Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Crack Open the Fortune Cookie and Be Surprised

I went to the Chinese restaurant for dinner the other night and at the end of the meal, as is customary, I received a fortune cookie.  Most of the time I’m indifferent to them because they say something either so obvious or so absurd that I leave it on the table to be swept away with the other trash.

This evening was different.  I had one of those fortunes that actually made me think.  It was even something I could agree with, so I’m sharing it with you.  What if you, “Make your life an exclamation, not an explanation”.   It’s simple and to the point, but what does it mean for you, someone diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness?

I believe it’s about claiming each and every day.  It’s making conscious decisions about what you do on your journey to health and healing instead of looking back at what might have happened.  It’s proactive and doesn’t reek of shame.  It’s about taking responsibility for what the decision you make in your life instead of the excuses you may be prone to making on a regular basis.

When you “make your life an exclamation” it becomes a celebration.  It may not be a ticker tape parade, but it’s the soapbox you stand on, not the thing you hide behind.  You show others what’s possible instead of backtracking about what could have been.

Let’s face it; coming up with explanations is exhausting.  It drains you of the precious internal resources you need to get better or get well!  When you need to explain things it enters the realm of storytelling and with that comes a certain degree of fiction.  Is that how you want to live your life?  As a fiction character?

Living life as an exclamation is the true story.  It’s the story you want to share with others instead of one you hope no one asks you about.  It’s the story that serves as a catalyst for the next day of our life and hopefully every day builds upon the day before!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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