I realized earlier today one of the main reasons why I just don’t like writing these updates anymore. I am not satisfied. I’m not satisfied with where I am in life right now and I’m not satisfied with my progress. I find myself waiting to write, so that I can give some major news about what’s going on with me but it always seems like same, old same old. I’m sure that I could change my entire perception and discover that I am going places and I am progressing, but lately it has been hard to change the perception of my reality.
Unfortunately I feel rather stuck in the mud, making physical progress but never being satisfied with what I’m seeing. I see pictures of myself and it just doesn’t compare to the vision I have in my mind of what I should look like. I have a poor self-image, there is no doubt about it. Hundreds of people can tell me how awesome I look and how good I’m doing, yet I still look in the mirror and can’t help but see someone who is helpless and paralyzed.
I never want to get to the point in my life where I look back and say, "What the heck was I doing that whole time?" I want to be someone who succeeds in life, goes places, grows and discovers. I want to be someone who discovers immense joy hidden in the cracks of life. I want to feel strong and empowered, bold and courageous. I want to accomplish great things, look back and say, "I did that, that was me."
Mostly I have based my self worth the past several years on my attempts to recover. I would be the boy who became a man, and refused to give up, refused to be denied and walked again. Yet lately I feel as if my strong will to recover is not enough to feel worthy. Unable to change my perception and feel satisfied with what I do each day, I wonder if I should make a major change in my life. "What should I do, where should I go?", I wonder. Go to school, move to Austin, get a job. I know that the possibilities are endless, but I lack strength, courage, and decisiveness.
Will the answers just come to me one day? Will my life unfold simply by loving myself each day and allowing the universe to bring forth my destiny? Ideally I would like to live in a state of love for myself and others. I know if I did so, my life would emerge without all of this stress and worry. If I lived in a state of love, I would not constantly be reaching out halfheartedly but spread my arms wide open embracing all that comes my way. Joy would never slip through the cracks but I would be on a collision course with ecstatic bliss.
When it comes to my progress I feel I am regurgitating the same message. Day by day I’m feeling stronger and stronger. Inch by inch, I feel my upper body improving and muscles coming alive. I’m beginning to feel the muscles in my chest tightening with my workouts. I feel energy coursing through my body, feeling that any moment I will emerge from my cocoon in glorious splendor. I walk in the pool with heavy assistance, but my trunk muscles have become more stable. Just recently I achieved walking with one person rather than two. The feeling of walking becomes more normal each week, but remains potential energy and not kinetic.
I should just be grateful for every little achievement. However, I have set my sights high among the clouds, and each night despite strength improvements I wonder, "What can I do now that I could not do several months ago?" The answer is not much. The strength gains have not been enough to result in functional gains. It is a harsh truth but true nonetheless. My family and I continue to believe that one day all of this energy, all of this strength I am gaining will come together in a magnificent way, so much so that even I cannot help but be satisfied. I strongly believe this. I strongly believe that one day I will walk again. But I wonder how long I can keep this up. I know that I can keep going for years and years to come, but what else can my life contain? What else can I achieve?
I did make one achievement yesterday which brought me great satisfaction and joy. I signed up for a waterski clinic organized by the Shepherd center’s therapeutic recreation program. It had been a long time since I had truly waterskied. Some of you may remember my stories of waterski adventures in Charlotte, North Carolina. It began with my first attempt on a mono-ski. The terror I felt and the grand sense of accomplishment. Then came the story of getting hit by a jet ski and having to go to the emergency room getting four staples put in my scalp.
Since moving to Atlanta I immersed myself in recovery and have not paid much attention to adaptive activities. Yesterday however, I made the commitment to get back out on the lake and waterski once again. I also made the commitment that I would try the mono-ski. The thought of it terrified me just like the first time I had ever done it. The setup would be slightly different and I would not have much to hang on to besides the cage which I sat in.
The first run I made was with the outriggers attached, pretty much guaranteeing I would not fall. The experience did not bring me much confidence but I knew if I did not try the mono-ski I would regret it. So I faced my fear head on, and as the boat sped off, and lifted me up onto the water, I found myself easily balancing the ski. I made it around the lake 1 1/2 times, before I crashed into the water. I managed to flip myself over onto my back and stared up at the sky. "Why was I so afraid?" I wondered.
I made several more runs after that and fell many times, but it no longer scared me. After I was safely back on land, I asked "Why am I so terrified of things, which I am completely capable of accomplishing?"
Fear dominates my reality, and I can’t help but wonder what would I do, what could I accomplish if it wasn’t for fear. I am fully aware of two truths in life. One is that my soul has come here for a purpose and a reason. The other is that I am a powerful creator. The two are sometimes hard to relate because on the one hand I am aware that I must go through an experience for the purpose of my soul and on the other hand I realize I have the ability to create tremendous experiences. I sometimes feel as if my creation is unclear because of the smoke of fear that clouds my intention. I beat on myself for not being able to open my heart and expand my glory throughout the universe. I know I am this strong spirit yet I feel I am being held back, possibly by an experience I am meant to have or possibly by fear that I am meant to shatter.
I am here to discover who I am and create who I wish to be. The truth will always be a bit foggy, never truly understanding what it all means. I know that the end result will always be the same which is the loving embrace of God and all that is. Nothing which happens or does not happen is for nothing. It all contains reason and purpose, and everything I do is good enough in the eyes of God, for God is unconditional love. There is no other truth I need to to know.