Life is full of challenges. Most of them are unforeseen but even when I see them coming, it’s hard to brace for them…to truly grasp the ways in which these challenges change me and change my life.

Yet, as I continue on my sarcoidosis journey, no matter the challenge on any given day, I am faced with one constant. That constant is my own attitude. It is often the one thing I have control over. I say often, because there moments when it feels like I lack even this. But I don’t. I never do.

I can change the course of any challenge simply by changing a negative attitude into a positive one. It takes a certain vigilance to achieve. A constant awareness and ability to be truly present to accomplish. But it can be done and I am finding that it gets easier the more it is practiced over time.

The last few days have been particularly difficult for me physically. I’m not really sure why. It’s just one of the many mysteries of this disease. And it’s during these times that attitude is so important. A little self pity is natural once and while but a lot of it achieves nothing. So, while it is important to acknowledge these less than desirable feelings, to embrace them for a short while, it is far more important to let them go once they have been realized and as quickly as possible or else a giant deep dark abyss awaits me.

Whenever my attitude is improved, so too is my physical well being, even if not perfectly so.

A change in direction is really just a change in perspective. I may have a spontaneous and immediate reaction to a given challenge but once it passes, I can change it. And by changing my perspective and improving my attitude, answers to challenges come in ways I never expected or would have thought possible. These lessons are not often easy but if I am not willing to embrace them, I will shrivel like a wilted flower desperate for water.

I don’t like having this disease. Sometimes it really angers me and other times it saddens me as I remember all the things I once did with ease that now I can no longer do at all or that take twice as long to accomplish with half the success. But it is what it is. I can’t make it go away. All I can do is take care of myself and do the best with what I have been given. If I dwell on being sick, I become a self obsessed, ugly, pain in the ass. That is the last thing that I want. And dwelling is boring! Really really boring.

So today I am changing directions and I am scouting out a new perspective. And I will continue to do so as each challenge arises, focused not so much on the anguish and the grief of the challenge before me but on the lesson to be learned and how I can become a better person for myself and the ones I love.