It Can Change in an Instant
Updated: Aug 4
Life that is.
And it just did.
All of a sudden, we are in the middle of a crisis and it is scary, daunting and so very confusing.
This is LIFE.
Recently, I remembered a thought that came to me a few years ago. “What if I hadn’t broken my neck?”
My heart actually sped up a bit and I stopped moving. I felt a stab of fear. Fear of what would have happened if I hadn’t suffered a life-threatening injury.
Strange as it sounds, breaking my neck was actually one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I have told the story many times. Highlights: 21 years old. Car accident. A guy ran a red light and hit the side of the car. I was the passenger, not wearing a seat belt. I broke my neck and was not paralyzed or dead. The recovery story. 2 ½ months in a brace. Screws into my skull. I survived.
And changed my life.
That is my favorite part, but it’s not as dramatic as the beginning. I had a cervical fracture that needed to be held in place and a broken spirit that I didn't know how to mend. That was the tedious part. Broke, broken, beaten down. I like to think of the end result as it has been a good one. That’s the part of the story I concentrate on, my reactions and what I made of my life after a horrible event.
If this pandemic shows us anything, it shows how quickly things can happen. I found that out at age 21 and it changed everything for me.
So this is what I want to say. Right now is all we have. This minute, this second, you are creating your life story. Your reactions are the most important parts of your story. There is so much we have no control over. Suddenly, this virus, this occurrence, this unimaginable thing has happened. What do we do?
Let’s take the story of my car accident. A broken neck recovery may look good on my life resume, but if I let that be the only part of the story-- the story of what happened to me, I never claim my reactions. I reacted in a way that empowered me. I took control of what I could control, and moved forward. My reactions were everything.
You, right now, are reading these words and it is your present. This is NOW. This is what you have right now.
You are creating a part of your life story right now. Right this minute.
What story are you creating about the pandemic? Because you ARE creating it as you live it. How are you reacting?
Even if you don’t write it down, you are creating a story. What do you want it to be about?
Is this chapter of your story saying “I freaked out! The End!”? Will your stories be filled with resentment and anger? Of love and kindness? Of blame, shame and regret? Of laughter and sharing? Or maybe all of those?
Do you want it to be a chapter in which you realized it was scary, but you did your best to stay healthy and kind? Will it be the story of greed, fear or blame? Will it be a story of creativity and faith? Will it be a story of how you handled the pain of it all?
Will it be a story about how you prevailed in a mess that seems like something from a movie?
It can be any and all of the above, but realize, YOU are making the choices. You are choosing your reactions.
You can be scared, and still be kind.
You can recognize your anxiety and still react with healthy actions for yourself.
You can recognize that you are stressed, and then decide to do something to lessen it.
Try your hardest to live in this moment right now.
Make each minute a good one. If you struggle with that idea, keep trying.
We don’t know what will happen. But we have right now, this moment in our lives to find peace. Don’t waste it.
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