“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”- Confucius.
I’m absolutely positive that had I died, my Mother would deeply regret all the times She turned me away as a child asking Her to play.Because childhood is precious and fleeting, and because many years later that same little girl was nearly wiped off the planet. Surely, looking back onall those missed opportunities for memory making itwould have been painful to recall. Many times we do the same thing to our opportunities.Just because they are not living and breathing creatures, itmakes them no less valuable. When you ignore them or send them away, they can die just the same. How many opportunities have we let quietly slink away and die?Death has a way of making us take things more seriously. However, it is alsobecause of death, that we value life more. Although, it is nearly impossible to recognize all of these opportunities in ourbusy dailylives, luckily they give us many chances to recognize them. Just as sure as the sun will risetomorrow, we will be met with another opportunity.Witheach one is the possibility for making memories, maybe money, generating happiness, or meeting someone you will never forget. Each time we knowingly let one of these opportunities pass us by, it’s a tragedy. Because, ultimately it is us who miss out. As lifewinds down or if it is ever threatened,these opportunities becomemuch easier to spot. Therefore, do not fear the finite amount of time we have on this earth, but instead embrace it!
“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”
This song has been haunting me, echoing through my mind like a voice down an empty hallway. We have all been “lost boys,” at one point or another. Whether we’re lonely, trying to find our way, or just plain old mischievous and freeofobligations. The funny thing is, the lost boys actually had a large group of friends, yet were still considered lost.
Perhaps you too have been part of a crowd but still felt like you didn’t quite belong. I first heard the song wafting over theradio airwaves on a dark night time drive, and again at abeautiful dance recital that was punctuated with thefeeling of endings(a last dance for High School Senior students. I love music because it has a way of expressing andrelating nearly everyemotion throughit’ssonic landscape. Ialways said when I died I wanted to become a music note. As amusical note I could weave in and out of space and be emitted overwaves of sound. As well as touch people’s hearts. When you’re a music note youressentially immortal and always a part of something beautiful. Of course we can’t talk about Peter Pan withoutmentioning Captain Hook. What is yourpersonal Captain Hook? Because we all have one. He comes in the form ofopposition, negativity, and hardships. When we’re looking to find our way and having hope for a future each of us becomes a “lost boy.” Then, we grow up much to our chagrin and the tribe of lost boys scatters. No longer do you have that adolescent camaraderie and sense of adventure. As the world becomes less new and your feetchange sizes, so does our reality and the people in it. Suddenly adult obligations or responsibilities begin to seep into and take apartthe tribe of lost boys.However, the invisible thread that at once connected us is always there. We may grow and change but our hearts and spiritsremain largely the same. Sometimes the wind will carry a tune to my ear or a familiar smell to my nose andgently remind me of my tribe. Although they’re scattered about I know that their stillthere. Having a stroke has displaced me as a lone tribe member looking for the path to our hideout in the woods. As I wander I keep an eye out for it to emerge once again from the shrouded trees. Dear friend, may We all discover that path and find our way back to belonging.
“True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen.”
-Francois de La Rochefoucauld.
Is my life better since I almost died? I don’t think so, or at least I didn’t see the value or purpose of the last three years. I believed that I would’ve been enjoying life more (and having successes, and had plans) had the ordeal not occurred. How true it is that life happens while your making other plans. However, there is still gold to be found amongst utterly horrible unenviable circumstances. When life attempts to knock you out, you have to come back at it with fists flying. Even though you may be weary, there is still strength to be found in the indomitable human spirit. Even professional fighters with bashed in faces can still see. I’ve come to find that material belongings have no real value in the big picture. Money itself is just paper. It is not material goods, not gossip, social status, some daft guy, nor pridefulness. Instead it is the people and relationships that come to your aid. Nothing brings about true gems like a death defying situation, or dire need. It is those people who remain in your corner of the ring, that are priceless. How they shine in the noon day sun of love to be seen from miles around. It is those that stay in your corner, the friends, and vehement supporters that deserve your recognition and time. Therefore, don’t wait until you nearly die to see them for what they are.
“Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.” –Charles Spurgeon
Growing up can bedifficult, but being an adult is even harder. We are continually tested, with exams in school,our patience,in our ambition,by children, and even in our relationships. Not only do these things test us,but even time tests us! Within life there are multiple tests nearly everyday. However, Wetend to forget that life itself can be one giant test,and one in which thereare no retakes. Not to mention, youwon’t be graded on a curve.My particular test has been an illness(or accident)that with it broughtgradesnot of letters,but of emotions,and in steps of recovery. I no longer had to memorize book knowledge,but instead bring forth mysoul into something tangible that would carry me through the circumstances. A correct answer on atest wasn’t going to achieve the goal of walkingbetter(or at all)for me. Instead of answers I needed to take action and ask even morequestions of myself. Now wasthe time to grit my teeth and employ my resolve to see just how much Ihad learned in the class of life thus far. It came as no surprise that class is not quite over,and the teachercan be a harsh one. She generallyoffers no retakes when you fail,but when you catch Her on a good day you’ll receive quite a few, so try not to screw it up too badly(ha-ha). However,the entiretyofthe class cannot be retaken. Therefore, it’s best to show up everyday,be present,be mindful,and certainly be kind to your classmates. As it turns out when you employ these tactics in astate of positivity, it becomes increasingly easier to ace anything. Also, don’t fear graduation day too much(see here). Since We only get to take this class once, I think it’d be a grand idea torise to a challenge with the reply “this is exactly what I need,” anddon’t let too many opportunities pass you by.Even when said opportunity is daunting, remember a marathon is completed by taking that first step.
“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”
Not too long ago a friend asked me if I was afraid of death, and She was right in supposing that I am not. In coming soclose todyingand surviving, any fearsof it were removed.Although I cannot completely take the credit. Many doctors,nurses,friends,family,and certainly angels were present. There is no reason to fear death because We are immortal. It has been scientifically shown that, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, our energy(or soul) must simply be transferred somewhere else. Thislife is a transient plane. If your circumstances are bad, it helps to remind yourself that nothing is forever. This reminder also helps us to savor the present moment.While no one knows what happens to us when We pass,there are many theories. Some people have actually surmiseda weight for our soul( 21 grams). There is no reason to fear. Through my recovery, love hascontinually carried me through. Each day We have a choice, there is no “wrong side of the bed.” Were notat the mercyofour emotions. This certainly doesn’t mean be robotic,just that We have a choice. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy having some semblance of control. Even though the World seems random or out of control it is oddly enough quite orderly. The Earth obeys laws of nature, the sun rises and sets each day, and even the stars arein patterns that create constellations. Each day your lungs inhale oxygen,you open your eyes, and move about freely(some cannot) We are not like a Fall leaf carried by the wind, so this is actuallygood news!You can make a conscious decision tobe happy(and share it with others)or not. As Yoda says(nerd alert!). Do or do not, there is no try.Hope deferred makes the heart sick, if youfollow the ways of love, you can’t go wrong. Each of us have options(yay options!) We can choose life(positivity) or choose death(negativity) Both have been placed before us. To my knowledge you’ll always winwhen you choose life.
“Those who help you up when your down also know what it’s like to be down.” -unknown.
Dear reader,I have a secret to tell you.While I have found writing to be cathartic and sharing my story to be important I feel I haven’t been completely honest.While I have mainly conveyed a hopeful positive person, that has not always been the case.As seen with social media sometimes we share only the best moments in life.Truthfully,life is messy! While indeed I am hopeful and positive about my life, on the other hand there are darker tales untold.I think sharing struggles is just as important as sharing the pretty things in our lives.Even more can be gleaned from the not so perfect.Because flaws are relatable,(were only human)after all “perfect people,”tend to incite feelings of jealousy or envy in others.I think by being honest it brings about closer relations and genuine meaning.To make a long story short through the trials and tribulations of recovery from a near death experience it has been a giant roller coaster.I have experienced highs and lows among the twists,turns,and bumps.Sometimes being flipped completely upside down. Among the highs were triumphs such as successful surgeries,happy moments and significant physical gains.However among the lows were such things as suicidal threats and in particular one near check into a mental health facility(not so fun)so obviously things have been far from perfect to say the least! Oddly enough I eventually found a way to come from those dark corners into a brighter place. I actually lamented that at least being “committed,”would have garnered some good albeit funny stories for later on in life.However, my parents did not find it as comical… Honestly what has gotten me through has been the belief in a God that loves me and wants me well just as much as I want to be well.That and my logical thought of, if I can survive what most surely would not anything is possible.Where it has been ugly and terrible I have also seen the beautiful and wonderful.