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I ran across this video online about a young man that had his arm bitten off by a shark. The video wasn't of the attack, instead it was of him talking about his situation as he was recovering in the hospital. Don't worry there is no blood or gore, just a video of a young man talking. You can see the short video here: https://youtu.be/2lQZpHd9K0I
I don't know all of the details of his situation, but the thing that did impress me is the fact that he vocalized his available choices. Life can be devastating at times, from health crises, to the loss of a loved one, a loss of a job, or any change that is unwanted and unexpected. Because of the nature of emergencies we can sometimes get so caught up in trying to survive that we don't realize the options we actually have.
"I have two options, I can try to live my life the way I was and make an effort to do that even though I don't have an arm. Or I can just let this be completely debilitating and bring my life down and ruin it in a way. Out of those two, there is only one I would really choose to do. That is to fight, and to live a normal life with the cards I've been dealt." - Hunter Treschl
The options the man laid out are available to all of us. Think of it like a fork in the road. We have the option to persevere and overcome our situation, or we can instead give up and let this situation define us completely. Many people make this choice subconsciously and don't even realize it. They've given up on their ability to ever experience happiness again, falling into states of depression, PTSD, and high anxiety.
But if you are AWARE that you have the choice, and you KNOW what those two choices are, you can make an ACTIVE decision to not let a situation define you.
That man will always bear the scar of that shark attack, and his life will be harder because of it. But he made the active choice that the shark just took a part of him physically, he is still a whole human being with the potential for happiness. We've all had experiences where we thought we might not make it, or we knew life would never be the same after. You might even be going through a tough experience right now.
I want you to realize that you do have a choice. Each day we wake up and we can make choices that impact our happiness for that day. Sometimes those things require a little work, but they bring us more joy in the end. Going for a walk or doing a short meditation might be something that helps. Or maybe it's just getting out of bed, and realizing that even if we are in pain, we have the option to still enjoy parts of life. We don't have to let our physical bodies completely define our ability to experience happiness.
If you were standing at a fork in a road, which path would you choose?
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