Some Advice About Embarrassment…

This might be a difficult story for some people to read, so please bear with me:

The other day I was enjoying myself at my favourite restaurant when… problems occurred.

Life with multiple sclerosis involves coping with many ever-changing adjustments to a new status quo, and one of those adjustments is learning to live with incontinence.

Unfortunately, I experienced an “accident” while out-and-about, but things were such that I was stuck in that restaurant when it happened, and I was still far from home.

I ended up having to sit there in my wheelchair, soaked in my own waste, until i could pay. Beyond that, I had just missed my bus, and was required to sit and wait for another full half-hour at the stop.

A number of people showed their obvious displeasure at my offending smell, both at the  terminal and on the bus. I was an hour after my accident happened that I finally made it home–humiliated.

I was so wrought with shame that I began experiencing an anxiety attack, which–if you’ve never been through such a thing–is NOT a pleasant experience.

I sat there in my wheelchair, alone and crying, and shaking from embarrassment and fear. And then something dawned on me, and I felt completely at peace with myself.

Embarrassment, shame, humiliation… these are feelings that accompany a sense of “fault”; when we feel culpability and blame for our situation.

Unlike “screwing up”, which is tied to vanity, ignorance, hubris and arrogance, mistakes are honest… faultless…and almost always unavoidable.

I realized that I was in no way at fault for what had happened. Challenges like bathroom accidents are an inevitable reality for people in my situation… and there was very little I could have done to avoid the inevitable.

So–why am I sharing this “humiliating” story? Because: many other people have experienced this or related challenges

And I want to let them know that…  it’s okay.

Difficult situations will always happen, but that is not the same as being at fault for those situations.

When you understand this, you afford yourself three very important gifts: the first is forgiveness; the second is acceptance; and the third gift–and the most important one–is wisdom.

There is a saying that pretty much sums up this entire blog, and it’s a long standing quote: “To err is human, to forgive, divine!”

No one ever learned anything about life who didn’t first  have to get  life wrong. Grant yourself the privilege of these gifts. Live life! Experience… and become a better person for it.

That’s all anyone can ever ask of you!


Irreverently Yours,

Aug, who’s gonna go out again and “experience” a nice meal…

*For more information about incontinence, click here; ideas for solutions can be found by following this link

Nothing Worth Having in Life Ever Comes Easy…”

This is as true a statement as has ever been uttered!

However…

This does NOT mean that anything worth having in life is impossible to attain; no–it simply means that true satisfaction will always come from “earning” your reward versus simply having it handed to you.

It has been 5 years of obstacles, pitfalls and frustrations on the path to being able to travel to Tibet, Asia, to reach Everest Base Camp in my wheelchair.

And it has been an as equally frustrating time trying to raise $100,000 to help end MS, since multiple sclerosis is amongst my biggest burdens, as it is for 100,000 other Canadians.

BUT… being frustrated and being defeated are two altogether entirely different things: one is about quitting; the other is about persevering!

I will persevere… and I know emphatically that, in a very real way, i have already triumphed through this adventure beyond even my expectations!

Everest–you may be far away right now, but I’ll tame you yet…

it’ll just take patience!

 

Irreverently Yours,
Aug, who will earn this reward..

 

 

“The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is… Fear Itself!”

A Great Man–a man in a wheelchair, just like me–who was encumbered by deep challenges, both personal and professional, once said those exact words.

They were spoken at a time when a great upheaval threatened to turn his society dark, and were intended to make that society’s people realize that they didn’t need to merely “feel” brave in the face of that terror… because they already were!

What I’m finally beginning to understand is that, in virtually every scenario, the thing you are afraid of will always be less of a challenge to deal with then the act of actually being afraid of it.

In other words: the fear is worse then the reality!

I’ve said these very words numerous times to audiences about multiple sclerosis, but I’m only just now realizing that those words encompassed wisdom that even I was still trying to grasp.

NO LONGER!

If I’m going to be afraid, then let it be of not giving my all to a cause; of not attempting to realize the dreams I envision, and of not accepting that lack of success and failure are two totally different things: one is caused by a lack of perspective… but the other is caused by a lack of perseverance!

True success, that thing to which we all aspire, is as much measured by the gains made through effort–through fortitude–as it is by tangible results.

I will NOT be daunted by imaginary failures, nor by irrational fears of hypothetical scenarios!

