Thursday, August 6, 2009

Confessions of a Type A Personality

My name is Mary McManus and I am a Type A personality. It was 'sobering' to hear Dr. Darren Rosenberg of the Spaulding Rehab International Rehab Center for Polio comment on polio survivors as Type A personalities in the BU Today feature on my Boston Marathon Run. It was time for me to take another look at how I was still driving myself. I was not giving myself permission to be retired from full time work; I wasn't allowing myself time to be in the ebb and flow and be in a state of grace and gratitude. I had slipped back into a pattern of fear, and the need to control. I was fighting post polio syndrome and I know that when I fight any disease, I can't win.

As I reflected on articles written about my Boston Marathon run, words such as defiant run, fighting back were used. In truth, I was running as a mobility impaired runner to raise awareness and money for post polio syndrome and Spaulding Rehab Hospital. I'm sure that on some level I was sending a vibrational signal about fighting back. I was 'going against medical advice' but I was not going against what my Spirit and body was telling me to do.

So what led me to put back on my boxing gloves and shadow box with myself again? What demons were I fighting and what voices were leading me down the path of unworthiness again? And how did I return to a place of letting go and surrender?

For 25 year I was a social worker. I worked since I was 14 years old - how dare a disease rob me of my ability to work full time. I 'failed' at eliminating the disease from my body. Voices played as I waited to hear about when a Channel 7 Healthcast piece was going to air "we don't want to air your story - it's crap." And I realized that the origins of that voice came from "We don't want you on our team"; "I don't want you as my child" - the message - you are deformed and worthless. And so, enter the Type A personality of feeling the need to prove myself, my worth, my significance.

But the power of God's love mutes those voices -- God says, "You are my beloved; You have chosen a courageous path. Look at how you chose to face the crisis of post polio syndrome in your life. Your worthiness is not dependent on when or if anything happens and is not dependent on 'being' anything other than the magnificent person you are. Follow your heart and live your life being who you truly are and celebrating your wonderfulness. Share your gifts of poetry, love, joy, inspiration and light with the world and let your candle shining brightly be a beacon to light the way for others."

And as I cried healing tears dissolving my ego into a puddle, the tears water the garden of my soul to help me grow.

Post Polio Syndrome
Post polio you robbed me of everything I knew
But not living an authentic life to mine own self so untrue.
Post polio you frightened me - not knowing what was wrong
The days were wracked with pain, short breath
The nights dragged on so long.
Post polio the beckoning walk through the open door
Despite a brace and wheelchair, self hatred lives no more.
Post polio the blessing - my true self I now find
Unearth the buried treasure - release the ties that bind.
Post polio it's time to heal the wounds deep in my soul
Post polio the gift, the grace, the path to being whole.
Post polio I'm peaceful as I live my life with you
No matter what the challenges, love always sees me through.

Be sure to check out the wonderful piece done by Channel 7 Health Cast which aired on 8/6.

To purchase a copy of my book, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" overflowing with love, healing, grace and whimsy and which helps me and others to experience healing and inspiration, visit I generously donate 20% of the proceeds to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund.

And while you're there, visit my sumptuous samples of customized poetry. Enter a new world of greeting cards and celebrate, commemorate and allow me to create a customized poem for that special someone and that special occasion.

To enter a chance to win a copy of my book of inspirational poetry, make a donation to www.runovertoellen's for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

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