I had a patient touch my heart with a story I keep thinking of. She had a lot of painful wasting conditions that had caused her to be cachectic and gaunt. She had almost no muscle mass and was in constant pain. But she wasn't mean or nasty. In fact, her eyes sparkled. I asked her if she was able to get up to give me a urine sample. In response she told me this story:
"When I got married, we had a big Jewish wedding party where they carry the chair around. I am scared of heights and I was afraid they would drop me. But one man said, 'We're not lifting with our arms or backs. We're lifting with our hearts. You don't need to be afraid.' So I will use all my strength to get up right now and I will lift with my heart and be unafraid."
When life seems too hard and I just don't have the strength...I will try to remember to lift with my heart.