Sunday, November 23, 2014

Acceptance is the Key to my Happiness

I Can't?

     The absurdity of the words, "I can't walk", emanating from myself felt foreign.  Rarely have I ever spoken words of that nature.  Not being able to stomach that phrase, it soon became,
 "I can't yet"

   Teaming with two surgeons, I began a quest of moving forward with a philosophy of "Let's see how much of my life I can get back."  It has been a long road to my best recovery from that car collision. We are just a month shy of four years since our world has been rocked.  Four years of frustration, tears, lost memories, living in slow motion and sheer joy at the most trivial advancements. That brings us to the splitting of tracks.  I have envisioned myself the small but mighty engine that may not be able to pull the largest of loads anymore, I may have to be more creative about which route I must take, but I am persistent and always make it to my next station.  

     My upcoming visit with my surgeon in December should be my release into the real world.  Providing all goes well, I am free of surgeries and free to live as I want to live until the day arrives that "I can't" anymore.  Enthusiasm envelops me at the thought that no one but myself has authority to tell me what I can and cannot physically do.  The other side of the sword is that this truly means I am at my peak.  There is no getting better anymore and that is all that it has been for four years.  This is as good as it gets.  I have worked hard and my family and I have practiced extreme patience with my trials and I believe we are all proud to have this moment upon us.  But this means, I must now accept that this is where I will stay.  So I must swallow those bitter words of "I can't" and accept that there are some physical activities that I just will not be able to achieve.  

     Entering into a small shop I chose a gift for my daughter.  Walking into a back room, the owner wrapped that gift with care as she asked, "Carey, how do you do it?"  "What is that exactly?" I inquired.  "When you have tried everything you know how to do and you know you will not get any better", she spoke.  Thankful that her glance was cast down as my eyes darted to her face, I felt my lips part in astonishment.  Did she know?  How could she know?  Tears sting my eyes as I perceive that it was a honest inquiry and that she has no idea that question has been slowing invading my thoughts as I near the end of my own recovery.  She was speaking of her own trials. 

      As my emotions released their hold on the lump they had placed in my throat, I admonished,   "When I know that I have done all that I can do, that I have put one hundred percent into the effort and feel proud of that effort, then I accept.  Actually, acceptance is the key to my happiness." 

     Hearing my own words, I softly smiled.  I also smirked at God because He knows I now listen.  He has a way of working through people.  This shop owner helped me take my own advice that day and maybe my words helped her through the next step of her own journey.  She does not know how that short visit affected me or that it nudged me out of that rut of vulnerability.  

     Recovery is as much mental as it is a physical.   My husband has cited a pledge to me many times over our almost ten year liaison, especially this last four.  A great friend passed it to him, he has passed it to me and I will pass it to you.  I altered it a bit to tailor to my situation, but in the end we receive the same message. 

Acceptance is the key to my happiness.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no happiness until I accept that situation as being 
exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake.  
 I must accept life completely on life's terms or I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in 
me and in my attitudes.

   My happiness does not hinge on what was thrust upon me.  My happiness does not hinge on my ability to walk.  My happiness clings onto my attitude, that if I cannot change my circumstances then, I make peace with it by accepting that this is how life is supposed to be a this moment.

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