We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” -Orson Welles.
With an over two month inpatient hospital stay and constant therapy or doctor appointments upon discharge, my social life was dead on arrival. Not to mention I was practically on house arrest, not being able to drive anywhere. This just added to the great sadness that plagued me; a culmination of living upside down in a world that was not of my choosing. This “new world,”lacked the independence I had once known prior to the stroke,possessed no social life, andhad way too much parental supervision for my liking.I often found myself alone making up things to keep busy and to keep sane. Luckily,growing up as an only child provided sufficient training for such circumstances.Living ina constantly moving world and being so unusually busy myself, friends were a rare sight. However, despite all of the hurdles there are those wonderful souls who have stepped forward and really offered their time and support. These humans are what I like to call rare birds, that stand out in an overwhelming flock of conformity and status quo. They are colorful when things are dull, different when things are uniform, and most of allcompassionate. I’m happy thatalonglife’s rocky roadI picked up these hitchhikers and can call them my friends.
Whats more, thesepassengers I haveprocured aren’t the type to bail out as soon as the car breaks down. Instead of looking for another ride, they patiently wait and help me while I try to fixmine. For years now it is on these little pebblesof good moments that haveadded up to create a roadI am ableto move forward on.It’s not onlygood company, but it serves as therapy too!It has improved my soul, AND aided in the recovery of my brain. Therefore, these rare birdsare certainly more then just flights of fancy. They also serve as part time therapists and free of charge no less! You can’t beat that. Itis often that when life beats you downthatthese birds will rise up to meet and surprise you with their goodness. Because, it is when you find yourself in the dark that you need to be reminded of the light. This was(and is) especially true in my case and perhaps yours too. It seems the things we need most will find us when we least expect it.
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?”
Sometimes We can’t do everything and have to humble ourselves. Aftera lifetime of being stubborn and independent, having to ask for so much help was altogether humbling and produced a great patience in me. Before I was injured I did everything when and how I wanted to. However, in the hospital and after I had to have assistance and help with nearly everything. Not only was I not used to asking for help but it was painful having to wait so long(or seemingly) for everything. I even needed help to cut my own nails! I have never been all that patient, but now I had no choice but to be patient and gracious when things weren’t done how I’d normally prefer them.It was not only difficult having to ask and then wait, but it made me feel set back as well. We live in a “I want it now,” society. Therefore, waitingto do anything(especially everyday tasks) was excruciating. We all need help sometimes, but never to this extent. To ask for so much help was not only humbling but a great teacher of patience.Imagine having to waitto do what you want, when you never really had to. The experience of this was not only a lesson but highlighted the fact thatWe are definitely spoiled by convenience. Most of allin my times of need little human Angels popped up everywhere. This was not only a lesson in patience and humility, but community too. We all need each other more than you realize. In fact after being put into such a situation, it was clear to me that we’d all be betteroff if society valued the servant roles as much as the master roles. In our pursuit for control wemiss out on the beauty of a shared human experience. How much easierand full of love would life be, if We all helped each other rather than only ourselves? After being in a place of so much need I now understand the importance of serving and helping others. I actually lookoutfor and forward to opportunities to help someone. As well as look back at the times I had them and didn’t. To share in the life and joys of another, even a stranger is more fulfilling than living selfishly. For each person that went out of their way for me, they made my day better and it was donefor no personal gain. Allof these small acts of kindness are woven into a larger tapestry that creates our experience of humanity, andall of humanity is better when We share it.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWP6Qki8mWc&w=420&h=315%5DIt’s a lesson I wish I would’ve learned sooner than later. For, had that happened I would have spent so much more time sharing my life with others who needed help at that moment. In doing so and giving of yourself, you gain so much more than what you give. Don’t wait too long to realize this but the sooner you begin the better!
“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”
Even though it’s been over 20 yearssincehis death, John Lennonspeaking from the grave is still inarguably correct. Although it seems the obvious conclusion,many people still need reminding. It’sapparent that with so much hurting in theWorld, love is the solution. If only peopleknew how much they were loved I suspectyou’d see many more happy and healthy people. This is also whypeople preach of God’s(or “the universes”)love. Because,imagine if We were fulfilled in knowing that were deeply loved? I suspect that those empty places that each of us try to fill(some negatively) would cease to be aproblem. Instead of lookingoutside ourselves or to other people, perhaps We need to turn our gaze inward and upward. To love and be loved is tobe fulfilled and contented. The world has made a mess of love, but ideally it’s unconditional love that should bepursued. In order to show this kind of love, We first need to have been loved this way.TheWorlddemonstrates that love is simply afeeling or emotion. However, love is learned(a very intelligenttherapist told me this). Ifyour not shown or have experienced a healthy love, it’s more likely you will not know how to love others in a healthy way. This ishow the problems ensue. If weare not given or shown love properly,that leaves room for dysfunction to creep in. This cycle perpetuates as generation after generationhasmissed the mark. The world certainly has perfected what love is NOT(see here!) When you know yourtruly and deeply loved, this carves out a rock solid foundation on which to buildthe highest of buildings. Without a solid foundation, the building will falter,as do We. When love fills in the gaps it allows us to reach our potential and soar. In order for this to happen, it seems the world and everyone in it needs to be rewired. This seems like an impossible and daunting task,except it isn’t.A revolution never started out of nothing but with one determined person. You don’t need a like minded mob to create change(although it helps)it can begin with one! If you are fulfilled with love, pay itforward and help create a domino effect. A master painting doesn’t just start out as a finished work,it begins with a singlesmall brush stroke. You can be that first brush stroke in a series leading up to a Mona Lisa!There is no time like the present,and why waituntil tomorrow for what you can do today?
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
― John Lennon.
Through what has been a harrowingjourney, I thinkone of the many biggerthings I havelearned is thatif you have a choice, when you choose love you can’t lose.
As you probably already know, we are allconnected likethe synapses of our brains, paper chain dolls, and even the cosmos. Much like them we too, shine on.
I rarely like to ask for things, but plainly put,(Donate button on the right please) I need your help fellow humans.
This request stems frommy journey in learning how to walk again from being half paralyzed.Early on in rehab, I used to pretend I was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge(not an indoor trackrife with grandmas and grandpas)for motivation. However as I have gotten better, regained my balance, and amped up my determination I want to make this daydream a reality. Becausewhen things are bad you can push through them to theother side. As a demonstration of this I want to walk all 1.1 miles of the bridge with friends and family to celebrate life, raisestroke awareness,and inspire others to cross their own bridges in life My hope is to do it in the Fall, but if funds won’t allow it will have to wait.Thus, if you willeach raise up your hands, I could crowd surf safely across them tothe stage.