Everest Awaits! I WILL end MS! And the only thing to fear is… fear itself!

Irreverently Yours,
Aug, who is no longer afraid to try…

A New year…a New Direction!

So…

I ended off last year being fairly certain that my dream of climbing Mt Everest in my wheelchair was, well… dead. It seemed there were just too many barriers to push through, too many obstacles to overcome.

It turns out I could not have been more wrong!

I have since then been talking to a professional documentary filmmaker, who feels this is not only possible to achieve, but that my dream is both able to be filmed and can be sold to a distributor. My doing so would completely alleviate my need to raise funds to purchase my trip–the sticking point with the government, and the assistance I receive from them.

Best of all, he has been to Everest Base Camp before–with a crew–to successfully document a group making this very climb. And his project was aired on a major Canadian network!

Suffice it to say I have a lot of work ahead of me, both in terms of planning and of execution. Simply put: I am going to be VERY busy for a while; more so than I have ever been to this point… and that is fine by me!

It’s like they always say: nothing in life worth having  is ever easy!

So: here’s to making this fantasy a manifest reality; here’s to the journey getting to that point being every bit as defining as the climb itself!

Here’s to dreams coming true!

Irreverently Yours,
Aug, who’s dreaming big…..

“Health Matters…”

Four Points by Sheraton Mississauga MeadowvaleToday at the Four Points Meadowvale hotel and conference centre, the Mississauga Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada hosted its “Journey to Wellness” workshop –an exposition of health practitioners with advice dedicated to the wellness of those living with MS.

The event was very-well attended, with nearly 70 people present to receive sound health information from practicing professionals in nutrition, naturopathic medicine and physical rehabilitation.

Everyone came away with something–be it a new point of view about diet, or regarding the importance of maintaining continued mobility through proactive physical activities.

It was fascinating to see people from all walks of life, and of all disability levels, coming together to share a common goal of wanting to take control of their disease, and not merely sitting back to let their disease control them.

I look forward to the next Mississauga Chapter workshop on Wednesday, December 11: “Managing Mobility with Multiple Sclerosis.

Irreverently Yours,
Aug, whose own journey is far from complete…

 

 

“Fundraising in FUN-draising!”

Well….

It’s 6 am and I haven’t been to sleep yet… but that’s because I’m excited!

Having just spent the last 16 straight hours working on my IndieGoGo crowdfunding website, i can now say, for the record, that I did one HELL of a good job!! BOO-YAH!! I’m just waiting now for final approval from my bosses…

I’ve  also managed to get my sister fundraising site up and  running in real time, as hosted by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada on their server, so you can now officially donate towards my impending Everest Base Camp climb by clicking here

off-road-wheelchairMy first order of business is to secure enough funding to pay for my Mountain Trike wheelchair, so i can start running laps in the snow as soon as possible

The impending cold and icy Canadian winter will be the perfect training grounds to simulate what it will actually be like to climb to Everest Base Camp in those frigid conditions. I’m glad the Trike can handle it!!

So.. here’s to the start of what I’m certain will be a very successful year of training and fundraIsing!

Here’s to being able to end MS!

CHEERS!!

Irreverently Yours,.
Aug, who’s got the nuns from “the Sound of Music” singing in my brain…

“Mike’s Fantastic Fajita Fundraisr End MS!”e

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Hi all,

This Tuesday, September 24th , marks not only my 44th birthday (special, to be sure), but also my all-you-can-eat Tex-Mex fundraiser to benefit my “end MS” climb, happening at Lone Star Texas Grill in Oakville, at Dundas and Highway 403!

It’ll be your choice from unlimited chicken, streak and veggie fajitas (with all the fixin’s), plus help-yourself nachos and salsa, loads of salads, lots of dessert, and free refills of soft drinks, tea and coffee. Oh, and we can cater to gluten free, veggie and pescetarian diets.

The cost is $30 (taxes included) and there’ll be great door prizes. Best of all, $10 from every meal sold goes towards my wheelchair climb up to Everest Base Camp to help me raise $100,000 towards finding a cure for multiple sclerosis!

Give me the best birthday gift of all–help me to walk again!

So–I hope to see you there, to celebrate my big day and to help a good cause while eating like a king… and be sure to bring your appetites, y’all!

YEEHAW!!

Irreverently Yours,
Aug, who’s hankerin’ for a ho-down…

 

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