I Just Want to Live

I just had a conversation with my Dad that I’ve had many times before and always leaves me feeling frustrated and confused.  We were talking about how simply consciously stating how we want to react to certain situations rather than giving in to a natural negative response has the power to change your reaction.  For example, my Dad has a tendency to be rather mean to our dog so he began stating, “Be nice to Luke” when he feels like being mean and this results in a more positive response and the overall energy of the situation is better.  I stated that I should say, “Be nice to Mom, be nice to Dad” when I feel like being mean and then he told me he would rather have me say, “I believe”.

Uh oh, here we go again.  My Dad in no way accepts that I’m going to be like this in the future and firmly believes that one day I will be fully recovered.  Some people may say this is an unhealthy inability to accept a situation but he believes this may be the only way to return to normal health.  He then went on to tell me that maintaining positivity is not most important but convincing my subconscious I’m going to fully recover will ultimately decide the state of my body’s recovery.

Right now my belief system is based on the fact that I must fully accept the present moment in time while believing that the possibilities of the future are beyond limit.  Therefore, it is completely possible my body will recover but focusing on this possibility distracts me from the only thing that matters, Right Now.

I constantly wonder if I possibly do not have enough faith in my recovery so therefore it will not happen.  That recovery will never occur unless I fully accept the possibility of no recovery is nonexistent.  Who has the strength to believe beyond a shadow of doubt that something is going to occur?  Who has the strength to never let doubt sneak into the recesses of our brains?

I don’t want to live in a dream world, I just want to live.  My most recent practice is involved with being gracious and thankful for the things in my life.  I woke up this morning frustrated from lack of sleep after a long night of fluctuating body temperatures.  As I lay their my back contemplating the day I began to list all that I am thankful and grateful for and I immediately began to feel better.  I think the most important thing I can do right now is stay focused on my blessings and live for the possibilities of the imagination.

Dad, feel free to correct me on your stand on this issue and I will then clarify.

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13 Responses to I Just Want to Live

  1. Kelly says:

    I can\’t believe I\’ve never visited your blog before. I found you through Shannon. You have an incredible way of sharing your perspective…I especially like how straightforward you are about your injury and daily life. As a special ed teacher, I often come across parents who want me to cure their children of whatever physical or mental ailments they have…I tell them I can\’t do that…but sometimes, the kids surprise me. Miracles happen, you know? =)Outstanding job with this site! I\’ll be back for more.Kelly

  2. Keith says:

    Colin,Did you want me ti answer your questions here, or in my blog? others have written questions so i guess i could just go down the line and answer everyone\’s. I don;t mind, in fact I\’m rather flattered!Take care Bud,Keith

  3. Patricia says:

    Interesting thoughts – i\’ve started to write this paragraph several different ways. I know similar feelings. My parents have a similar response as your father. i could probably talk about it for hours. My best to you -patti

  4. Shannon says:

    Colin,That positive thinking is so hard…no matter how much we try. And I can understand how its hard to not just let a little glimpse of doubt slip in there. You have such an amazing mind. Great things will happen for you…just hang in there. I know, much easier said on my part when Im not in your situation. Wish I could help you out in some way.Shannon

  5. Patricia says:

    I keep thinking about your entry and trying to think about my faith – I wonder if I had a small child what I would teach them. i\’m not a die-hard religious person in the sense of organized religion -I think it is a personal relationship – or that it is spirituality. Basically, I guess to have an open-mind, to feel from the heart, to have determination, to believe in their strengths, to feel all of their emotions in order to live a full life and to live in the present moment fully and to have compassion and understanding of others and yourself, that God is forgiving and a friend, that God is not judgemental. That is maybe what I believe if that is what I would tell my child if I had one. What would you teach yours? Working in rehab before my accident and then being in rehab it appeared to me that all were "worthy\’ of \’miracles\’ whatever they believed or didn\’t. Do you believe that God or higher power would only help those that believed in him completely always at all times? I think doubt is a part of thinking. I think that determination is important – just like it is important that we do the rehab to the best of our abilities but that even in rehab there are bad days. I also think those bad days sometimes make me more determined to try again, they also at first make me angry and sad, then I don\’t know it gets better. I feel most of my emotions – when I surpress them and don\’t live in the present I miss a lot.

