7 Rebuilding Lessons I Learned from a Crash

crash siteHave you attempted to change your life before?

Is change easier if it’s voluntary, or if there is no choice in the matter?

In the summer of my senior year in college, I discovered the answer.  An oncoming car crested a hill in my lane. It struck my small car head-on with such force that we spun backwards down the hill.

The impact slammed my face into the steering wheel, opening a gash from eye to lip which partially severed and displaced my nose. The trauma left me disfigured with memory and speech problems, and recurring seizures, over the next few years.

Against medical advice, I returned to school. Initially, I rejected any suggestion that I might have limitations. As a consequence, I exhausted myself trying to do things in the regular way. Rather than adapting, I prolonged my suffering.

To be honest, I did not travel the long road to recovery well. Sheer stubbornness propelled me through law school. Yet, perhaps in spite of myself, I discovered tools which, along with my faith, sustain me to this day.

I share this in the hope that the insight gleaned from this experience might be of assistance to someone struggling to reshape his or her life.  It is as follows:

1.  Do not wait for a “crash” to make needed changes. Voluntary reboot is preferable to involuntary rebuild.

2.  Set aside pride and stubbornness. Ask for help. Healing and change are hard.

3.  Regardless of your circumstances, decide to be thankful. Find ways to “pass it on”.

4.  Assess your circumstances as objectively as possible. Then, make the most of your resources and opportunities.  Let go of what has been “lost”, and begin to realize that which has been gained.

5.  Refuse to compare yourself to others or to a previous or idealized conception of yourself.

6.  Embrace creativity.  Amazing things can be accomplished in unconventional ways.

7.  Keep your focus on your priorities, and never ever give up.

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Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com

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4 thoughts on “7 Rebuilding Lessons I Learned from a Crash

  1. I am currently starting over again rebuilding my life. The only reason I even blog is because I lost all of my friends, not to mention my dog, my car, my house, my girlfriend, my money, and my self esteem. It took years to get to the point where I was even willing to rebuild. I don’t know how to do it, if I can do it. I am scared to be honest with you.

    • Joe, our hearts go out to you. Your courage to rebuild in the face of loss and fear speaks to your character. You can do it!