April 24, 2003    M.S. - Part 2


It was the morning after
The sun setting – A dog needed a walk
Muscle became tight, was a hot bath needed
Crisis of unknown proportion
Daily chores were no longer easy
Having a cane means life would never be the same

This week's newsletter is 2 weeks in the making. There were thoughts and there was action. I was in a total quandary of where to begin. The story is about healing, is about success, and is about a woman who is winning the battle against the ravages of a body that has been deteriorating for too long a time. Where do I begin, I do not know? I stare in amazement as she walks. It is one of those success stories that cannot be seen by the eyes. It is one of those success stories that cannot be told by the results. It is a success story that can only be experienced by the thoughts and actions of a woman who triumphantly wins with every action.

So begins this week's newsletter on Claudia. Claudia has been suffering with multiple sclerosis for many years. This disease which up till now according to the standard medical practice has no known cause and no known care. These are the words that Claudia has been hearing for years. These are the words that her heart, her cells, her spirit have been indoctrinated with for so many years. These are the words that Claudia has taken in and dumped out! Although over the years her body has become weakened, transversally her mind has become stronger. While her legs went from cramping once in awhile to being in a constant weakened state, her maturity as a woman has heightened. She is not only taken on the resolve to rid her body of M.S., she has taken on the idealism of being a spokeswoman for healing.

It is with these thoughts that I begin this newsletter. It is with admiration, not only for Claudia, but for her moment to moment triumph against life's cruel tricks; for lack of a better group of words that she is challenged and wins everyday. The simple act of walking, whether to the car or to her house, a simple task that the average person so unconsciously doesn't even consider as part of a daily chore. A simple task so taken for granted, so easy for most and so glorified by Claudia as being her goal just for it to be unconscious. As I write I become Claudia. I think of her sleeping, I think of her pain, I think of her future. Is there hope? Yes! Is there a possibility of being pain free? Yes! Is there a possibility of walking without a cane? Yes! It is with these answers that I write not only of Claudia but all those who suffer with the same indignation who are on a quest for self-honesty. What does that mean? Do I know or not know? Does Claudia take these everyday moments just to walk, just to stand up, just to cope, just to hear and bend the silhouette of self-destruction and create a whole being? So I count the steps from my bed to the bathroom—22 steps. I count the time elapsed—20 seconds. Do I ever consider these moments? Do I ever consider the time elapsed? Do I ever consider that for some, for Claudia, for those with M.S. that these 22 steps can be enormous suffering? It is one of those dejavu moments for I write of Claudia and I across from Matt Goodman. Matt knows all too well of Multiple Sclerosis. He suffered 8 years, he knows of the pain, the despair, and the sense of hopelessness that was ingrained in him while under medical care. I write about Claudia and I hear Matt's voice. I listen as he writes in his book, I watch him stop momentarily, get up and walk not 22 steps but more. He walks down the hallway, down the stairs and then back up. There was no hesitation in movement, there was no cane, nor was there loss of breath. There was just a fluid movement of motion, unconscious excitement of life's finest moments being captured by believing in yourself.

Matt not only beat M.S. he has taken on the mass media attempt to cure this dreaded disease by research rather than looking inside. Matt returns to his chair and speaks as quoted, "I feel great". Can a man who beat M.S., getting ready to hike the Appalachian trail of 2000 miles write of words of profound wisdom and continue his onslaught of never ending unconscious excitement of doing. Matt feels great! He continues, "Listen to your body. Not only will your body, mind, and soul heal, (not necessarily in that order) it will maximize by always getting closer to God and realizing your total purity".

I listen to these words of self-purity, self-love, and self-healing. I think of Claudia, for she too heard the words of Matt Goodman, she too was inspired, and began to make lifestyle changes. There was no choice in the matter. Matt had spoken to Claudia. Matt also spoke to me. It is not so much his words but who he is and what he represents. Matt is an enigma of time. I write about Claudia and I am visiting Matt. Why is there a circle of healing that balloons then bursts? Is there a symbolic relationship between those who healed and those that want to heal? Is there energy of life and love that surround those on such a quest?

I'm visiting Matt not so much for his words but for what he knows. Matt's unyielding position of pure love, pure battle, pure knowing that these two contradicting statements intertwine so completely within our souls. I'm visiting Matt to learn of the battle, to learn the skills that were so necessary in him becoming whole without deliberate movement. As I know, I realize that I don't know. What I am striving for is that purity is that fluid movement. I desperately seek the right words for them to flow and take on its' own wings.

