Be inspiring for what is possible and not in spite of.
IADLife Next Chapter: https://itsadeservinglife.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/be-inspiring
I am a right arm amputee as a result of a road traffic accident. This happened in 1997. Since then my life has been a game of survival. The ultimate truth about my life is that everything I have done ever since I became an amputee is to live my life with grace and dignity. Thinking in retrospect I remember the next day in the hospital the calmness with which I attended to my morning routine really surprises me today. Suddenly being plunged into this life had not knocked the winds out of me, so to speak. I showed confidence and to every visitor in the hospital I use to say, ‘I will be able to take care of myself.’ I spent the initial months attending to my physical wounds. I was sincere and regular with my hospital visits for bandage changes, check-ups, and consultation appointments. I was finding new ways to attend to my everything and everyday needs. I had not just switched to becoming a left handed person but I had to come to terms with that being the only hand I had. Gradually as my life started to make an attempt to connect with the society the confidence that I was showing began to dwindle. There were many aspects that contributed in that. The frustration of not being able to do certain things like tying my hair, carrying heavy books, and not being able to explain what and why of my emotional state, to my own self and to others. It was because I had really never given myself right to complain, so I was not very good at that. The less I expressed myself the more I was getting angry, frustrated and shut down. What affected and changed me was the looks and the reactions I was getting from every person who came to see me rather than to meet me. To ‘see me’ because every visit was about their expressions and unsought advice. I was trying my best to show them that, ‘I am fine, I can take care of myself.’ Today I understand it was not only to get an approval on my efforts to get back up in my life, but it was also about my attempts to minimise non-creative, non-prosperous interactions which were getting very painful. I did not get to participate in any conversation about me with me to discuss the, ‘what next’ of my life. The Universe however was sending me the ‘what nexts’. I had to change my dressing style, hair style, and ways to function socially. I met people who were complete strangers and in just one unplanned meeting they were giving me clues and tips on my dressing style, driving and further education. My every step was fear based, fear of missing out. I did not take any break. Although I had the accident in the first month of my second year of Masters in Microbiology, I completed the course that academic year itself. I had to request for assistance and scribe. I scored the first rank in the University of Madras in 1998. As I write this I see this as an achievement. Then however I was relieved I did not have to reappear for the exams. I moved to the field of Bioinformatics and took my admission in University of Manchester. I did not fare well in that course. I took admission for MS but I barely passed and was given a diploma for the same course. There is very simple explanation for all that, I did not study, ‘All my energy was directed in trying to cope, rebuild, enjoy, forget and get away from all that reminded me of what I was.’ I was without a job or anything else to do, when I came back to India. As soon as I was given my diploma I started applying for jobs. I took the first job that was offered, that to in another city. Ten months later I was laid off. Many months later I got a job in a pharmaceutical company as a scientist. Ten years later I was part of the layoff in the company. Less than three months later I got a wonderful job and I did really well there. I had started taking counselling when I was in the pharma working as a researcher. I could see my patterns changing, but I was not getting any happier. That’s right by now I had started giving myself the right to know that ‘I deserve to be happy.’ One fine day without any notice I walked out of this well-paying job with good career prospects.
Reason, I did not give myself a chance to recuperate, readjust, reassess, my life choices and steps. I was hasty. I had blamed myself for every step that was not spelling success. I had not been in any romantic relationship that was another big blow to my confidence. I was as if waiting for something to get corrected in my life to attract my Man. The arranged alliances that were being brought to me were not supporting me in fulfilling my desire to co-create my family. I as a person who was self-critical, self-blaming, with no idea about gratitude, was actually living a life of little or no self-approval. In this phase of my life, every comment was an in spite of comment. That is I saw every praise, appreciation, endearing statement, approval coming my way as if I was being said that, ‘you have achieved this in spite of your condition.’ Truth be told these were the exact words told to me by one person.
When I see my life as the opportunities that arose and the possibilities that were generated, it is only then that I can give myself permission to be inspirational. When you allow yourself to inspire, then getting inspired by others also becomes a possibility.
It has taken me twenty years to have the courage to share what is my near real self. This has truly been a liberating experience to be able to accept myself exactly as I am or maybe I am close to doing that. This process definitely is helping.
I would request and encourage everyone going through adversities to take a step away from the pain, rejection and view the possibilities that are emerging from it.
I remember myself to be a happy go lucky girl. I am on my journey to be that girl again. I like that girl.
I pray and I affirm to inspire the world as I live my life with my high potential.
To be continued ….Next Chapter on my life next week.