“A REASON AND A SEASON” For everything that happens and everyone that comes into our lives – there’s something for us to learn and we must decide to be open to the lesson. Raised by parents who put God first and were examples of a hard work ethic, care and compassion for others, I took these qualities and incorporated them into my personal and professional lives. I have been in the natural health field over 30 years. My passion was fueled from experiencing the devastating affects of multiple sclerosis (MS). According to the Center of Disease Control, MS is a debilitating, sometimes crippling disease that affects 2.5 million people worldwide including 400,000 Americans. It has been thought that MS was not a disease generally affecting African Americans. However, after receiving this diagnosis I found that almost without fail anyone I spoke to knew of a friend, family member or associate in the African American community who had been diagnosed with this dis-ease. Regardless of statistics, if you’re the one living with this ailment, it doesn’t matter if there are one or one million persons with MS or any other dis-ease, how does it affect your life! When I heard the following words from the doctor, “Well, Roberta, the only conclusion I have come up with to explain all of the problems you have been experiencing is that you have multiple sclerosis”, I had a decision to make. I could either accept that my life would be all about this dis-ease or I could make it a stepping stone to improve my life and make the best of what was handed to me at the time. Yes, there were times when I was in denial about being as sick as I was. There was that moment and do mean a moment when I asked “why me” and immediately the response came back: “why NOT me?”. Who was I to think that I could not have challenges and difficulties in my life? What lessons was I to learn from this experience? I used to say that I believe but now I know that for everything there’s a reason and a season. My job was to determine and seek out what was it I was to learn, what is God teaching me – about life, myself, and others? Even with all of these questions and revelations, all was not rosy. There were times when I could say that I was severely depressed. Other times I realized that I had to learn to live with my situation and other times I felt that I should and could get better. Sometimes I blamed myself for being in this situation because I had to have done something awfully wrong to be going through such an unsettled life – not knowing if and when I would be able to walk, talk or take care of myself. Living with the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis obviously affected every part of my life, both negatively and positively. The negatives were obvious: lack of mobility, unable to do things that most of us take for granted – walking, talking, going to the bathroom on your own, being labeled “disabled” and looked upon as “less than” – being treated differently. However, WHAT could possibly be POSITIVE about living like this? Well, for me, I become more introspective – looking at what works and what does not work in my life. Being much more appreciative of the things that I COULD do! It made me stop feeling sorry for myself for not being, doing, having or wanting what someone else may be, do, have or want and be grateful that there were plenty of things that I was still able to accomplish albeit at a slower rate than others. It also showed me that there was ALWAYS someone else who was worse off than I was no matter what my condition. Without a doubt, the most difficult part of being ill was the affect it had on my children. Although I tried my best to have them live as normal a life as possible, the illness had an impact and result that would not have been there had I not been ill so much of their lives. In order to regain my health, I used natural remedies, methods and herbal supplements and most important I trusted that with God’s help I would get better. It was not enough to pray,
it was not enough to say I wanted to heal, it was doing the work. I had to look at what was in my control – what was I feeding my body, not just food, but the energy from others, my own thoughts, actions and deeds. Over the years, my health has improved drastically and I no longer have the affects of this serious illness. This is not to say that everyone will experience overcoming to the degree that I have, however, we all have the choice to be positive or negative about anything in our lives. We don’t have to sit on the sidelines and settle for less. No matter what you have been dealt, it’s not what happens to us, it’s how we respond to what happens to us. From this I have determined that the purpose of my life is to share the strengths, wisdoms and experiences I have been blessed with to make a difference in others’ lives. I could have decided to choose to remain in a downhill, depressing and debilitating situation or choose to turn it into a positive outcome. No matter what we are dealt in this life, we must make a decision on how to walk through it. I chose to fight back by taking fully responsibility and control of my life. My desire for myself is that I will continue to grow and develop spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally so that I am open to receive all the gifts that God has intended for me and pass it on to others. Roberta T. McClinon is a Naturopathic Consultant and the owner of Healthy Souls LLC, an organization that provides Quality Life Assessment consultations, Reflexology, Kinesiology and Energy Balancing as well as Wellness Gatherings, seminars and workshops from a natural health perspective. Dr. Roberta recently moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Denver to collaborate her business, Healthy Souls LLC with her brother, Rudy McClinon, Jr., owner of RUA Pro Fitness LLC. Dr. Roberta received her Doctor of Naturopathy and Bachelor of Natural Health Studies degrees from the Clayton College of Natural Health. She can be reached at by phone at 720-775-1275, by email at: email@example.com or website at www.healthy-souls.com.
This article was originally printed in the June 2010 issue of “Body of Christ News” newspaper, Denver, Colorado