  6. Tina says:

    Hey Colin,Whenever I read your stuff I always have so many thoughts going thru my head. I do consider myself a spritual person and I do believe that miracles can happen in this world. But I do also think that you also need to live your life for what it is today. I dont think that the 2 are mutually exclusive. I dont think that if you try to prepare to live a life with your current abilities that it means that you dont have faith that you will at some point recover. Do you feel like you have to sacrifice one for the other? I believe that you have to do everything in your power to have a fulfilling and happy life regardless of whether you have doubts in your head about a full physical recovery. If you have 100% faith that you will be given the tools to be happy and strive for that then the rest of it will fall into place. By the way, great question that you asked Keith. I am eager to hear what he has to say.Tina

  7. Colin says:

    Patti,I really have no idea what I would teach my child. I think about that sometimes and can\’t really come to any conclusions. I used to think that simply sending your child to church would give them spirituality but I\’m not sure if that is the answer any more.I do believe God does not expect us to have complete belief and faith but rewards those who diligently seek him. I do not think he picks and chooses but there must be some sort of correlation in why miracles occur for some and not others.Doubt is a part of natural thinking that is why living in the present moment and harnessing the power of the now is so effective. If you come to live in the moment how can you doubt what already exists?Colin

  8. Colin says:

    Tina,You asked if I believe I have to sacrifice a belief in miracles for that of preparing for the future or the other way around?No, I don\’t believe I must sacrifice one for the other. I think the more I commit myself to a spiritual connection to the divine power the more likely miracles will occur in my life. A part of connecting to the divine is seizing opportunities and living life to the fullest of what has been offered to me at the present moment.It is very hard however to fully believe a particular miracle will occur while trying to live my life with the disability. My dad would love for me to do all I can with my life at the present moment while having complete faith that I\’ll fully recover. This is very difficult, can lead to frustration, and I don\’t think this is really the best option for me.I know miracles will occur in my life. They occur each and every day, in all of our lives without us even noticing. The key is to begin noticing and once you do this miracles become a consistent companion in your life.A great book I read is called " The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire" by Deepak Chopra. It\’s about taking notice of coincidences and signs in our lives which lead to manifesting our desires. Great book.Colin

  9. Patricia says:

    Brravo to the last sentence in your response to me – I also love what you wrote to Tina – I did not mention it but I am a big "sign" person – it seems weird to admit but some strange things have happened that I have noticed and they do bring me great peace. and you are right if I was not paying attention I might not have noticed but one did catch me when I least expected it. Actually they both sort of surprised me, but I was paying attention to my present feelings. Living in the present is full of miracles -it is what made me pick up the camera and eventually make it my career.

  10. Patricia says:

    I find that one thing I truly believe in fully is that things in general will get better -this broad statement and could mean alot of different things – a miracle, a new way of seeing things, a new way of doing things -this allows me to live in the present and have hope in the future. i find it not as frustrating -it is more of a trust.

  11. Patricia says:

    sorry one more thing -re:my mom I wrote a entry "love note to my mom" she missed patient education day at rehab due to family circumstances -it made it hard but well, if you want to read it it is there on my blog somewhere. My best to you -patti

  12. Tina says:

    Hey Colin,Thanks for your response. I am glad to hear that you dont feel like you have to sacrifice one for the other. The fact is that you can force yourself to do all you can with your life with your current abilities and you can force yourself to be nice and respectful towards your dad, but I dont think that you can force yourself to have complete faith that you will ultimately recover. And even if you did have complete faith, it doesnt mean that there are any guarantees that you will recover. Does having complete faith imply that one believes that recovery is guaranteed? I dont really know. I am going to have to think on this some more….I have a few books that I need to pick up and I will pick up "The Spontaneous fulfillment of Desire as well" . I will give you my thoughts when I am done. But I do know that I believe that there are coincidences and signs in our lives all the time. The problem is that many of us just go about our day and wouldnt notice a sign if it hit us in the head.I hope that you are having a great day. You\’re making me think again and keeping me from doing my work……. (Hey, I have to blame it on someone! LOL!)Tina

