An old friend who's known me for years emailed me to say that she was sure I was attracted to the Quaker Way because of the bonnets. Well, the fact is that I am a "hat" person but I had to laugh. Actually, the Quaker philosophy is new to me and is certainly something I plan to explore further--with or without a bonnet.
The fact is that the more I thought about Parker J. Palmer's discussion with Friend elder Ruth, the more interesting I found it. What if...the bipolar "limitation" isn't a limitation at all but rather a potential?
Marja from Roller Coaster and I probably agree on this (see her comment from my earlier post). What I mean is that for years I was proud of myself for persevering despite adversity. And I believe that one of the main reasons I felt this illness was an adversity--in addition to the psychic pain of the depressions--was because of its stigma.
But what if being bipolar truly isn't a bad thing? What if God chooses us for this illness because we're more sensitive than other people? More moral? More creative? More insightful? More spiritual?
What if being bipolar isn't a weakness but a strength? We feel things more deeply because that's truly the normal way to respond to life. We change jobs more frequently because who in his or her right mind would choose to keep the same job for a lifetime? We are more passionate about things and conversely lose interest in them because when your emotions are more intense it makes sense that you can't sustain them forever?
What if...being bipolar is a gift from God rather than a curse? Perhaps, the limitations we perceive are truly potentials if only we change our orientation?
And if God would sweeten the pot by providing every bipolar woman with a bonnet and every bipolar man with a hat, then perhaps in the future being bipolar might be considered an honor and a privilege. It sure is something to think about!
P.S. Dootz from SurfCountry suggests that perhaps part of the problem is that the American Psychiatric Association has labeled it a disorder. But what if it was called something else? He suggests Supra-Passionate? Maybe we all need to play the "name game" and come up with a new name that stops dwelling on our limitations and celebrates our strengths and potentials?