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Does This Seem Strange?

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

If you've worked with me or my husband Stephen you know about the power of mindfulness, of being in the present moment, and you are more aware that you have a choice to react or to respond in a different way. This was one of those moments.

I use trekking poles to get around now. Years with a cane caused bad posture and shoulder and neck pain. These poles allow me to walk straighter and with more stability. They're wonderful!

But I get really self-conscious especially when I use them indoors. I guess people assume there's a physical problem when they see a cane, and I'm finally okay with that, but the trekking poles are generally used to train or hike or trek. I must look pretty strange at the grocery store and of course that makes me feel strange.

So yesterday at Costco the cashier grabbed my shopping cart with my trekking poles still the basket. ‘No’ I cried , ‘I need these to walk!’

It was awkward. The last thing I want to do is draw attention to my disability. After a few seconds I told myself, NO, YOU GOT THIS! Instead of shame or embarrassment I chose pride. I'm still walking after 27 years with MS, let them stare. Maybe someone will ask why I use them. I'm happy to tell my story if it inspires.

It was quite an interesting experience. I try to keep my chin up and all that stuff but inside I'm terrified of falling or being helpless.

At home I took a few minutes to reflect on what happened. I realized that this experience was a another reminder of the lesson I need to learn; it's that helplessness is a state of mind, nothing more.

I realize that letting go of worrying about what other people think will take practice but I did it once, I will do it again!

That was me taking my power back, not giving in to that destructive reactivity,and it felt soooo good.

What awkward moment can you recall when you took your power back?

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