Contributed by Bob Rawlins, consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~
For anything we do in life there are four words that could and even should be the most important for all of us to remember and understand.
“Faith, Strength, Patience, and Hope,” were printed on a card that my family sent me while I was in recovery in the hospital. I have always been a positive person and have been trying to include these words in everything I do. However, only until I truly exercised the practice of using them in my life every day did it make an enormous difference in my life.
When you first read these words, you say to yourself, “I do.” Here’s my challenge, over the next couple of weeks — write down in a journal and realize how much you do. We want this to become automatic and second nature. The more we practice this, the closer it becomes a major part of our behavior and temperament.
I’ve learned over the years that ever since I started using their meanings and kept this in the forefront of my decision-making process, it has produced formidable confidence in myself, in my health, and dealing with the many challenges that my health has created. I’ve escaped death more than once, and never lost my confidence to live every day to its fullest.
Doesn’t everyone need a way to help boost their confidence and decision-making challenges?
I remember many stories when I was volunteering and had the chance to talk with several patients. There is a common theme or concern with anybody on a chronic lung journey and some similarities in those working and dealing with life’s journey.
We were talking about doctors. How do you like your doctors I’d ask? Many said, “Okay, but I don’t know if I have complete faith in them.” So, think about this — I like my boss, but I don’t know if I have complete faith in them doing the right thing.
So, I ask — do the right thing by you or others, or the company? Have you been involved in the decision-making process?
With your doctor, you should be involved with your illness and why your doctors are suggesting certain things. But I look at it as Hope. I hope my doctors are doing the best for me and I put my Faith in God (or whatever you believe in). I pray through my faith to give my doctors the Strength to make the right decisions and hope it’s the right path. Then I must have the Patience to see how my illness progresses, keeping the faith that things I can’t control happen for the good. In the end, we aren’t in control, we can only do what we can.
So, when I talk about this in either a group setting or individually, I usually sense the stress leave very quickly and the determination strengthen. I pray that it continues to give people confidence and hope.
Even in today’s world of balancing work and family, you must ask for the strength, patience, and hope to manage things you can’t always control — whether you think it is fair or not. Keep the faith always!
Your biggest inspiration to others is sharing your experiences and talking about how you cope with both the good and bad days during life’s journey.
As they say in a cool Chicago song, “You’re the Inspiration” for yourself and others.
Another song, by Bon Jovi, “Live Before You Die,” reminds us you must want to do that, and look for the reasons and inspirations every day.
My talks with others and learning from others is the best therapy and inspiration for me. I know I love to talk, but I want to be inspired and I want to inspire others if I can.
My friends, you all inspire me as I hear and read many stories of people dealing with chronic illness and the challenges of life.
Be brave, grab strength in everything you do, and share that strength with others. You never know what heart you may touch.
Love you all,
~ Coach Bob
Bob Rawlins, 64, of Medina, Ohio, is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for those who suffer from respiratory diseases and have been prescribed supplemental oxygen therapy. He is husband to Terese and father to their 17-year-old triplets. He also has two grown twin sons and four grandchildren. He serves as a hospital volunteer, band dad and chaperone, and marketing guru.
The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.