Don used to tell his clients, “If you tell yourself, ‘I don’t want to be like my mother – I don’t want to be like my mother – I don’t want to be like my mother,’ before you know it, you will be just like your mother. Instead, you need to turn 180 degrees and focus on the kind of mother you want to be. Then there will be hope you can break away from a bad example.”
It’s the same with living in the past. If we always long to be like we were before the stroke or some other tragedy, we will never move on in life. We will only make ourselves miserable. We need to aim at what we want our future to be like. Disability does not have to dictate an end to having joy and meaning in life. THERE IS LIFE AFTER DISABILITY.
What Helped Us Cope and Gave Us Hope: We had to acknowledge our past life was gone and would never return. We needed to let it go and then try to develop our new, post-stroke life. That released us from the miserable trap of longing for something that was not going to happen. Of course, we are tempted to dwell on our memories, but when we are grateful for the good in our past life and then turn around to develop our new life, we find hope and joy.
Question for Our Readers: Do you sometimes struggle with longing for how things used to be? What helps you escape those thoughts and move on?
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