I’ve been quiet on the whole ALS ice bucket challenge. I had mixed feelings concerning it. With so much of the country in a drought, I felt it was a waste of water. Also, what about the ones who do the challenge and don’t donate? But then I read this blog post and my feelings changed about the whole thing. The end of her post really got me. I’ve included that part below. To read the whole post click here.
The truth is, I’m grateful this silly viral effort is raising so much awareness and so many funds to help wage a war against something that is so treacherous and so frightening and so fucking full of horrendous torture — ALS.
But there’s more.
Besides dumping a bucket of ice on our heads with our neighbors, family, friends and celebrities, besides pledging and hopefully following through with funds to the foundation, which will hopefully invest those resources wisely, there’s something more we can do. Something my mom taught me. Something strong and graceful and so not easy.
We can approach each day as if it were our last. We can reach out to our loved ones, even if we don’t see eye to eye with them, even if they grind our every last nerve, even if sometimes they make us want to scream in frustration — we can reach out to them and tell them that we love them. Exactly the way they are. For exactly who they are. We can tell them we see the beauty in them, even if they can’t see it in themselves.
Here’s the next thing we can do. And this one is another level up — it isn’t easy. We can look in the mirror and say these words: I love you. And if it’s hard, if you look away, do it again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until you feel it.
Because one of the only ways to rid this world of diseases like cancer and ALS and lupus and countless others, besides awareness and support and funds, is learning to love. Love ourselves. Love others. Love and accept and celebrate and appreciate each breath. Each wiggle of each finger and each toe. Don’t hold back. Don’t put parameters or expectations on things. Just love. Love your life. Love your love handles. Love your siblings. And learn to be yourself fearlessly, in the words of Anita Moorjani, who survived cancer via this mechanism.
This carbon-based life is fleeting. And it’s important. We’re all connected and in this together. So please. Please. Please. Choose to love your life. Ice buckets and all.