We all have this one friend. A person who lights up a room just by being in it. Who is so full of enthusiasm for life that having a conversation with them is like plugging yourself into the mains. We leave their side feeling like we can take on the world. That friend who is like a magnet constantly attracting the best things life has to offer. The one that is always laughing, and is always surrounded by people. That person we always want to sit next to. The one who makes life look fun and totally effortless. That one whose life is really a work of art because they are so good at it. They don’t seem to even see obstacles, just more and more opportunities for fun and growth and joy.
What we don’t always know is how that person got to be this way. Some people are born like this. Some learn through self-help books or self-improvement seminars or what have you. Then there are the ones who didn’t know how to make life work for them. Who never felt successful or good enough. The people who were always the unhappiest in the room, the ones you’d gladly sell your own Grandmother not to sit next to. The ones whose glasses were permanently half-empty, and who just sat around whingeing waiting for someone else to come fill it up for them.
Until they hit a crisis point. I think it’s so accurate that the Chinese symbol for Crisis is the same one as Opportunity. Because sometimes a total crisis is what it takes to turn a Life completely around. Sometimes we have to go as far down as we can go into despair for us to be able to let go of every pattern of thought and behaviour that was keeping us as this sad, unhappy small person. Sometimes that’s just what it takes.
I get a lot of stick from people for saying that being in a Wheelchair was the best thing that ever happened to me. I make no apologies for that. I still think that it was. It woke me up. It made me realise what a total waste my life had been up til that point. For me it took something that drastic to sort me out. To make me see that life is truly a gift and that I can do anything I want to do and be anyone I want to be, that I create my own life and I’m responsible for everything in it. To really know this as a fact and my ultimate Truth and to live in this knowledge everyday.
I’m not saying it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you. I don’t get to decide that. I’m not saying that you even have to get well if you don’t want to. That’s your choice not mine. But I do want to be clear that I don’t believe it takes being in a Wheelchair to change a Life. That a Life After can begin anytime we choose it to. That we can become that person who enjoys every moment, the one who lives and loves fearlessly. That it can happen for anyone at anytime. Just by letting go of the excuses and letting in the Good.
I created my Life After because I had to. I don’t think it matters if you are creating your own Life After out of choice or out of Crisis. No one gets a prize for having the more dramatic story. But if you want to join me and the other’s that I’ve met on this Journey then great, let me know, I’m here to help in any way that I can, that’s why I set this place up. If you’re not ready, that’s ok too, just let me know when you are.
Because really that friend that we all love to be around is a lot easier to become than we think. All we need to do is look for the good, become obsessed with Happiness, make Joy our goal. An intolerance to unhappiness is all it takes to discover our own love of life.
If you want to stay where you are because even though you’re unhappy, The Known still makes you feel safe then that’s okay too. But let me make myself clear. It’s way nicer over here, whether you get here via a wheelchair or not. And I’d really like your company. I’m not claiming to be that charismatic friend that lights up a room by being in it-but no one over here is going to stop you from being that person anytime you choose, and that’s definitely someone I’d like to have around. And if we keep reaching out to each other, giving each other a hand to hold on this Journey to Wellness, then it’s going to make this Path easier for us all to travel.