The Recovering Farmer

Saturday, October 22, 2011

When Things Go Wrong

Often time’s people are caught by surprise. We have certain plans for the future. We have expectations to live till “we’re too old to die young”. But sometimes those plans do not unfold. Something happens. What now?

I have chatted a few times with a man who was involved in a serious accident a few years ago. He was driving a semi, was slowing down to turn a corner, and was rear ended by another semi. The force of two semis colliding like that defies imagination. He is lucky to be alive. It could have been worse. He could have died. He could be confined to a wheel chair. He is struggling to find some way to get better. He wants to get back to work. As much as insurance is covering some lost income, money may not be the biggest issue. The feeling of being helpless. Feelings of negative self-worth. Always wondering, questioning whether there is something he is missing. Something that might help. I suspect in some of his darkest hours he wonders whether death might have been a better option.

But I have noticed something else in this person. An inner strength that defies logic. I sit and mope about what I think are issues and having met this man puts everything into perspective. He epitomizes the very meaning of resiliency. Remember when we talked about this before? Webster’s Dictionary defines “resilience” as “an ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change”. He is adapting. He is in a recovery mode. I marvel at his ability to do that. He has no idea when his body will heal enough for his life to return to normal. And yet he keeps trying.

We chatted this week about the ability to heal. We talked about having a strong mind. Thinking positively. Mind over matter, as they say. A colleague sent me a quote by Henry David Thoreau. “As a single footstep will not make a path on earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Tough to do when your mind is full of bitterness and resentment. Tough to do when you have uncertainty about health concerns. Far too easy to slip into the ruts left by negative thinking. The key is to practice the art of positive thinking. As they say “practice makes perfect”.

Just one other note about the person I just told you about. He has an incredible sense of humour. He likes to laugh. He has improved my mood by making me laugh. After all laughter is the best medicine. I know him and me will talk some more. There are many more things we can share with each other. There are more things we can learn from each other. And, hopefully, in some small way, I can help him on his journey. He sure has helped me. Make it a good one.

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