STOP Cutting Corners

STOP Cutting Corners!

Acceptance is likely the most difficult stage of the grieving process. Without accepting that you have changed or that the changes imposed on you have taken place you cannot begin to adapt or triumph over it. Often acceptance is inaccurately viewed as defeat, but it should be viewed as victory.

My right hand was my dominant hand, but after my injury I needed to let it heal and the healing time was 6 weeks without movement. Even after extensive therapy and effort, the cold hard facts are my right hand is weaker than it used to be and weaker than my left hand. I have also lost a significant amount of dexterity in my hand. These changes create limitations. After my injury one of my neighbours told my Mom “if anyone will know how to deal with that kind of injury, Duane will know how to deal with it”. I am convinced that one of the biggest tools to combat adversity is attitude.

 I visited a friend who is undergoing therapy to recover motor skills he lost when he endured a stroke. The stroke claimed the activities on the entire side of his body. The mental activity of acceptance was clamouring louder in his mind than the physical restrictions on his body. My efforts to relate to his physical plight weren’t lost on him, but the limitations he was attempting to cope with far greater than I have ever faced. Acceptance isn’t easy to walk through alone and an understanding friend or spouse will help to create the proper environment to nurture acceptance, but ultimately acceptance is an attitude we have to achieve on our own.

Truman Duncan, known as “The Miracle Man”, was run over by a train and lost all of his left leg and most of his right leg, parts of his pelvis and a kidney. Truman stated that he realized this was a brand new start … he was a completely new person and had to remove the expectations of the “old man” on his new body. He has gone on to do much more than just survive this horrific ordeal he has redefined himself.

Be real, honest and frank with yourself. In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins states “one of the single most de-motivating actions you can take is to hold out false hopes”. He continues by saying in “wrestling with life’s challenges you must retain faith that you will prevail in the end and you must also confront the most brutal facts in your current reality” which will leave you strengthened rather than weakened. As a person who had extreme limitations placed upon on him, Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl is quoted as saying “The last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.”

What limitations are slowing you down? Have you been ignoring your limitations? Or have you invested time in defining your limitations? These actions are all part of the Acceptance process. Acceptance doesn’t mean compromise; it refers to contentment with the situation even if the situation isn’t ideal. It’s not about selling out or giving up it’s about adjusting your attitude and defining how you will choose to respond. In Darci Lang’s book Focus on the 90% she repeatedly urges the reader to focus on the 90% of what is positive in your life and not to get bogged down with the 10% that isn’t up to our standards. Acceptance is not an overnight fix, but is worth the effort and essential in getting us back on the road to leading a successful, contented life.

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