Have you ever felt alone? No where to turn for an answer? No hope? No future? Trapped, unable to move forward in your life?
I found this photo this morning as I was making final preparations in my hotel room to speak to an organization this afternoon in Arizona. I remember those feelings. In fact, I can still smell the despair in my hospital room, though it’s been over 13 years.
The halo and neck brace made it impossible for me to even look at my own son. A simple glance around the room was unrealistic at best. My hand around him was comforting, although I could not feel it. Please understand, I am so grateful today that this young 3 year old never left my side, even at his mother’s request to go home in the evening hours. His determination to just be there, even if I could not physically feel it, was his only quest. “I’m staying here, mom. I’m staying to help dad.” I mean really, how much help could he render? He couldn’t help me shower. Not strong enough to help me transfer. Truthfully, his youthful body limited him in his capacity to physically assist in any of my personal care.
However, let me be boldly clear. He knew something I didn’t. Just being there, present, in the moment, took away the loneliness. Gave me a reason to fight. Instilled hope into a lost and depressed soul. Removed the unseen cages surrounding my mind, and pressed me to move forward and somehow find a life of service and meaning. For 63 days he would stay and serve his father in this manner. 63 days! That is a few days over 2 months, folks! And I firmly believe that in large part due to that act of selflessness, today, as I share a personal message globally, my life is much better now than it ever was prior.
When you’re trapped, alone, unable to go where you want to go, be who you thought you could be, and the world is attacking you on all fronts; The way to the mountain top is clear- Lose yourself in finding a way to serve someone else. Put others’ problems and challenges in front of yours. Take your mind off of what you have lost, and focus on what you still have. I promise, more will come to you in this process. This simple principle, shown to me by a young kid, has changed my life.
Today I’m free. I go where want to go. Do what I want to do. As a quadriplegic I am able to travel the world by myself. And I have found that I am NEVER alone! I have you! What a great gift you’ve all been. In thirteen years we are now pushing 50+ countries visited, acquaintances on every continent, and a dream I am living that I frankly never dreamt.
Do you have the same ability as this 3-year old? I’m not asking you to go spend 2 months in a hospital with anyone. Can and will you lose yourself in the service of others, despite your own life challenges and personal barriers? When you do this, a bigger picture presents itself. And in that act, the greatest gift of all happens. We find our purpose and reach our peak potential!- Chad Hymas