Finding Inner Strength through Challenges

Hello, I hope that this article reflects on how staying positive through our most difficult times can give us a better way to look at life as we go through our day filled with challenges and the feel of accomplishing something great. My Name is Sylvia Sugar Lopez and a while back I entered

"My Unfinished Story". This article was about how through the challenges of being blind there is still hope with some determination and self-perseverance. This time I want to share how being blind has helped me show other's that even though difficulty times keep coming that light is still there and how a positive attitude can make things a little easier.

I am happy and blessed to say that it has been 15 years since my Kidney & Pancreas transplants and they are doing well considering. My pancreas is Chronically Rejecting but this simply means its aging and needs a little help, so a new drug is being taken in hopes to stop, or prevent further rejection. I have also gone through surgery on both hands due to side-effects from anti-rejection meds but I do what I need to do to keep moving forward with a positive outlook of life, knowing that something good comes from trying my best to do what I can to stay healthy.

My determination, positive outlook of life and my faith does not compromise, waver or stop me from being my best even when those days come to try to stop me from being who I am as I am sure we all have those days.

It is through these challenges that we must stay strong and look with in ourselves to push and keep going forward to fulfill our goals.

During the past few years I have been blessed to speak to high schools about my blindness, give resources and help guide those who need direction whether it be to better themselves and their outlook in their own life or to assist with those who need encouragement, some help in finding a place of support.

I have also been blessed and honored to have put together a Dining in the Dark event at my local church were we had the members all blind-folded. I did the cooking for 50 members and we all practiced learning how to read Braille. It was an experience for everyone involved and it gave me the opportunity to share a little about me and how I live in a world without sight. This event was called "Seeing with a new perspective" I spoke of my faith and how faith is so needed every day in my life as I journey this world being blind.

This spring I will do a similar event on a higher level rather than just locally.

I look forward to continue to keep striving to be my best and educate people who are not familiar with blindness, Shareing on how the CCB has been such a wonderful way of support and a great resource for me personally.

I feel that we all need support & even though we can't change the past we sure can learn from it to help not only ourselves but help other's move forward in a positive way. This to me means that we can't fix what is out of our control and all we can do is take the good & bad and make the best of it. It is up to us to determine whether our disability will stop us from moving in a positive way or help us move forward to a better way of life.

I have to thank God for my Daniel, family and I cannot neglect the beautiful ladies on the CCB-Women's group. Support from one another is as vital to our health as we grow to mature in becoming better in our everyday walk of life.

I have gained so much wisdom, strength from being in the Membership Committee and as a monitor on the CCB-L group on line. I own a couple of groups on line to help others educate them on Diabetes & blindness. I have been totally blind for 18 years now and I can say that I have had the best of both worlds as I can relate to both the sighted and the blind community.

Blindness has brought me comfort, peace and a better sense of self-worth.

Through my confidence I am able to show other's that they too can be positive and make it even when challenges are constantly in our life.

I look forward to continue to keep striving to be my best and educate people who are not familiar with blindness and all we are capable of doing.

I feel that we all have disabilities or as I like to say "challenges" whether it be physically, mentally, Emotionally or spiritually, they are all challenges we deal with every day in our own way. Most importantly it is how we as blind individuals go about educating others who are not familiar with blindness and how we support one another to be better people, a positive community and to stay positive for us and for those around us as difficult as this can be at times, we have to do our best with what life has handed to us.

I would like to leave you with this small thought, we are as strong as long as we are true to one self, be open to help those who ask for help and to keep supporting one another. This is how we will continue to keep maturing and growing within ourselves, to help make our world a better place.

Respectfully submitted,

Sylvia Sugar Lopez

There is speaking grace. Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

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