In life with Parkinson’s, we must embrace ugliness to find beauty

How the bad times enable us to appreciate the good ones

Doc Irish avatar

by Doc Irish |

Share this article:

Share article via email
An illustration depicting a black hole, comets, and the Milky Way.

Can there be anything beautiful in Parkinson’s disease?

It’s so easy to see the ugly and clutch the feeling that all is lost. I hate to say it, but sometimes we need to experience loss to break through to another level of understanding. This certainly has been true in my life, especially with Parkinson’s disease.

But why do we so often have to be pushed into an abyss in order for real change to sink in? Can’t we implement change in happy times?

Recommended Reading
A rodent is seen an an oversized human hand, flanked by vials of serum.

Benefits of exercise in Parkinson’s rat study linked to neuroplasticity

Angels and demons

Let’s consider M.C. Escher’s “Circle Limit IV (Heaven and Hell)” to help us think about the contrast and duality of beautiful and ugly things. The artwork depicts white angels and black demons whose shapes complement each other perfectly. In fact, we might more readily recognize the angels by shifting our focus to the space outlined by the demons. Can you appreciate how the demons help define the angels?

I think this reasoning might help with our approach to life with Parkinson’s disease. As the common saying goes, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” When we feel that all is lost, our minds must upshift. Ascending from a lower dimension to a higher one is the only way to “solve” these moments.

When the epicenter of our psyche shifts from the superficial ego to the true, authentic self, I consider this an “angel moment.” Another version could be the Serenity Prayer, in which we ask for “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

How can those of us with Parkinson’s implement this concept in our lives? It may be the simple but profound acceptance of a hard reality. It may be a breakthrough with someone we love. It may be an appreciation of something small in the face of something infinitely challenging. It may be a spiritual realization that reaches our soul.

For me, recently, it was the simple acceptance of subtle hints from my beautiful wife and daughters to exercise more. Might I suggest a balance trainer for a combination of strength, flexibility, and balance training?

Somehow, we need to find a way to embrace our struggles and realize that they make life with Parkinson’s beautiful. Without the demons, our lives would be less interesting and less meaningful. Although it might be easier, in a sense, to deny the pain, ultimately, without obstacles to cope with, we’d be living a boring, dead-end story.

Search for the beauty. Try to embrace the demons. Find the angels when you can.

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.


robert I brownstein avatar

robert I brownstein

It's all about's all about family. It's all about your support system. Never be afraid to speak up about what you have!!


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.