Finding spiritual peace is an important goal for each of us. Many of us live a very external life, dwelling on the physical and never realizing the importance of the spiritual. We devote time and energy to our external appearance, often neglecting our inner-self. With a shift from an external to an internal focus, we begin to discover the beauty that is within ourselves and others and to have a greater sense of faith and trust in God.
We seldom take the time to think about the meaning of life. Often, it isn't until we experience a loss, disease, or terminal illness that we really take the time to assess the way we are living. This is unfortunate, because valuable opportunities have been missed.
Each of us has to learn our own life lessons and discover our individual meaning of life. The purpose of this book is to help you begin the journey toward spiritual peace. Using personal experiences, the author will guide you through a process of self-discovery by helping you to reflect on your life story, recognize important life lessons, and author your own philosophy of life.
A Final Message of Hope:
Have you ever wondered why so many people are drawn to and moved by a Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture) or a Morrie Schwartz (Tuesdays with Morrie)? It is because these men have lived their terminal illness with dignity and joy. They did not constantly ask, “Why me?” but instead accepted what they were given and made the most of it.
We are all going to die, but seeing someone who knows he is dying, yet keeps living life to the fullest, brings us hope and a sense of peace, despite the inevitability of death.
In the last several months I have had a lot of time to reflect on, and wonder about, the role chronic illness plays in my own Christian faith. I have come to the realization that we may be misinterpreting the reasons for chronic and terminal illness.
So many of us feel like we are being punished or that our diagnosis isn’t fair, but I would challenge you to reframe this life experience.
Could it be that we have been chosen? Perhaps we should feel honored and privileged. Through our attitude about, and ability to cope with our illness, we can be a model and inspiration to others, an example to help them appreciate their own blessing of health and help them grow into better people. What an extraordinary gift we can give by living honorably despite our discomfort.
If we can each strive to be a role model for others, our experience of illness will be transformed into a better and more fulfilling one, because we will discover the good that can blossom from our personal suffering.
May those of us with chronic and terminal illness strive to emulate brave people like Randy and Morrie by learning to live our lives of illness without anger, and instead delight in living the life we’ve been given.
My Catholic upbringing has taught me to believe that my mortality is not the end, but rather the beginning of an eternal life with God. This new life will be free from illness and suffering and will be filled with health, happiness, and love like none I can imagine. This promise of an everlasting life brings me great peace and makes the pain, trials, and sadness of my current condition more manageable.
This is a transcript of the blog I kept to document the time that I waited for the call for a double lung transplant. From April to December of 2008.
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