About two and a half years ago, I had an accident where I almost lost my dominant hand. Though it sounds crazy, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. While the accident was taking place, I remember hearing a voice tell me that my life would never be the same, and through the entire experience of an eight hour surgery to repair the damage and months of therapy I was able to find strength and courage that I never knew I had. This experience has fueled the courage for me to break through other areas in my life.
Initially the “experts” told me that I would be lucky if regained 65 - 85% use of my hand. That voice that told me that my life would never be the same kept asking me what I believed to be true. At that point in my life, I had been on a cycle of self-doubt, uncertainty, fear and discouragement. I doubted myself and my abilities by devaluing myself and my own inner strength. I had seen myself as weak, incapable, and lucky that I had made it as far as I had in life, but “the voice” urged me to seek more. I was then determined that I would regain 100% use of my hand.
This is where the gratitude comes in. Had it not been for this experience, I do not believe my life would have transformed in the way it has. I am learning not to doubt my abilities and strength and to see how powerful I really can be when I listen to “that voice” (which I recognize as God, or as I like to call, “Spirit”). By listening, I was able to find the inner strength to keep going, when I really just wanted to shrivel up and use my injury as an excuse to just give up and take the easy way out. The easy way out, in this case, would have left me with an unusable limb, and I knew this, so I listened and I worked as hard as I could to regain the use of my hand.
Today, I have about 98% use of my hand and I frequently notice progress when I can do something I was not able to do before. One example occurred a week or two ago, when I realized that I am now able to open a water bottle with my hand. I still celebrate with a smile and an internal leap of praise thanking Spirit for the constant encouragement and progress! Better yet, these celebrations give me greater appreciation for the growth that has spawned in every area of my life.
I am now encouraged to break the mold, and live the life I desire. I did this by returning to school for the degree I wanted, getting my coaching certification, and living out my” bucket list” one item at a time. I also encourage my children to do the same. I have also learned to reframe my mindset when I encounter hurdles. I now look to see what the hurdle wants to teach me and I take on a feeling of gratitude for the lesson. I am always overjoyed when I can apply the lesson, because it means that I have grown and learned.
In essence, I am grateful for experiences that teach me that the only thing to fear is truly fear itself. I now embrace most things that come my way, knowing that God really desires to see me prosper, even if the circumstance is not so comfortable at the time.