So to start with I want to say I tremendously appreciate the connections, sharing, and activities having to do with the DOC. I wish I had been able to experience this many years ago as a teenager. I really do. Since “connecting” with all of you I have learned countless of practical things. I have learned lots in the realm of philosophy and have broadened my ideas having to do with diabetes. I have felt more validated and whole. I have also been tested and challenged as a result of coming into contact with so many different thoughts and opinions. It’s all good, albeit sometimes complicated and twisty.
Relationships are challenging, we all know that. They help us grow. Growth isn’t easy but it’s very useful because it is assumed we become better human beings in the process and it also provides a sense of fulfillment in life. I think that growth is a big part of being human.
The DOC is like any other relationship. Have you ever read something on a blog that inspired you to be a better person? I have. Have you ever read something on a blog that reached out and poured salt on a wound? Was it on purpose? Probably not. Most likely, a vulnerable area was stirred in you and a challenge to face a truth or face a fear was moved in you and what you experienced was your reaction.
When these reactions happen to me I have tried to learn to think about them. Instead of come to assumptions, I have to reflect first. Why did something affect me so? Why was I touchy or emotional? Why did those words make me cry? Why do I agree with someone? Why do I disagree? Where is that person coming from?
To me, the DOC is a relationship that is constantly encouraging me to grow. This is often painful as much as it is exhilarating. When it gets frustrating, I ask myself why something is having that affect on me. When it is helpful, I’m simply appreciative. When it’s overwhelming, I step back for a moment and get some air. When I come back, the support from others reminds me what it’s all about.
So whether you lurk occasionally or hang out often, do what’s comfortable to you and know that your participation is priceless to others. Remember that our differing opinions come from our differing circumstances and personalities. Remember that differing opinions are a thing of value because they reflect a real way of thinking for other people and demonstrate courage to speak up. This leads to discussions that lead to effective communication which leads to powerful community breakthroughs if people are humble, honest, sincere, and brave.
A powerful force for growth, change, and a better way of life for people with diabetes, that’s what the DOC is to me.