My Inspiration

~ It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. ~ Epictetus

At the age of 27 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. MS is a radically different disease for every one of us who is dealing with it. Depending on where the lesions that have attacked your brain and spinal cord are located, the negative impacts on your body will vary greatly. My disease is primarily located in my spinal cord and in my cerebellum. As a result, I walk like a drunk and stumble regularly sometimes crashing to the ground very ungracefully. After 22 years with this disease I’ve become an expert at navigating a world full of challenges and hurdles while, most importantly, maintaining a happy and hopeful outlook.

Now at the age of 49, I own 2 canes, three walkers, a wheelchair and a mobility scooter. My balance and walking ability are extremely compromised. There are many other symptoms that cause challenges for me on a daily basis. My bladder, my fine motor skills and my sensitivity to heat all drive me crazy.

With MS, I’ve been forced to roll with the punches and make plenty of adjustments along the way. In Stumble to Rise, I share the secret I’ve learned during this challenge is that “…there isn’t just one way to achieve a goal. When the most obvious route becomes impassible, there is another one available. It becomes my job to find it.”

Every single one of us is dealing with something. For some, divorce, job loss, mental illness or addiction may be the source of struggle. It’s vital, therefore, that we all learn this simple navigation system rule. I bring this idea to life In Stumble to Rise.

Even with helpful signs guiding our way, the journey of life is riddled with potholes and wrong turns. They are mostly unpredicted bumps in the road like being diagnosed with a disease or any other possible challenge.

 What if we all had personal GPS devices implanted into our bodies? We may have a landing place in mind and perhaps we’re even on a clear-cut path to get there. But then, as we all know, the uncertainties of life happen and changes occur. But what if your GPS system was faulty and failed to recalculate? Instead of finding that alternate route, what if the words it begrudgingly spoke to you upon a wrong turn were — You’re a loser. You didn’t stay on the predetermined path. Just give up, turn around, and go home.

Fortunately, we have the ability to be our own best or worst navigation systems. The voices in our heads will determine our path and the most exhilarating thing about us humans is that when our plans don’t turn out as expected because we got sick, had a baby, lost a job, etc, it’s up to us and our internal GPS to create a new path to reach our goals.

Ultimately, I’m living proof that the above quote is true. It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it that matters. I’m looking forward to sharing more about my journey in hopes that it will impact and inspire you to manage your own struggles with a solid and effective navigation system at the helm.

About Gina Whitlock Fletcher

35 thoughts on “My Inspiration

  1. Way to go Gina! You’ve been an inspiration to all of us! Looking forward to reading your biography!

  2. Love it! I’ve known you since the beginning if this journey. It’s so beautiful to see how amazing you’re doing and as always, such an inspiration.

  3. You are an inspiration! Thank you for having the courage to open your heart. You are on your way, my friend! So many people will be helped by your story.

  4. Gina !! How wonderful that through your personal struggles, you remain determined, positive and full of grace. You obviously see the possibilities in life when things don’t go as planned and realize that these bumps in the road take many forms for others. I predict you will touch more lives than you will ever know with story and philosophy. You are a gift to everyone who knows you and I cannot wait to read your book !! You go girl, no matter how you have to get there !!

  5. Gina, I can’t wait to read your book! Your positive outlook is contagious to all who read this.

  6. I never knew that I would be friends with a future New York Times best selling author! I can’t wait to read your biography and share your story with everyone I know. I might have to join Facebook just so I can brag to everyone that I know you!

    Seriously Gina, you inspire people everyday with or without your soon-to-be best selling book.

    Congrats on this amazing accomplishment!

  7. YOU have aways been an inspiration to so many! Your story will impact so many in ways they have no idea.
    Congratulations my friend on your from the heart blog story, to your up and coming new book and your publishing company!

  8. Gina…Thank you for not letting this disease snuff out your beautiful spirit and passion you have in living life. Your heartfelt words and experience in living with MS are inspiring and I wish you nothing but continued success in all that you choose to pursue. ❤️?

  9. Gina, so proud to know you and call you friend and fellow warrior! You go girl!! I will be cheering you on from across the miles. So happy for you. So many people you will reach. God bless your every step.

  10. I have bookmarked and will read tonight I can’t wait!! Gina I’m so proud to say I know you! Your such an awesome person!!

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