Remember Where You Came From
The other day I paid a visit to the second hospital I was in. Being caught up in my day to day recovery, and looking forward, I became disconnected from where I came from. Being paralyzed became an exaggeration, the inability to eat became more of a, “choice,” and the thought of moving my legs again was dismissed after receiving surgery. Basically, I had become lost and caught up in the moment, so much so, that I forgot where I came from and lost sight of where I was going. Anthony Burgess said, “It’s always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going.” Revisiting where I came from grounded me as I was reminded of the progress I achieved, the challenges I faced then no longer applied, and the vision I had back then manifested itself. I see a long road ahead of me however, at least now the vision is clear. Now, my vision moving forward is clear and where I left is still in the rear view. Taking a step back to where I came from put my eyes back in the direction in which I am headed.
In today’s world where we are consumed in social media, bombarded with negative global events, and pressure to sway from our attitudes, values, and beliefs, it is easy to lose touch with our mindfulness. Do you, or have you had, a simple goal that seemingly got hijacked? For example, have you gone on Facebook to create a positive post only to find your values and beliefs challenged on your news feed? Even worse, have you read the comment section on YouTube? With chaos intersecting our lives in our fast paced world it is easy to get distracted from the envisioned trajectory of which we take our lives. Additionally, with the presence of mass media and communications it is fairly simple to compare where we are in our journey to bliss compared to others. With that said, we must take advantage of the opportunity for growth in the moment, think for ourselves in the process, and then remember where we came from.
Socrates said, “To find yourself, think for yourself.” After I awoke on my deathbed, with a five percent chance of surviving, my family was told to order me a high powered wheelchair because if I could get my wrist to move then I would reach my full potential. I had things to do and plans for myself. My limitations live within my imagination and we become what we think about most. With that said, I was not going to listen to a prognosis; instead, I was going to think for myself. Ryuho Okawa said, “you have to reflect on the outside what you are thinking about on the inside.” All I thought about was the next small improvement I had to make to make a full recovery. This thought became deeply rooted and began to flourish in front of everybody. Shortly after I began getting scholarships for intensive physical therapy, told by the doctors that I need to get up and start walking, and found opportunities to reach out and help other TBI survivors. Where a problem exists there is an opportunity for growth. As I began working myself out of paralysis I saw the positive in everything. What I learned was ,take advantage of what you have right now because, it can get worse. Or, if you work hard, you can make it better. My brain injury became an opportunity to explore, examine, and help others through a life I never knew about.
When I was paralyzed, I could not move any part of any limb, I did not think about my mobility in the future, I focused on taking advantage for the opportunity of growth in the moment. After the doctors said I would never move, feed myself, or walk again, the opportunity for growth was limitless. Instead of focusing on my limitations, I focused on my capabilities. At one point my abilities were restricted to one thing, having positive thoughts in a negative situation. Maintaining my positive thoughts kept my mind open to enthusiastically trying new things. With that said, Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “you can prepare to suffer or, prepare to heal.” Preparing to heal musters up all of your positive energy and narrows the focus to one thing, the small baby steps to improvement. All of the baby steps collectively add up. For example, a piece of the puzzle is not much, however, collectively all the pieces create the big picture. I had envisioned my journey to recovery and how I was going to make an astonishing recovery. When the odds were stacked against me it was essential that I listened to myself.
Robert Greene said, “win through your actions, never through argument.” I kept my intentions to walk again a closely guarded secret. Learning how to get up and move again was not on the therapists agenda. In addition to that, I had demonstrated my enthusiasm for independence in the past only to be lectured, my family and I both, in a tone of negative discouragement. In addition to the lack of patient/therapist compatibility, my therapist was moving at a snail’s pace and scheduled me for therapy appointments once a month. I told myself, “If I wanted professional help achieving my goals then I would have to forge my path through my actions.” I had to in secret make my own physical gains, make my own plan of action, and surpass the entire plan of therapy by my next physical therapy session. I tuned out external noise and listened to my inner voice. One day I went in for a check up with my doctor and he told me, “wow, your legs are ready for walking and you need a much more intensive therapy program than what you are currently receiving.” I left that doctor appointment with a referral to get in patient physical therapy where all I do is practice walking all day everyday for six weeks. Professional therapists are great, however, I would never win a verbal argument against them, I won through my actions.
Socrates said, “To find yourself, think for yourself.” My limitations lie in only what I choose to believe. If I choose to omit the possibility of walking, like my prognosis said, I would not have the mental capacity to fight for what was ultimately possible. The bottom line is, opinions are strictly strictly opinions. These thoughts that hold no merit to bog me down, discourage me, or make me doubt what I am capable of. If I believe I can do something, I will set out on an adventure and people, technology, or things that I learn will help me through the challenges along the way. Leah LaBelle said, “work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You can do anything you put your mind to.” The first step to accomplishing and overcoming the odds is mute out external noise and listen to your inner voice. The second step is to listen for a call to adventure. The third step is to take the call into the abyss, go through a transformation, and return in an altered state of being.
Chris Denise said, “In “Success Rule 17, Know Thyself”, there is a list of techniques to get to know yourself a little better. One of the techniques is to “look back” at your life. Looking back at your life can be both pleasurable and painful.” The past contributes to who you are today. You may wonder how that can advance your success right now. The key is to remember where you came from. Remembering where you came from, what you’ve been through, and what you have felt leads to a better understanding of both your capabilities and where you are going. When you find your success, whatever that may be. remembering where you came from allows you to see the progress made over a course of your journey. Shelby Jones said, “While entering a new chapter in life, it’s important to remember where you came from, what keeps you grounded. Your roots in life can be an experience you learned from… They can be the impact the people in your life.” When we venture off in search of fulfillment, it is inevitable that we return to our roots. Even if we do not go back where we came from physically, we do while reminiscing. And this time it is important to be mindful about where we came from and our character transformation.
In today’s world where we are consumed in social media, bombarded with negative global events, and pressured to sway from our attitudes, values, and beliefs, it is easy to lose touch with ourselves and where we are going. Remembering where we came from combats discouragement. In today’s fast paced world it may feel like we are making baby steps at a snail’s pace. Our journey, whatever it may be, is like a puzzle. Every puzzle piece itself is small however, collectively they create the big picture. When all of the work is done you can look at the empty puzzle box and remember where you came from.