When “Bad” Things Happen
It has been several months since I’ve posted an article. Back in January I had a bad fall on black ice and I tore my rotator cuff and labrum in my left shoulder. I had surgery in February and I got my sling/brace off last week. I wasn’t a great typist to begin with- I hunt and peek with my two index fingers. I can go fast but when you lose the use of one hand, typing becomes problematic. So I haven’t been posting regularly.
It’s been an interesting few months for me. I’ve experienced the full range of emotions. I’ve been pissed: getting hurt, having surgery and medical bills were not part of my 2017 plan. I’ve been exceptionally tired as sleeping with the sling on is challenging and my body is expending energy on healing itself. I’ve gained weight as I wasn’t exercising and I’ve been eating emotionally.
During this time I have constantly asked myself, what’s good about this? As Shakespeare reminded us, “nothing’s good or bad, thinking makes it so.” Nothing has any inherent meaning: I get to choose my perception and interpretation of it. I choose to have an empowering view of it. Have I had my “poor me” moments? Of course, however, I quickly recover.
So what’s good about what happened to me? I could have been hurt far worse; I’ve heard so many horror stories about others who have fallen. I’m thankful it was on my left side as I’m right-handed. I’m thankful that the weather was great during February and March making it easier when I went out. I’m thankful for Uber transporting me to and from my clients for a couple of weeks. I’m grateful for excellent medical care and physical therapy and that we have good health insurance. I’m especially thankful for my wife who has been so great during all of this. I’m grateful for the support and understanding from all my great clients.
Most of us take so many things for granted, like being able to use our left shoulder, arm and hand. We take it for granted being able to open a new container of orange juice and many other mundane activities. The something happens, like falling, and we can’t do these things for ourselves. Suddenly we have to rely on others for even the simplest of things. But is this so bad? I know it has helped me to appreciate more who and what I have. In a world of impermanence, anything can be taken from us in an instant. Imagine losing everything and everyone you have. Does that help you appreciate it all some more?
So as we look at our lives, the ultimate control we have is our perception, interpretations and how we choose to respond. As we run through the days of our lives, slowing down to appreciate it all is an often missed fulfilling part of the human experience.
Here are some things to think and act upon:
- Where in your life could a shift in interpretation have an impact?
- What are you currently taking for granted that, if lost, would cause you sorrow or pain?
- Where can you shower some appreciation?
- Are you choosing to respond or reacting to life?