  13. Lisa says:

    Hi Colin,So I have written responses to you that have been eaten by the computer gremlins again and then I have started to write ones that I have changed my mind about. I still do not know if I can get my point across as I intend it to be interpreted and I hope the process of articulating my thoughts do not leave them too scattered but here goes:First, I saw the question you posed Keith about the inability to accept paralysis…I have a friend that has been a quad for over 30 years and I think I know how he would answer that question. He came and talked to my dad about his recovery/acceptance approximately 6 months after my dad was paralyzed. Basically, he refused to accept anything and believed he could improve his prognosis. He broke his neck in a motorcycle accident (I believe he is considered incomplete – but the diagnosis/technology was so different in the 70’s.) He’s not quite as philosophical as you and tends to see things more black and white, but when the Dr.’s told him he would never walk again, he set out to prove them wrong. Period. It was not denial but more of an attitude like I-can-do-better, and what-do-they-really-know. He believed it was possible to overcome his situation. He pushed and pushed himself until eventually he was able to get around on crutches. I have also seen my friend do things with his hands that he should not be able to do. He only can wiggle one finger a little bit, but as I grew up around him I was unaware of this. I just didn’t notice it because he just worked out ways to handle things. Even though after all these years, he hasn’t continued to progress further past his initial gains (albeit large achievement to be walking again), he still will not quit or accept that there is something he can’t do…he may just have to find another way to go about it. Again, it is different than denial of the situation. It’s doing what’s in your power to adapt to or change the situation. But it’s also never giving up the possibility that continuous action may just refire or reroute some long lost signal. You never know what miracles may lie ahead unless you don’t take chances and try to make something work. These may be silly examples (but if you want to talk about miracles even in the hypothetical sense…) would Moses have been able to part the Red Sea if he just waited and hoped it got out of his way? No, I would guess he would have had to take that leap of faith and make the seemingly crazy effort like making a verbal command, or waving his arms or something. What I mean is, some ACTION had to take place on his part to kick that miracle into gear to support his belief. (Sorry, it’s late and I should have been in bed hours ago…)This may be slightly different that the spiritual belief system that you have been exploring but the drive and motivation are going to have to be there for anything to change anyway, right? Believing that you can heal isn’t a weakness or isn’t naive if you work hard to do just that. It’s a motivator. But looking at it the other way too, having feelings of doubt are not necessarily a weakness either. That also can be a motivator (let’s prove these doubts wrong). (And in the Bible stories – whether you want to believe them figuratively or literally – didn’t God prove doubters wrong with miracles?) Personally, the only thing I believe is a weakness is the act of giving up and settling; letting your environment control you rather than you making the effort to take some control. Acceptance could mean that you accept where you are in the present, but it doesn’t mean you have to accept it to be your future. I can’t speak for my friend or Keith but from my outsider’s perspective, even after all these years, they haven’t accepted that they are handicapped (nor are they in denial of their situation), they have adapted and found their own motivation to keep trying and take control of their lives. Isn’t that also what able-bodied people do too, or anybody for that matter – strive to improve some situation…make their life better, their children’s life better, or help someone else along in this world? Otherwise one might as well just roll over and die because there’s not much else to live for…what would be the point?Which leads me to the question of belief…I honestly don’t think that it is healthy to so blindly believe something without having doubts or questioning it. Whether those doubts are quick flashes that are pushed to the back of your mind or are something you can consciously admit to, at one point they have to be explored. It is human nature to have the thought process where at least you can choose and rule out one belief or another and then change your mind again later. Isn’t that also adapting to your environment but also making decisions based on things you may be exposed to or learn along the way? Live your life the best that you can, don’t wait for life to “happen” to you…(Oh geez, that all sounded preachy…it’s not a judgment based on anything you have said about your life or your choices. The “you” is the all inclusive you, not you, Colin specifically. And I don’t mean to say that any of the above is what you are or aren’t doing…it’s just a perspective I’m throwing out there – the all inclusive “there”).yawn- will it all make sense in the morning?

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