About a month ago, when we had Manny Hernandez—president of the Diabetes Hands Foundation—as a guest in our DSMA en Vivo radio show, I got reminded once again of why I do diabetes advocacy. He explained it very simply, very clearly, that many of us decide to advocate for others because we’re looking for purpose in life. We may have many things figured out, but sometimes we hit that wall where we start feeling there is something missing. And that’s when service comes in.
From my mom I learned a quote by Rabindranath Tagore that reads “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” From my mom I also learned compassion and the fact that thinking less of ourselves and more about others is what fuels our spirit. And when it comes to diabetes advocacy, I’ve discovered that throughout life’s challenges, being there for others makes it all easier for me.
Last year when my 5-year marriage ended, I went into advocacy mode full on. I tried to participate as much as I could, I gave my time and effort to the DSMA en Vivo radio show, I attended conferences and meet-ups, and that kept my mind from sinking into an abyss. So not only I was helping others, I was doing a great favor to myself.
As my life changes and improves, and I find myself in a much happier place after many years, I want to do more for the diabetes community. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking on too much, or that I’m promising things I may not be able to do; and that’s when I have to have faith in myself and believe that I’m as good as anyone else who wants to be there for people with diabetes.
Fortunately I’m not alone. I have an amazing group of people encouraging me and each other so we come up with initiatives and ways to help and raise the diabetes community voice. And when I get to interact with these people every day, I feel extremely lucky.
So I guess this is a thanks to all of you, members of the diabetes community, and especially to the leaders who have trusted me to be part of either advisory boards, committees and such. The rest of the work is in my hands and I will try to remind myself that this is my life’s purpose every single day. Because being a diabetes advocate is a blessing to me.