Day 1 of the Lupus Inspo Challenge for 2020 focuses on this quote:
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character. –Anonymous
It can sometimes be hard to be thankful for any challenges that come our way, especially while we are dealing with lupus. Most of us are out here just trying to make it through a ‘normal’ day without a bunch of extra craziness being thrown our way. Yet, life doesn’t seem to understand that.
So, for this inspo challenge, think about a way that being diagnosed with lupus has helped you build your character. I am sure it’s way easier to think of ways that lupus has contributed to the destruction of our character, but really think about how it has helped you BUILD your character.
I had to really think about this before I was able to write on it. When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I believe I went through various stages of grief without even realizing it.
Within a year of being diagnosed, I had become an angry person. An angry person who felt like sh*t most days and could barely deal with any extra drama from anyone I was around. This caused me to become withdrawn and short with others.
Sometimes, shamefully and admittedly, I was rude AF. An unkind and angry person I had become, but that’s not what this journal post is supposed to be about right?
After going through that stage, I realized I was missing one thing in my life. KINDNESS. Kindness towards others and kindness towards myself. I actually made a resolution at the beginning of 2019 to work on just being kind.
Being kind is FREE and most days, it really doesn’t take a lot of my spoons.
So my journal post today is about how I learned to be kind after my lupus diagnosis. It was a character trait that had gotten lost previously and it was something I was missing in my life without even realizing it.
You see, being kind to others who are fighting invisible battles we may know nothing about, is rewarding. Subconsciously, I think that maybe it was something I was always expecting and wishing others would display towards me during and after my diagnosis.
That worker at the restaurant that messed your order up? Maybe they are dealing with brain fog or a chronic illness as well and they have to work because they won’t be able to feed their children if they call in.
Is it worth any of our spoons to get angry about something so trivial? Is it worth the heartache that we may set on someone else?
These were the sorts of questions that I have tried asking myself before reacting to situations that are outside of my control. When I would get angry and upset about things other people did or didn’t do, who was the person that suffered the most? Usually, it was me.
I had to deal with the frustrations and I had to deal with the guilty aftermath as well that burned holes in my soul because I didn’t want to be so angry all the time.
I don’t know about you, but with the few spoons I have each day, I do not want to use them on things that will be irrelevant 2 hours from now.
Once I began to just let things go, I realized how much more I was able to get done mentally and physically. I am proud to say that I do not let [most] little things get to me much these days, but it was a hard journey.
Writing this really puts it into reality and I must admit, that I truly feel sorry for the ways I previously acted and that I let things get to me that literally did not matter.
I wasted so much energy worrying and getting frustrated about the actions and words of others that I didn’t take time to appreciate the good in life. As someone with lupus, when many days are a struggle, I feel like I lost out on some good times in life that I could’ve spent making myself happy instead of angry.
So with that confession, lupus has built my character by helping me become a kinder person. There are many ways that we can be kind to others.
Listening to them during their struggles [even though we may be going through our own lupus battles], smiling at a stranger, holding the door for someone, donating to charity, complimenting a friend, and so much more!
If every day you make it a mission to do or say even ONE nice thing to someone, soon enough it will happen without much effort. When we change our mindset and lives to a more positive vibe, we can all reap the benefits!
So, what is one way that lupus has helped build your character?
If you would like to share your Day 1 post on our website, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the end of this 20 day challenge, I will pick one random winner who submitted their post to win a custom Lupus Lyfe shirt!