October 28, 2019, which is today, marks the last Monday in October….yaaay! I am thankful that I get to see this day. Time is flying by so fast, we are already in November! To ‘end’ this month, I am going to share with you, in the next few lines one ‘life lesson’ I have learnt living with the sickle cell condition.
This life is an interesting one, and every day, I either learn something new or an old lesson is re-enforced. Sometimes, I write them down and occasionally I go through my ‘growing list’ and remind myself of some of the important things I have learnt. Today, I am going to focus on one you may already know, but I am still going to talk about how it and how it affects moi (me).
From my experience as a sickle cell patient, you are faced with this common comment, “you can’t!”…there is always someone or something screaming aloud about your inability to do certain things. Do not get me wrong, you definitely should know your limit and work with it but the spirit of “I can’t because I have sickle cell,” can cripple you. For a long time, I used to think the same thing about myself. I would say, ” I can’t work out because it would make me sick.” I proved this mindset when one day I decided to go to the gym with a friend, I went hoping to prove myself wrong but by the end of my 10 – minute session of the treadmill, I was on the floor. I didn’t care about what was happening around me, all I knew was that I couldn’t move. Oyiwaa…it was true. I can’t indeed.
Limitations were forced and I began to believe them. However, I quickly began to reject those limitations. I soon realized that people will project their insecurities and fears on you and that will cripple you. You will begin to limit your possibilities because someone else said it was impossible. I quickly began to change my mindset. I told myself ” Vanessa, even if you have sickle cell, it is not the end of the world.” My parents never limited me so why am I limiting myself now? A change in mindset allowed me to realize that I am capable of anything in spite of my condition. After all, the word of God said, ‘He that is within me is greater than He that is in the world.” So, if God Himself is within me, is it sickle cell and the opinion of other’s that will stop me?..NO please.
Today, I share this to encourage you that, anything is possible. With God, all things are possible. I have come to learn quickly that one person’s inability to achieve something does not mean you cannot achieve it too. I am sure you have heard this so many times, but I will still add my voice to it. I have concluded that because others think sickle cell anemia will limit me with regard to what I want to achieve, does not mean that it’s true for me. Today, I am able to work out for a full hour and walk out the door of that gym myself. I am aware of how far I can go and I accomodate that.
People have said, if you have sickle cell, your life will aways be one of pain – I reject it. If you have sickle cell, you may not have children, or may during child birth have many complications – I reject it. If you have sickle cell, you cannot live a normal happy life – I reject it again! Anything you say I cannot do because of sickle cell – I reject am! Tofiakwa.! We are so much more than what others think of us. So many people will try to put you in a box, just make sure you do not believe them and put yourself in that box. Get out of your own way!
Some may say, let’s be realistic and I agree. Does this mean that I do not have challenges because of my condition? Nope, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that in spite of those challenges, I will still press forward. Even when I am crying in a crisis, I will not use that situation to say, then I will never do anything, but sit still to avoid a crisis…me, I cannot live like that. So, I will embrace my challenge, learn from them and then surge forward. That be all I dey talk.
I hope that this message makes sense to you. You may not have sickle cell, but you are tied down because of a fear someone else has, remember to reject it, it is not your portion. Change those ” I can’t” statements to ” I CAN.” I leave you with this quote from Marianne Williamson ” Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a chid of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So my people, go forth and be great…in spite of what everyone else says!