The Joy of Taking New Risks
Most of the time, our lives are fairly stable and predictable. We generally know what’s coming next and plan accordingly. However, every once in a while, we get thrown a curveball, such as a diagnosis of Macular Degeneration (MD), that throws us into a tailspin that upsets many of our plans. Depending on what filter we are looking through and our frame of mind, we can react in several different ways.
The overwhelming feelings will subside
One reaction is to freeze while processing the diagnosis of MD. Feeling overwhelmed can stop us in our tracks and leave us indecisive and unsure how to proceed. For some, this is a short time but for others, it can last months or even years. Eventually the feeling of being overwhelmed subsides. We fall into a rhythm of acceptance.
Disappointment and sadness dissipate
For some, the diagnosis of MD was not totally unexpected, while for others, it came out of the blue and was a shock to hear. Regardless of your expectations, nearly everyone who hears the news experiences a period of disappointment and sadness, either immediate or delayed. This often dissipates over time
Detachment and neutrality - a holding pattern
Another scenario might be a sense of detachment, especially if you’re not experiencing symptoms yet. The diagnosis can seem unbelievable, making it easy to disregard and set on a back burner for the time being, temporarily relieving any anxiety about what impact MD may have on your future.
Few people diagnosed with MD see it as good news and most have unanswered questions about how the potential vision loss will affect their plans, both now and in the future. Being completely honest, yet compassionate, with ourselves is key in achieving the most positive outcome. This takes both courage and a willingness to search for new beginnings.
Start with a shift in perspective
What I know for certain is that my biggest challenge wasn’t my physical loss of vision but what I was saying to myself in my head! What I have learned is when I made the shift from seeing ONLY a negative perspective to seeing the possibilities and unexpected opportunities, my world became much brighter and my joy returned. When they say you get exactly what you are looking for, that certainly proved true for me! Even though my situation had not changed, how different my future looked when I made the critical shift to see things differently. However, some risk-taking is involved and you may have to move out of your comfort zone.
Bring new joy into your life
It’s easy to become complacent about life and take things for granted. Then suddenly, things can change. At this junction is exactly when we need to take new risks, think outside the box, and get a bit more creative. It CAN be exciting and exhilarating in spite of the obvious drawbacks. We have a choice to focus only on the challenges OR to rediscover our lives.
Take a Chance to See a Brighter Future
Once you take the risk of moving into unfamiliar, uncharted territory and let the shift begin, you will be open to new opportunities. You will see things that you never thought of before. Your whole mindset changes and you are more adventurous, reaping greater rewards. But don’t believe me - See for yourself!
Start by thinking less about your physical hardships and more about how you’re THINKING about your challenges. You may find you need some help navigating this necessary shift with professional counseling. I know it helped me tremendously. Don’t be afraid to get whatever support you need - You are worth every effort to find the joy in your life - just as it is! Just the fact that you have read this article implies you are consciously preparing to make the shift!
You may not be able to change your condition but your condition can change you - for the better!
Do you still drive?