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quadbliss

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The following is my attempt at listing those things for which I am most grateful. As I began to type, my emotions were stirred and I ended up with something deeper than I intended to share. I hope it is not too sappy. Sorry for the length.

I have been living with ALS for over ten years. In that time we have become close friends. I no longer consider this disease to be a life robbing, horrible thing, but a life enhancing experience. I am grateful for the new perspectives I have been given. This is not just knowledge that I understand and accept intellectually. These are truths that have become part of my being. I now understand and enjoy my existence more than I thought possible, ALS or not.

We live within a universe that is all one. Everything and everyone is interdependent, made by and from one single source. I feel connected and therefore kinship with all other people on this planet. I am grateful for the ability to truly understand and be a part of the interdependent nature of our Universe.

Because of the kinship I share with all other people, I cultivate compassion and not blame for others and their circumstances. I am grateful for the empathy I experience toward all daughters and sons of God.

I have found a way to help ease the suffering of others through the sale of my art. I am grateful to have been shown a purpose for my life. A purpose that feels much more meaningful than my previous self serving goals.

I have ample time for prayer and meditation. I have time to focus on the meaning of this life, the suffering of others, the true nature of reality, and time to commune with God. I am grateful for the timeless inner peace I experience.

I have a physical form that from the outside appears distorted and grotesque. I can't speak audibly, and I drool. I am grateful that I have been placed in circumstances to counteract my large ego (my biggest spiritual stumbling block).

I am nearly always present in the moment. This makes me a better listener and keeps me from mourning the past or dreading the future. To truly live life we must experience the present moment without coloring it through thoughts of the past or future. I am grateful for being shown the joy of living in the NOW.

Despite complete paralysis from the neck down, and requiring others to do everything for me (except work on the computer). I still retain my dignity. No one can take that away. I am grateful that I have been made to understand that I am not my body or my thoughts. I am the silent space from which all is created.

I am most grateful for my loving wife Jen who has enthusiastically agreed to take this journey with me, and has never faltered in her love or companionship as we travel this path together.:-D

This is only my experience, and I am in no way trying to invalidate or chastise others who are suffering through more negative experiences.

Mike
 

brendapals

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Mike,

Beautifully written!

Keep the faith,
brenda
 

BethU

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Mike, you have found the answers we are all looking for. (Even those without ALS, though they may not know the questions yet.)

Thank you for sharing it. Your post is a keeper.
BethU
 

crystalkk

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Mike,

Thank you for sharing that, you are truly an inspiration to many.
I am sure your wife is an amazing person as well.
 

Al

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As I said earlier Mike, tell us your thoughts. I was not disappointed.

AL.
 

leegardens

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Mike,
Thank you. You are one of my heroes.
Lee
 

CindyM

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Thank you for sharinghtis, Mike. I, for one, never find you "sappy." :-D
 

MtPockets

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Mike, thanks so much for sharing your walk with us. It is truly amazing. It takes a special person to have such a positive attitude with all you have gone and are going through.

Thanks for being such a great example to others. May God continue to bless you is my prayer.
 

JAKE

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Mike,

There is only 1 way a person can look at life the way you are through adverse conditions, and that is God almighty. Keep your eyes fixed upon the Master my friend. May God continue to keep you and your wife in the palm of his hands and give you that peace that surpasses all understanding.
 

brooksea

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Thank you so much for sharing Mike!

I am extremely happy for you, in that you have found the place in which we should all be.
 

JohnMc

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Gratitude

On New Years' Day of this year, I went to a church gathering where we did some meditation and each of us picked a word that we would keep in mind for the new year.

The word I picked was 'Gratitude'.

At that time, I had some weakness in my right arm, and was having fasciculations, but I had not seen a doctor and had not even made a connection to ALS.

As the year has progressed, I think about the choice of this word. I have often looked back on the way my life was 5 or 6 years ago, when life seemed so simple: my job wasn't stressful, I had no health problems, my kids were always eager to spend time with their parents. It seemed like all the gratitude-inducing events were in the past (although in the past, I wasn't particularly grateful).

But I have made an effort to to identify the things in my life today that I am grateful for: I can always be grateful for my family, for the beauty of nature, for a good night's sleep. But this thread reminds me that there is really no limit to my gratitude.

Thanks, Mike, for posting this.

John
 

quadbliss

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Thanks for your support everyone. I find it difficult to expose myself like this, but your encouraging words remind me of my purpose. We are all in this together. I am simply trying to remind you that if we take responsibility for our own thoughts, we will change our perception of reality.

What are YOU grateful for?

Mike
 

brendapals

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Mike,

As I sit here catching up on reading the most wonderful info available about ALS, it isn't hard to think about what I am grateful for.

I am grateful for my family that will see me thru this entire journey, perhaps tired and angry, but will still be there. I am grateful that God picked me to have ALS, instead of say, my hubby or my sister, because only He could know that I am strong enough, on most days, to handle it!

And I'm grateful for the friendships I treasure, and all my new friends on this forum, who will also see me thru this journey!

I could go on and on, but I better save a turn for someone else!

Keep the faith,
brenda
 

awieleba

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Thanks Mike!~

No matter how this turns out for me, This health issue has tought me to live in the NOW.
I use to spend so much time planning and thinking deep in the future. And worring about every little thing. That is necessary sometimes but mine were not always thoughts of the necessary. I know live in every moment with my family and am thankful for each and every moment as they happen. I really only think of the next month, not the next 10 years. I really do value living in this moment, this day with my beloved family......
 

lovelily

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Dear Mike....I believe you to be inspired by God, and in turn are able to inspire others! May the peace of God continue to reside in you...Thank you for your beautiful words of wisdom!

take care
lovelily
 
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