Life has its ups and downs.
Once in a while we all go through something tough. That could be a death of a loved one, sickness, injury, divorce…Whatever.
And sometimes that can lead to a dark place.
A place of pain and heartache.
There are instances when people get to such a dark place in their lives that they never bounce back. They’re so devastated that they don’t ever try to get back to being themselves.
I empathize with that.
I get how a painful situation can push people to the point of no return.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Of course there is a period where we need to be upset and grieve. That’s part of being human.
But there comes a point in every situation where we have to make a decision.
We get to a point where time has passed and we must decide on whether we will continue down a dark road of depression, and never really accept what has happened, or we can choose otherwise.
We can choose to learn from our situation, and make the best of what we have.
That’s the beauty of being human. We are given the power of choice.
And when we make choices that put us in a better place mentally, physically and spiritually we tend to overcome ANY obstacle that comes our way.
Let’s take a look at former Rutgers football player, Eric LeGrand for example.
If you don’t know Eric’s story, he was a college football player who had a bright future ahead of him. During a game vs. Army in 2010, Eric encountered a big hit while making a tackle on a kickoff and fractured several vertebrae in his cervical spine which left him paralyzed from the neck down.
20 years old with tremendous ability and a bright future ahead, no longer has the use of his arms and legs. The doctors told his mother that he will never breathe again on his own.
Eric isn’t only now breathing on his own, but he is making more and more progress every day on his quest to walk again. He is now a motivational speaker and even won the ESPY Award for Perseverance in 2012 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year as only the third recipient ever of the Warrior Award.
This is someone who could have given up. Someone who could have said “why me” and really who would have blamed him? He could have chosen to not go through with therapy and let his injury get the best of him.
But he didn’t.
Eric LeGrand MADE A CHOICE to devote his life to walking again on his own, and inspire millions of people around the world in the process.
The moment that Eric woke up in the hospital and looked at his mother, he mouthed the words “I’ll be back”.
He knew that this would not be the end of the road for him.
When you talk to people he knows, hear him speak or look at his social media, you’ll see that he is one of the most positive people in the world. He is always smiling and speaks of his injury as a blessing, because it has given him the platform to help others.
I tell you this story to not only inspire you, but to share with you one of Eric’s sayings that I always turn to when I go through a difficult point in my own life.
And that is, “compared to what”.
Eric says when he is in pain or frustrated with the repercussions of his injury he says to himself “compared to what”. He says he looks at difficult times that others are going through around the world, and realizes that no matter how bad you have it, someone else out there is going through something worse than what you are. He mentions people that don’t have a home and says that at least he has a roof over his head and a family who loves him.
Considering the severity of Eric’s situation, it gives me chills to know that he has the ability to look at his circumstances in that regard.
Eric’s story helps me look at the things I have gone through and realize that other people are out there suffering. That doesn’t mean that your situation should be overlooked by any means. It means that we need to accept our problems for what they are, learn from them, make the best of them, and move forward, because we aren’t alone.
Work on what you are going through, instead of being a victim of it.
No matter how bad or how painful a situation may be, ask yourself “compared to what” because someone out there right now is going through something that may be even more difficult.
When we start to look at life through this lens we realize that we can get through it, and we will get through it.
If we choose to.
I type this article with tears in my eyes. Not due to the unimaginable fear, pain and worry someone must face when suffering an injury of that magnitude. But due to the inspiration he has given me and millions of people around the world.
For being strong enough to play the hand he was dealt without pessimism and show tremendous amounts of courage.
I hope that you can use Eric’s story to help you through whatever it is that you are going through. Because although you may feel like you can no longer go on, just ask yourself “compared to what” and remember Eric LeGrand’s story.
Put forth the effort and mindset it takes to move forward with your life.
Remember that pain is part of life. At one point or another you will feel the inevitable pain. However SUFFERING is a choice.
Learn from your pain and grow through life, but refuse to suffer.
If there is anything I can do to help in any way, please feel free to comment below.
Thanks for reading, guys.