“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to… [what is said/done to me]. The last of one’s freedom is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” – Viktor Frankl
Before I broke my neck I was 28, and my life was good…
Then my world changed and I gradually began to search for answers to “what now?” That is when I found the book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, psychologist and survivor of Auschwitz. In his writings there are many profound statements of wisdom and advice, but the quote above has been the most valuable for me.
My life had been easy, joyful, and I looked forward to a happy future with my husband, a teaching career, and hopefully a family. I knew that I had to work hard for the life I wanted, and I had always been willing to do that.
But at 28 I had never experienced anything that challenged my beliefs — nothing had ever forced me to look deep inside myself, or reflect on who I was in my marriage, profession, as an individual, or in life in general.
Then life as I knew it changed in an instant. A paralyzed body did not fit into any of my plans.
Victor Frankl helped me realize that each one of us has the power within us to choose our attitude in any given situation. I learned that it is my choice to live with or without a positive outlook and a new strategy for my future. We don’t need to wait for a new year, a new week, or a new day. We can change our attitude at a moment’s notice!
Does anyone reading this struggle with this like I do? Some days it is very difficult to put on a positive face. I find it especially challenging when I have to stay in bed yet one more day because my pressure sore is not healing quickly enough for my impatient mind, body, and spirit.
Lord, help us to make the right choices, moment by moment, especially in the difficult times.