Be as stubborn as a mule - I’ve had the privilege of knowing a few mules in my life. You may be thinking of the other term for them. I did not say it! Their bray is like a funky sort of yodel. The markings around their eyes can make them look surprised and ridiculous. Their ears go up like a bunny rabbit. They are just a crazy looking cross between a horse and a donkey. I’ve played tag with a mule named Lucky for several years. I am a city girl. The mule knew that. The horse I was riding knew that. Blaze was one of those horses who had been trained to chase cattle. All I had to do was get him close to a herd and he would go to work. I just hung on for dear life. Blaze loved to chase Lucky, who had somehow come to live with the cows. I do not know that whole story.

What I do know is that Lucky would take a path through the trees, run straight up an incline, or weave his way into a herd of cattle just to evade Blaze and me. He let us get very close. His ears would twitch and turn - then like a shot, he was off. We never did catch him, but we had great fun.

The mule’s trait of stubbornness is accompanied by many other characteristics. You may think of a mule as a misfit, half-breed, or a mistake. They were actually bred purposefully. Mules are very smart. They are thinkers. They instinctively size up a situation and take the most direct path. They are wary as they use their ears to listen and scope out what is going on around them. They are rarely deterred once a decision is made. They either plant their feet, refusing to move, or go in the direction they choose.

They are strong and can carry a lot of weight. We have all heard the expression “pack mule” used to describe someone who has been given too much to carry. Mules can handle it. Not only can they carry the weight, they can do it longer. They plodded on at a steady pace far longer than horses. Muleskinners could cover 5 times the distance with a good team of mules as opposed to a full team of horses. Endurance is what gave the 20 mule wagon teams the ability to help the Westward Expansion. Throughout history mules were actually preferred for war and for carrying heavy loads. hep c stubborn as a mule

hep-c-stubborn-as-a-mule.jpgYou can be as stubborn as a mule. I’m not calling you, my dear best friend in the hep c battle, a jack***. My brother used to say that word and then tell me it was okay since it was in the Bible. I got my mouth washed out with soap. What I am suggesting is that we can all use our mule-like traits to help us overcome some of the struggles we deal with daily. What can we learn from being as stubborn as a mule?

  1. You are here for a reason. You may feel like a misfit or a mistake, but that is simply not true. Your life on this planet was planned in advance. You have a purpose that no one else can fulfill.
  2. You have an innate intelligence within you. You can think and learn and decide what to do when dealing with Hepatitis C and any other problem that you come up against.
  3. You can size up a situation and act in your own best interest. You listen, learn, and then you make up your mind. Once you decide, you can stick with it through hell or high water.
  4. You are strong. You have already carried a lot of burdens in your life. You survived and will carry this one too. You can handle it. It may not be easy or fun, but you can do it.
  5. You can go the distance. When it comes to staying in there for the long haul, you are the one to do it. If you are treated well, you can do just about anything.
  6. You have a future. You can expand your life as much as possible. You can fight a battle while carrying a heavy load. There is more to your life than Hepatitis C, cirrhosis, fibromyalgia, and all the other things that we know are part of our diagnosis. Look beyond that. You can move toward your dreams even if you have to do it from your couch.

20_Mule_Team_in_Death_Valley.jpgSome people use the phrase "stubborn as a mule" to describe someone in a negative light. I have been called that many times. I like to think of myself as deliberate, consistent, a thinker, strong, and with endurance.

I think we should form a club - like a mule team. Those of us who are dealing with acute or chronic liver disease definitely have those traits. No. We can’t call it the Jack*** club. Or maybe we can. Haha. Sure we can.

Your bff in the battle, Karen:)

This entry was originally published on I Help C February 18. It is reprinted with permission.