to accept that you’re bearing this cross for the long haul.  It’s good to reflect on the newness of life, for God still sees you as a complete being.  Afterwards, consider yourself as a valuable member of society.  You’ve to be confident in the face of trials.

Quality of Life

It’s wise to promote a sense of well-being while living with dementia.  Just try to become more physical.  Let your friends accompany you for walks and live in a life-affirming community.  Challenge yourself in new ways.  Keep reading - and if you can’t, find someone who will read to you.  Remember to try to gear your activities to the development of your health.  As the disease progresses, make sure that your finances are in order.  An author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar (1926–2012) pointed out, “Fact: If standard of living is your number one objective, quality of life almost never improves.  But if quality of life is your number one objective, standard of living invariably improves.”  

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