I have loved the statement that Viktor Frankyl said, and I am paraphrasing."Suffering is no longer suffering when it finds a purpose." Many times in my life this has motivated me to keep going in the midst of challenges. I have always felt when I faced difficulties that I must move beyond them and use those experiences to benefit myself and others.
When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's I had dreams that my legs were cut off. I really did not know what to do or how to help her. At the same time my favorite aunt had a brain tumor and died. It was truly the "dark night of my soul."
I had a choice to either wallow in the sadness and self pity or to find a purpose for my suffering. That was when I found the Alzheimer's Association and dedicated myself to helping others deal with the dreaded disease. Now, 19 years later, I realize that my suffering was minimized by my actions.
After suffering from West Nile Virus this past year and spending 52 days in the hospital I am not satisfied merely with my recovery. I am acutely aware that I must use my experience and suffering to create greater awareness of the disease thereby hopefully preventing others from getting the disease.
So many people supported me during my illness with their prayers, thoughts and love. I felt like there was such an investment by others for me to recover that I knew I would succeed.
So once again I am able to turn my suffering into purpose with gratitude and faith.