"Encouraging risk taking may mean the death of one idea that didn't
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time
"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions -- the little,
Have you reached your full human potential? By far, too many souls have lived their lives wandering aimlessly about in hopeless despair. Each day, people awaken to a new day but dwell on the same problems from days, months, even years before. Worry and anguish seem to top the lists of those constant procrastinators and apprehensive individuals who would rather give up on life than find the positive it has to offer us all.
I present a good example of the full human potential: Over 3 years ago, I found myself in a very harmful situation. Not only was my life at stake, but my mentality, emotional sense and overall well-being was on the brink of major catastrophic malalignment. Here I sat -- an emotionless wasteland filled with destructive thought patterns. Not only was my rational effected, but my physical health was at a total loss. Bound to a wheelchair, I was instructed to take a wide spectrum of prescription drugs that were going to "help" me.
Day by day, I had to take pills that would possibly spark my nerves to get me walking again; pills that would reduce muscle spasms; pills that would "reroute" nerve signals; pills that would line my stomach from all of the other pills; "happy" pills that helped for my "depression;" pills that helped calm my nerves; pills that stopped any seizures; pills that helped for fluid retention; pills that stopped my nausea from all the other pills....the list was endless.
I had to literally have people call me to remind me of which pills I had to take next, or I'd forget to either take them or take too many of them. Most of the time, I was a rolling zombie. I couldn't sleep at night because of restless leg syndrome. I couldn't sleep during the day because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up.
Beside the injury that left me permanently physically impaired, my finances were in total shambles. I could no longer work the labored jobs I was used to doing. This was and still is no longer an option for me. Instead of freely driving whenever I want to, I always have to let someone know when I'm going and where I'm going...just in case my legs or arms decide to go out on me. My left eye has recently been effected by my nerve damage so when I peer at a computer screen or a familiar face, I have to focus with my right eye; as double vision has become a recurring event in my life. My back and buttocks tend to sporadically get hit with shockwaves of electrical, spine tingling numbness. When that happens, I can count on one or both of my legs quitting on me. And it happens in some of the worst of places too. I can go shopping at the local grocery store and viola -- my leg simply stops working. Or better still, try going to Sunday mass and suddenly I'm holding on to aisle pews and railings because one or both legs decided they weren't going to cooperate that day.
People will ask me, "how can you live like that?" That's simple. I've learned to live to my fullest human potential. No, I can't do all the things I used to do. But instead of focusing on all the things that I "can't" do, I refocused my thinking on the things that I "CAN" do.
A little dog taught me a valuable lesson in life. We had our beloved "Bell" for nearly 5 years when she suddenly died of amyloidosis. (A genetic disease) It was right after she died that I experienced my first episode of paralysis. This came shortly after our roof leaked and destroyed all of our entertainment components in our built-in wall unit, and after I lost my means of employment. What a time!
"Bell" was always the girl who came and perked me up and gave me hope with her loving affection and undying devotion. I was beside myself with grief. The first few days after she died, I wasn't prepared to adopt another animal. But suddenly I had a change of heart. My husband drove me two hours away to adopt a new "girl." She wasn't Bell, but she gave me hope -- thus, I named her "Hope." She made herself right at home and her mannerisms were just like Bell's. We had chosen the perfect dog to not only help us all get over our grief, but help me to get on with my own life as well. As we watched her grow and become an important part of our lives, I felt that I had to improve my own life.
After nearly dying from a potent drug-induced seizure, I decided on my own that I was no longer going to take all the pills prescribed to me. Although I went against doctor orders, I felt like the drugs were having a more negative impact on my life than good. Eventually, I met an individual who taught me how to use stretch bands to build my muscles and regain muscular coordination. Soon thereafter, my nerves began to kickstart and I soon began to walk again. Time seemed to drag by as I slowly regained the ability to manipulate things more efficiently with my arms and hands. By the power of faith and an undeniable willpower to survive, I did.
I could've laid in that hospital bed that evening when I almost died and allowed death to succumb, but I CHOSE life over death. For the first time in a very long time, I wanted to live -- at all costs. After months of physical, emotional, spiritual and mental transformations, I found myself back in the workforce. It was administrative work, but I was actually getting around and feeling great. But physical episodes still haunted me and led me back to the homefront.
I discovered a powerful force within myself during times of my greatest, disabling moments in life. One of them being that I geared my thoughts toward literature. Suddenly, I was being published in anthologies and the Who's Who of World Poetry. Then came my own book of inspirational poetry. Time, although unforgiving, allowed healing to occur in more ways than one. Suddenly, I was propelled into volunteer work where my literature was being used for National tributes, monuments and charitable organizations. Suddenly, I was doing the things that God had intended me to do -- write. And write, I did.
Do I still have the physical disabilities? Yes. Do I still go numb and see double? Yes I do. But what I've found through my own shortcomings is that there is an unexplored abundance of hope, transformation and opportunities -- that before lay stagnant in the pools of yesterday's bittersweet sorrow. Are you living life to your fullest human potential? Seek within yourself for strength, perserverence and inner faith -- the rest will follow.
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