Finding Beauty In Our Own Lives

March 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

I have many friends who live with a physical disability.

I’ve always had great empathy for others, but since my late husband’ illness and passing, I have added knowledge to my empathy.  That may explain a great new number of people that have come into my life suffering some form of loss.

Every day I learn from one of my friends what it is to live with a disability.  The struggle doesn’t end with the acceptance of the loss.  There is self-esteem, reinventing a life, and there is the constant health struggle.

Today, I got an email from one of my friends in answer to an email I had sent a week ago.  It turns out my friend had been in the hospital due to falling off his wheelchair, which led to a hip infection, which led to an allergic reaction to antibiotics which finally landed him in a hospital.

This friend is fifty eight years old.  Twenty years ago this friend was not disable.  He was a successful writer, married and with a young son.  One day he woke up early in the morning and felt numbing pains in his hip and spine area.  Two hours later he was paralyzed for life because of a spinal infection.

My friend loves life.  he has found beauty.  He  has accepted what has happened to him and has changed the way he lives and appreciates life.  My friend has spunk.  He wants to matter and each day he rolls up his sleeves and gets busy living.

I just watched some scenes from the film American Beauty.  If you have not seen this film, please do.  It is a great movie in many ways; writing, directing, acting, and music.

In the film the character played by Kevin Spacey is in a rut.  He doesn’t like his job, his marriage is broken and his daughter would like him dead.  He knows he needs to change.  He knows something needs to change.  His first attempt ends up being reaching out to something that is empty and therefore destructive.  This thing he reaches out to do not have the possibility to bring about the change he needs and wants.  But because he needs to go through the journey of understanding his real needs he goes through a lot of heartache.  He’s confused and so runs amok. Eventually he understands the simplicity of what he needs and what is truly important.  His journey cost his demise but in the end it didn’t matter; he found meaning.  One of his last lines in the film is: “there is so much beauty around”.

Find you own beauty.

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