In December 2008, I was involved in a car accident that left me with a double fracture in the C-2 vertebra in my neck. In order for the fracture to heal, my head and neck had to be immobilized in a special brace called a halo vest. The halo vest consisted of a titanium circle of metal placed around the head and held there by four screws attached to the skull bone. Two on each side of the forehead above the eyebrows, and two behind each ear. The circle, or “halo”, was then attached by four titanium posts to a rigid vest that was snugly, and I mean (snugly), fitted onto the torso. Needless to say, this was a traumatic and unexpected life event. I was handed a hefty dose of physical pain, fear and alot of inconvenience. BUT, and it`s a big but, I was allowed to keep my life. I figure I got off easy.
I had a strange experience the day I was discharged from the hospital. Shortly after arriving home, my husband started a fire in the fireplace like he does most evenings in the winter. He then got me all set up with blankets and pillows so that I could sit by the fire and watch tv. As I sat there, quietly watching him going about his business, I was overcome by an eerie feeling that I was not actually physically present in the room. It was as if I was detached from the scene and watching from some other dimension. It was the creepiest thing – like I was getting a glimpse of things the way they could have been, or maybe even should have been. My husband alone; me gone. Maybe it was just the aftershock of the whole affair, but whatever it was, the feeling of gratitude it left behind stuck. It was some strange kind of magic that made me realize how lucky I was, and how much worse it all could have been.
After experiencing some insight from that perspective, I tried to find something positive to focus on every day and believe me, if you look, you`ll find it. I can`t say I didn`t have a few miserable moments after that, but those moments were short-lived. I just couldn`t help but feel lucky, despite it all. In my view, you either choose a negative perspective or a positive one. It`s your choice. A negative perspective will only bring you down. And it serves absolutely no purpose.
This incident was one in a series of catalysts that pushed me towards seeking a better understanding of myself, and started me on my journey towards personal growth and self-actualization.