Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, overcoming adversity

We’re All The Same But Different

We all have the same needs to survive, at least according to Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs. The base of the needs pyramid are our physical needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Moving up the pyramid we are met by the need for safety, a need to belong, self-esteem, and finally self-actualization. The amazing thing about the pyramid of needs is that we all have the same destination, but how we scale the pyramid is different. If you’re wondering what I mean, let me take you on a little trip.

Imagine you are venturing out to your favorite bookstore. If you’re like me you head for one section as your first destination. Odds are that you routinely head for that genre of books because it’s in your wheelhouse. It’s your place of comfort, interest, even solace. Our interests guide our journey. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at books on nature, art, automobiles, or science; each discipline has unique qualities that speak to you. Since a different person writes every book you are exposed to varying points of view within your chosen genre.

Now let’s take a trip further down the road. Move from your favorite book section to the magazine racks. Usually bookstores categorize their magazine selections. Survey the magazines and see what speaks to you. Once you’ve chosen a magazine look at other magazines that are similar. You’ll notice that there is a plethora of magazines on your chosen topic. Each magazine attracts a unique set of authors writing toward a unique audience.

Publishers count on their being a diverse population who buy their magazines, books, and other media. Because we’re all the same, the need to seek, but different because we have different tastes and motivations there are similar but different resources. Why am I belaboring this point? You need to find what you connect to when seeking ways to overcome adversity. There are voices that are easier for you to hear, read, and explore. Finding the voices that speak to you will provide you with the most bang for your buck both literally and figuratively.

I’ll give you an example. I’m obsessed with stories and storytelling. I’m not talking about the “Once upon a time” stories, but people’s life stories. My dissertation focused on the narratives of artists with chronic and life-threatening illness. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when, on this weeks bookstore visit, I found a magazine titled Creative Nonfiction. The focus of the magazine is “telling stories that matter”. Amazingly, there is an article on narrative medicine, a topic near and dear to my heart. There is something for everyone!!!!

When you find the voices that resonate for you, it’s amazing how powerful the information, resources, and inspiration will hit home. They will give you nourishment as you move forward on your pilgrimage to health and healing. Seek out the authors and speakers that draw you to their message. When you can isolate those unique tidbits that make them so appealing you can go out and find more resources that will give you a springboard for other healing resources.

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