People often wonder how I lived through the days when I was a quadriplegic, without caving into the dark lands of depression!
I’m not going to sit here and tell you it was easy and that I survived because I had it all figured out, neither am I here to dole out some step by step guide on how to deal with difficult situations like that, because, it was simply grace that kept me. However, I just want to share my story with you and hope that you draw some comfort and encouragement from it.
Let’s face it, Bad things happen to everyone, it doesn’t matter if you are virtuous or drop-dead gorgeous; the universe has no favorites. The Crux of the matter is; when bad things happen, how do you respond to it? This is what truly matters. You may not have control over the things that happen in your life, but you are one hundred percent responsible for how you choose to respond to each and every situation that you encounter.
My life metaphor has always been “life is a journey”, in addition to that, I believe life is a battle too, this mind set and perception towards life has really helped me live through some nightmarish experiences without attempting suicide, because taking my life or giving up on myself would mean, cutting my journey short, not reaching my destination and worst of all, loosing the battle. What is your life metaphor?
My experience wasn’t an easy one, I was confined to the four walls of my room for so many years, unable to even move from one point to another, i was trapped in my own body, to say the least. Looking back now, it terrifies me, that was actually my reality at some point.
So how did I live each sordid day out, how did I sit through 3 years in isolation.
- I had a belief system: a set of principles, a religion, a philosophy. I believed in God and I still do, I was super confident that he had my back and all things were working together for my good. I believed that everything was going to make sense in the end and that one day I will be able to share my story. I believed that the collection of my horrible experiences would come together to form a beautiful story that would become my life; one I would look back at and see that it was all worth it.
- I Read a lot: I have never been an avid reader, but as a child my dad instilled in me the reading culture that I uphold and cherish so much today. Reading shaped my life, this is why I never keep mute about preaching the gospel of reading.
I always encourage people around me to read at least a chapter a day; it takes the dumbness and boredom away. A good book is worth every penny. you can gain experience by reading, you stay ahead of the curve by reading, you can bypass some learning experience just by dedicating some hours each day to acquiring relevant knowledge.
- I had peace: peace is not the absence of storms, it is definitely not the absence of war, it is a state of mind, a disposition that you choose to maintain even when life is raining hailstones and thunderbolts. I chose peace and I have been choosing peace ever since. Panicking never solved anything, worrying is like a rocking chair’ it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere. Seeing that brooding gets you nowhere, why not leave it out of the equation.
- I had good people around me: I survived 3 years in total isolation and quarantine, because I had amazing friends but most importantly, I had and still have an amazing family. I can’t take the credit for that but there’s some lesson to draw from it. you may not determine who your mom, dad or siblings would be, but the family you find yourself in today can be traced to a series of choices made by one person or the other at one point in time. This is why your network is as important as your life. the people you surround yourself with, will pay a large role in influencing your life, so, sieve them thoroughly, pick out the weed from the tares unapologetically.
The people you accept into your circle, will affect your life, impact your life and effect changes in your life. luckily, you have the luxury of choice.
- My attitude: “Attitude is everything”, There is so much power locked within those 3 words and I wish someone had said this to me earlier. How you react, how you relate, how you respond and how you process and reproduce things’ matters to a staggering degree. So, cultivate the right habits, imbibe the right principles and uphold the best values.
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