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After surgery to fuse my lower back, I was required to wear a brace for three months. During that time, I walked every day, up to two miles a day to help heal and strengthen my back.
We understand that it takes time to recover from broken bones or surgeries, and that the healing process requires physical therapy.
It takes time to recover from emotional and spiritual wounds, as well.
Making that transition to a new life is never straightforward – there will be ups and downs and sometimes detours.
I love to tell the true story of two individuals in the prime of their life who were injured in separate accidents, met in physical therapy, and got married. Both were paraplegics with no feeling from the chest down. They wanted to prove to themselves that their handicaps would not keep them from living a full life. So, they had a boat built for them and set out to meet a challenge few of us with whole bodies would do – sail across the Atlantic Ocean – by themselves.
Accidents happen. Tragedy strikes.
There might be times when we feel that everything has been taken away from us that we thought we couldn’t live without. And we are left wondering what hit us.
The world changes; and so does our life. It will never be the same. Those that survive catastrophic life events or just personal crises will be faced with making life-changing decisions they never wanted to make. Sometimes there isn’t even time to grieve their loss.
At such times, what we say to ourselves is critical. Like the two paraplegics who told themselves, “Yes, we can,” and proceeded to make it happen.
We will encounter obstacles that seem to make it impossible to reach our goals. Sometimes, we abandon our goals because the obstacles seem too daunting and overwhelming. We might feel intimidated or unwilling to alter our goals to match new realities.
What is important is remembering that it isn’t what happens in life that makes us successful – it is what we do with it.
Success is the journey of taking what life hands us and making something positive out of it.
I believe that deep within us lies the resources we need to meet any crisis, adversity, or unwanted change. These resources are often buried beneath doubts and old destructive messages. We just need to uncover those resources and alter our thinking to accommodate what is happening in our world.
Remember the first time you said to yourself, if so and so can do it, then so can I? When I was going through my adversities, after the initial slam of harsh reality, I reminded myself that people had endured far greater challenges than I and had weathered the storms of life. If others could, then so could I.
No matter how strong our determination and resolve, however, we can’t do it alone. We need the support and love of others. And even more important, we need to know that we have a God who will give us strength and courage.
We are not alone. God is with us.
It is where we find the faith and grace and hope needed to take that next step.
Determining how you will respond to life may be the biggest and most important lifestyle change you ever make.
Do a quick inventory of how you have handled difficulties in the past.
- What did you do?
- How did you feel?
- What would you do differently?
- What would you do again?
We are never sure what we will do when faced with a crisis. But if we have learned how to stop and think vs. just reacting, we will be prepared to handle most any unexpected calamity.
Endings can be scary.
To walk a new path requires expanding your horizon and trying new things.
- Are there things in your past that keep you stuck?
- What fears keep interfering?
- What old beliefs, lifestyles, life scripts, assumptions, expectations, etc. are keeping you from exploring new options?
Give yourself permission to explore more of who you are.