I was spending time going within and asking myself what I wanted for my year, the person I wanted to be, and I came up with some trigger words that I could say to myself to remind me to act from those characteristics. Compassionate, Inspiring, Powerful, to Live Inspired, and Joyous. Little did I know how soon I would have the opportunity to prove these things to mysel find it ever incredible that the universe gives you exactly what you ask for, and the ability to show it to yourself, and it doesn't wait. If you really want it, you're going to get it, though it may not look how you thought it would.
You can look in my other blogs for details of what happened, but long story short, I found myself in a wheelchair for an indeterminable amount of time. Here's the light and deep of what BEING in a wheelchair has taught me so far.
1. This is simply an altered state, but it's still a form of BEING. I am still a person and I still choose to BE the person I want to be even if I don't look how I thought I would.
2. We live in an incredibly self-focused world. That's not new news, but I never recognized it as much as I have now. There are a lot of people that, since they can't look you in the eye, don't look at you at all. We don't give two hoots about the less fortunate than ourselves, and we really don't know the meaning of compassion.
3. Among those self-focused people there are some really good people that want to help. There are so many lessons for me in this. Most importantly and profoundly for me is that it does not make me an invalid to ask for or accept help. There is a huge amount of work on my pride happening right now which is a good thing. I cannot truly be evolved if I separate myself because of my pride. Another lesson, these people want to help and I'm truly giving them a gift by accepting it.
4. Accepting help does not need to come with pity, this is where I've been able to have the opportunity to show my inner power. Being "powerful" does not mean I have to do it all alone. Besides is "alone" really what we want?
5. f you don't have humor, you got nothing! Part of adaptation is moving through it emotionally, which can be really hard to do if the change is not something you're excited about. I had to have humor or I might just sit and cry which will get me nowhere! I wouldn't call it a wheelchair, I call it my wheels and then went further and nicknamed it "turbo". Then I let my pre-teeners "pimp my ride". (note: the picture above is not my pimped out chair I just thought it would be REALLY COOL if it was!) I have never been so happy looking like a dork. I'm different enough now where I don't care, I can look however I want, people are still gonna look at me just because I'm different. It might as well be a happy different.
6. I've learned I really am powerful. When I used that trigger word, I get to see everyday now the amazing strength I have, if I were admitting it to myself. Looking back, I am proud of who I have been through this. I have gotten through amazing hurdles, I have learned how to adapt because I needed to. I have suffered intense pain day after day without letting up, and I have navigated hurdles and setbacks and the feeling of hopelessness.
7. My family really does love me and I never want to take them for granted. Without complaint, my kids have helped everyway possible. My husband has tirelessly sat with me through the pain, and massaged my legs, and gotten me anything and everything I needed or wanted....and still found me sexy.
8. That you never really know what life has in store for you but there are lessons not to be wasted in everything.
9. That people in wheelchairs are amazingly strong. They live in a world that is not in any way set up for them, despite some minimal efforts to do so. They have to learn how to adapt to every situation, how they will get in the building, how their fun will be had depending on access, maneuvering everywhere, reaching things, having to find a home that will accomodate you, and realizing that half of what you want is never going to be an option for you. I am amazed at the adaptability fellow wheelers have.
10. Everything is harder for a person in a chair. Going to movies, restaurants, visiting friends, going to parties, how you cook and do daily living, running errands, the people they date, the friends they have, the events and entertainment they miss out on. They can truly be a forgotten people, which challenges them to strengthen their own emotions.
11. It's a crazy connundrum of feeling alone and at the same time not being able to do most things without help.
12. Patience. "My way" doesn't exist. It's hard to feel like you have any choice when someone is helping you. But I realized if I died tomorrow, "my way" would not last so what can it really matter for today?
13. When everything in your life necessarily changes you find out what about you is really worth keeping.
14. You learn you really can live with lots less stuff, in fact it would be easier if you did.
15. Necessary changes made me look at how I did my work and how I wanted to change it, which strangely enough made it more profitable and enjoyable for me, and helpful for my clients at the same time. I adapted into things I never thought would work and that feels so free-ing! Which brings me to number 16.
16. All the sudden I felt I could make the changes I had wanted to make in my life but didn't have a good enough push for me to do so. Let's all learn to just listen to our intuition first and not fight against it. Maybe then we won't need to suffer and struggle until we do.
17. It teaches you how to let go of your victim state. I got the chance to examine it every time I felt depressed with my circumstances. And I realized the only one making me feel like a victim was me.
18. Here's the thing. The world keeps going round. And no ones going to stop and care that one girl landed in a wheelchair (at least they won't care for long). And while it dramatically changes her life, it change the world not at all. So stop pouting. It's still up to me what kind of life I want to live. I can still be my greatest self, and at least THEN there's still a chance of changing the world.
1. Our laundry room and family closet is down a bunch of steps...so I've learned to be happy in whatever way someone in my family dresses me. This is what we're wearing today.....
2. People in wheelchairs that wear those fingerless gloves are not just having a misinformed sense of fashion. It HURTS knocking your knuckles into everything!
3. If someone doesn't want to bring you somewhere, they really don't have to....and there's nothing you can do about it!
4. My interior house trim will simply look like a toddler was given a golf club. I'm accepting that.
5. Steps are the devil, and there is a alot of unlevel terrain out there!
6. I swear storepeople stand on the other side of doors laughing, because they KNOW there is no way you're going to get in without it being a good show. There's gotta be a youtube channel out there about this.
7. If you fall out of your wheels, your kids will let you stay there at least long enough for them to grab the treat they shouldn't be having.
8. I will wear dresses everywhere because it makes everything so much easier! And it didn't matter to my husband at all that I sat an entire day in a formal dress, going NOWHERE, just because that's what he thought I should wear that day, he knew dresses make it easier, and he thought it "looked nice". (you're getting the image of me home alone on a saturday with no place to go sitting in a prom dress aren't you)
9. It didn't change how the people that matter to me saw me. My one and a half year old hopped into my lap, in my wheels, and said "ready, set GO!" Love him.