Perspective from Christmas Cards


Cody Tresierra – BC, Averill Barkhouse – NS, Michel Guillemette – QC, Daniel Laflamme – QC, Susie Matthias – ON, Penny Oman – AB, Amanda Orichefsy – ON
*Graphic used with permission from MFPA Canada

I’ve talked about perspective in the past, because I believe it is absolutely vital to gain perspective when you’re enduring a hardship. My injury occurred near the end of November. It’s around the time you start to receive Christmas cards. The Christmas of 2008 produced a record number of cards because I had many people wishing me well and wanting to let me know they were thinking about me and many of them praying for me. I felt good to have so much support, but there were still many opportunities for me to feel sorry for myself while I was enduring the pain of my injury and knowing some things would never be the same.

One day I remember opening a Christmas card and along with the Christmas greeting they encouraged me to heal up soon. The thoughts were impacting, but the card itself impacted me even more. In the days of texting and email selecting an appropriate card is almost a lost art form. I remember spending many hours on numerous occasions in the card store trying to find a card expressing the right words. The odd thing is I can’t recall the words to this card … the impact was in the painting displayed on the card. In fact, I was intrigued enough that I turned the card over to see who the artist was. It was painted by a “Mouth & Foot Painting Artist”. I was in awe; in fact I was almost ashamed of my wallowing. I quickly gathered up my other Christmas cards and realized how many of the cards had been painted by “Mouth & Foot Painting Artists”. All I could do was sit back and marvel at how I was being blessed by someone who had likely endured a much greater hardship than I had, someone without the use of their hands.

This was a huge perspective boost. My left hand was perfectly fine, but I was so focused on how damaged my right hand was. At that point in time it was like I moved my hand from right in front of my face and changed my focus to what lay beyond the impact of the injury. I began to see past the injury. I began to see all the things I could do instead of being so focused on what I couldn’t do. The encouragement came from some extremely determined and talented artists who refused to give-up and were producing wonderful art that became a blessing for me.

Are there times when you can’t see the forest for all of the trees? Are you too busy overlooking your abilities so you can focus on weaknesses or inabilities? Here’s a classic for you … Are you making a mountain out of a mole hill? Are your problems really as big or all-encompassing as you feel? Take some time to analyze your problems and weigh them against the challenges of people less fortunate than you. Now move past those doubts and fears and begin to focus on your abilities you may be surprised at your own resiliency.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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