What I’m about to say always depresses people (it depressed me when I thought of it) but if you can THInK about it and FACE the ugly truth of it, it will change your life.
A friend of mine was an athlete. She ran marathons all the time, won races, cycled, hiked, etc. Beautiful woman. Then one day, she crashed her motorcycle into a concrete block on an off ramp and lost her leg. She is now a paraplegic. She had to recover, go to therapy and RELEARN how to walk, live and function and all that other good stuff. She believed all her dreams were shattered. But alas! They were not. She could not run, jump and walk normally, like a person with two legs. She could no longer wear high heels. She could not have the fairytale life that seemingly every average American has, but she could have other things. She could get a prosthetic leg and she could still run races if she trained. And she could still think she was beautiful. And she could still date and have friends and get a job. That was all in her power and she made it work. But this tragedy forced her to live a little differently and have different expectations of what she was able to achieve. The story is a a rather extreme version of “If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.”
My point is this: Look around you and look at everything in your life. What you have (a roof over your head, food, friends, etc), what you don’t have (a boyfriend!) and imagine that this is how your life will be always, ten years from now, twenty. That you will never have any more or less than what you have right now. This is it. Now…the hard part…be happy for what you have RIGHT NOW. Make peace with it, no matter what. Take longing out of your life, refuse to think in terms of wanting and needing. And simply be happy with this, whatever THIS is. I am not talking about remaining in an abusive relationship. I am not talking about not setting goals for yourself or not working towards something. What I am saying is that whatever goals you set for yourself, whatever movement you make, know that there is no sure outcome. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You may not win the lottery. You may lose a leg, get sick, get cancer, and so on. Who knows what the future holds. So, it’s crucial to the success of your recovery to not recover for the sake of a hoped for outcome (i.e. winning that great new boyfriend or girlfriend).
No. You may not like nun scenario or hanging out with the girls, drinking tea and sleeping with just your pillows for the rest of your life. But what if that is ALL there is???? If that is all there is, you better make peace with it.
Have I totally depressed you yet???
Well, there’s a paradox to this story. And this is it:
It is at that very moment, when you are happiest with seemingly NOTHING that everything suddenly becomes yours.
This is an extremely difficult lesson. But such a valuable one.