We never know when life will throw us a curveball or how we will use it to our advantage. What I do know is that we will each be given challenges and it is up to us to navigate through them in the best way we know-how.
My greatest challenge came when I was 20 years old. I was riding on the back of my friend’s motorcycle when we suddenly hit a pothole that threw us 60 feet in the air, landing in a pile of rubble. Mark’s neck broke instantly and I was flown to the nearest hospital where I spent over 3 months having them put “Humpty Dumpty” back together again. I had broken every bone in my face and their work was to reconstruct my face from a photograph in attempts to resemble my former self. My back was also crushed in several places, so they put a body cast from my neck to my hips that were to keep me intact until I started to heal.
Upon my release from the hospital, they told me I’d never walk again, that I’d never have children. As for my face, only time would tell how I’d heal. That prognosis did not feel good at all. I knew it was up to me to find the strength to create a different outcome, one that felt more life-giving and positive.
My first key step was to “Create a Vision” for myself and my life that felt better. So, as a woman of faith, I connected with my heart and God’s ideas for my life that was vibrant, joyful and full, complete with children and a healthy body. As I let that Vision be my guiding light, it helped me through my difficult days and celebrate even more in my victories. I took more steps each day, no matter how painful it was and at the 6-month mark, I was walking on my own with little assistance from my cane.
As I started to “Believe in myself” more and more I realized that was the second key to moving forward and not looking back. I found the courage to go back to finish college even though I was still physically deformed. I had so many friends and family that lovingly supported me and it was a great comfort to know they were there for me. Every day I focused on something new to be grateful for.
Gratitude is the third essential key to shifting your mindset while growing through a challenge. When you open your heart to all the many blessings in your life, you will see even more to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude every day will help you to tap into a current of well being for your life and experience life in a more joyful way.
What if you began to look at your challenges as opportunities to grow and experience more of your inner strength and courage?
Written by Janet N., one of our Guides