We gave them different labels: A Wake-up Call, A Defining Moment, An Out Of Body Experience, or A Close Call just to name a few.
Sometimes, we know exactly when that moment occurs. Sometimes, we don’t recognize a beneficial hardship for quite awhile. And for some people, they never see it or experience it.
March 18, 2014 is the date for me. However, the days, weeks, and months afterwards continued to influence the direction of my life. And I’m not done learning, changing, and growing.
While lying in a hospital bed, it would have been easy to ask: “Why Me?” I never asked that question. Rather, I changed my perspective on an otherwise bleak set of circumstances. I chose to look at hopelessness from a different angle.
“Why NOT me?”
My question had gone unanswered for about 18 months. Now, I have my answer. Now, I understand.
Winston Churchill once said, “Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. To convince them, you must yourself believe.” In other words, in order for someone to trust you they need to believe you. To believe you, they need to see, hear, and feel your authenticity.
I have a very dear friend who repeatedly tells me, “I hate that you have gone through what I am going through right now.”
My reply, “I’m not. Would you rather someone speak empty words of encouragement? Or, do you want a friend who has walked in your shoes and can hold your hand through the darkness.”
Why NOT me?
Another friend survived a horrific accident last week. She escaped the wreckage nearly unharmed. A miracle? Perhaps. A wake-up call. You better believe it!
She may bay battered and bruised, but she will eventually ask, “Why NOT me?” She is a fighter, but even the strong need someone to guide them through difficult times.
Why NOT me?
So you see, we have important choices to make when we experience crossroads. Do we play the victim and ask why me? Or, do we live like survivors and ask why not me?
Either way we choose to live, the answer to our question is always elusive. Do we ever discover a reasonable answer to why me? I don’t think so. Do we find an immediate answer to why not me? Not usually, but the answer comes in time and with patience.
With experience, patience, and understanding we are better able to help someone else. We are better able to make the world a better place for one person.
Sometimes, that is all we can do. Sometimes, it is just enough.
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.