Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rant # 17: Positive trumps Negative

I love all the comments and questions. I will do my best to address them all as we go on this journey together. I do have to admit that it disturbs me a little that many comments seem to assume that I have always had a blessed life. Nothing could be further from the truth. I came to the place where I am today by way of hard knocks, lots of reading, and lots of internal struggling. It took many years of concentrated effort with a huge dose of willingness to be truly happy.

Three years ago I fell and broke my left hip. I didn't have health insurance at the time so I didn't get any medical treatment for a year. During that year I was totally bedridden, depending on Jon to take care of everything that couldn't be accomplished by phone. I finally got health insurance and went to a doctor. The good news was that my hip had healed. The bad news was that my muscles had atrophied over the year in bed.

Physical therapy was hard and painful but after months of exercise, I was at least able to walk with a walker. I didn't walk far but it was going well. I used my power wheelchair to get around town. Then on April 16th, 2001, I was crossing a nearby street in a crosswalk with a flashing yellow light, when I was hit by a car. My chair undoubtedly saved my life. I was thrown out of the chair onto the pavement but my injuries were minor compared to what they could have been. If I hadn't broken my hip, I wouldn't have had the power chair. Without the chair I could have been killed. See what I'm getting at here?

Everything happens for a reason. I realized immediately how quickly life can come to it's end. It reminded me of the absolute necessity of living every moment as if it might be your last. There wasn't time for my life to flash before my eyes. The accident happened in a second. All I had time to think was "Oh Shit!" It was back to bed for me for about 4 weeks. I lost some ground on my physical therapy. But I was more alive than ever. I felt that the way I have chosen to live my life is spot on. I had this opportunity to walk the walk. I am grateful for the accident because it validated everything I have come to believe.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't recommend getting hit by a car to solidify your belief system. But I do believe that we are all given opportunities to reevaluate the way we live our lives. When those times come we have to be ready to act on them. It's easy to throw ones hands up and give in to the negativity of "Why me?". It is harder and much more rewarding to find the positive side to any situation. I know, I sound a little like Pollyanna. But even she went through a dark time when she fell from a tree and became a paraplegic. She taught those around her that a positive attitude can work miracles.

Take nothing for granted. Remind yourself in every conversation that the impression you leave may be the one that will remain long after you are gone. Being positive, even in the face of a great challenge, will give you peace and joy. It will also change the course of everyone you come into contact with. Love is the answer to every question. Center yourself with love and everything else will follow suit.

I say nothing that hasn't been said for thousands of years by men who are much wiser than I. I just want to remind you of what you already know. Search inside for the answers you seek. That is where you can tap into the truths that are already there, just waiting for you to slow down long enough to hear your own wisdom.

                                            Peace and Love,

                                              The way I think   



  1. I love your comments - yes we have heard it all before, but we need to be reminded often. Thank you for your words...

  2. Bill, I don't know if it's possible to believe as strongly as you do in light, positive thinking and love without having first been in a dark place. There's a reason so many people turn their life around when faced with death (either their own or someone close to them). I admire the person you are now and am sorry you had to go through your horrific struggles but am grateful they made you who you are today. That isn't coming out right -- I don't wish suffering on you or anyone else in order to "see the light" but recognize that we sometimes don't see the light until we do experience tragegy or some suffering.

    Am I making any sense? :-)

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

  3. You are right Trish. I guess you do have to experience some dark times to appreciate the light when you see it. I firmly believe that the light of love is available to all. Love is at the heart of every religion that I know about. Too bad so many folks just refuse to see what is right under their nose. I'm trying to do my part to help people to take another look.

  4. Most of my greatest struggles in life were caused by my own poor choices, not an accident or illness, but all the same, trying to stay positive and look for the hidden blessings in my circumstances has kept me going; that and the gentle but firm encouragement of the friends and family I have been blessed to have in my life. Dwelling on the negative and harboring unforgiveness will only lead to self destruction. Keep up the positive and loving encouragement my dear friend, that is just as important to our spirit as food for the body. I am grateful for your sharing!

  5. Thank you Sandy. I think of you every day. We had such a wonderful visit. Can't wait to do it again. I love you!!!