I speak of Claudia's continual strive for perfection. It is a long journey. There is a final destination. There is no right or wrong here. Claudia walks the steps with a cane, with pain, with hope. Each step is conscious, each step is deliberate, each step with some pain. I watch as she opens her car door, steps out and begins her walk. Almost 10 years she has been suffering with M.S. Do I cry for her pain? Do I feel awkward in our conversation? Do I talk in guided imagery of her conquering the tiniest tasks? Can we as a people, and as a nation salute the hero athletes who were born with uncanny athletic ability? Do we as crowds cheer the homeruns? Do we yell, scream for the winning run? Is there a justice of cheering for s baseball player? Do we close our eyes and mind watching Claudia as she triumphantly captures each step? I wonder, are we the winners or the losers of multi media peer influence? Is what seems ridiculous actually quite natural? Is cheering a man hit a ball with a bat actually a form of self- fulfillment? Is the law of self-actualization being fulfilled?

I talk to Matt as he radiates in his position of winning the battle. I see the pigeons flying outside from limb to limb. There are no thoughts, no words, no meaning. It is just an every day thing; Matt beat M.S. for several reasons. He, of utmost consideration began believing in himself that he is of a higher form of energy, not wanting to be a victim but a champion. I also speak of Claudia who is also learning the language of purity, of self-empowerment, of being blessed for who she is and not what she can do. I listen to Matt of his trauma, about his constant pain, his eyesight failing, his not knowing—a total attack of his once prided body. What were his choices, what were his options? Was it by accident or was it by divine coincidence?

The very day that I began writing of Claudia, I visited Matt Goodman at his place at the shore. Can that be labeled divine intervention? I had my quest for a purer body. Matt continues with his quest as Claudia continues with hers. We are all seekers, all searching, not for answers from the outside but from within.

Matt created change when he took his M.S. as a gift from God and was humbled by the spirit above. He was a former weight lifter and superb athlete who prided himself on his physical prowess. A way to represent himself in a world noted for outside beauty. Matt had no choice but to take charge of his illness. Step by step, each step became a conscious decision beginning from the food we eat. Is there a law of survival that dictates our every bite? Can we justify to our body's innate wisdom that eating food that has been cooked, chemically altered, and depleted of all life force is absolutely necessary for our body's well being? Do we as a nation begin to suffer from the constant barrage of self-righteousness? Matt read and he uncovered the truth of what cooking does. Matt changed his diet and his body began to heal. What took almost 8 years to destroy; Matt undid the damage in 5 months! What am I saying?

As I write of Claudia's divine deliberation, Matt experiences the same. As Claudia listens to Matt she too knew to win the battle of love, purity and pain. There had to be changes made. There had to be triumphant exhilaration with each deliberate step. There had to be victorious symbolic glory getting up in the morning, walking with her cane and striving each step to overcome the continuous pain. I write of Claudia and Matt and of myself in same breath. We, as you, are all heroes in the making. Wherever we are has been our own doing. There is no good or bad here. We are lucky souls to be in a free country with abundance. I sit here in silence as I choose my every step. I am in a blessed state. I ask for no shame, no pity, no I'm sorry to hear. It is with this attitude that I salute Claudia. She is a true warrior; she continuously strives for perfection, for healing, for accepting her illness as a learning experience in a long journey for peace and love. Claudia has changed her lifestyle to a mostly raw diet. She has taken charge of her M.S. by changing from a medical dependency to a self- dependency. Claudia has no words of self-pity that abound her language of who she is. She has no words of self-despair about her condition. She has no words of being defeated by a disease where there is no cure. Claudia follows the wisdom of what is right for her listening to the ancient wisdom that is built into her own healing mechanism.

I sit quietly and wait for the right words on what does it take to be whole again? We spoke of the words of self-empowerment, a belief in yourself that we the doctors of life and death, our wisdom of healing has no boundaries. There is no medication needed other than the belief in our body's intelligence. We spoke of the importance in changing our dietary habits. There is no anatomical physiological sense in feeding our bodies food that not only has no life force but also for all intended purpose is dead. Can we as thinkers realize the potential of either choice. We have to make conscious decisions. We pay the price in either case. We as a nation, as a state, as individuals have to make decisions every day, every moment; the choices that dictate excellence, the choices that dictate peace, and the choices that dictate self-empowerment. I think of Claudia and her choices, her decision to rid her body of M.S. by going all raw by self choice, by being empowered and not a victim and most important creating peace and life in her heart. These are her secrets for success. There is no easy path, no magic pill and no looking back. Claudia, as Matt, as myself have all chosen the same path. We have tried the traditional path and have failed with it. We all studied, we all looked inside and we all found the same answer. It is on this note that I salute Claudia, a free spirit who against all odds is finding her freedom step by step. It is on this note I salute Matt, who not only successfully conquered M.S., he thrives in its occupancy of becoming a champion to all those who see the same results. It is on this note I salute myself, 56 years old, mostly all raw and definitely young at heart. I climb the stairs, I sing the song, I walk the streets looking for the "E" street band. I close my eyes and wait for his return.

Thank you for your time, Arnold


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