Nov 30, 2011 / by Alisa Hafen / 10 Comments

Have you ever had a moment in your life where something clicked and it all seemed so clear that you couldn’t believe it? I have had a few such moments in my life and I would like to share one with you.

It had been a few months since my accident, and I would follow the same routine. I’d get up, transfer to the electric chair, go into my office and shut the door. I would sit for hours, dwelling – pondering – fearing what my future looked like – for me and my family.

I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, but I wasn’t making much headway. I had yet to accept my accident and the resulting circumstances. I did not see a bright future.

Then came a day when all of that changed; the day I wheeled my chair out to play basketball with my wife and two little boys. That was one of my decisive moments.

It wasn’t just the laughter that made that day so important. My actions triggered in me the realization that I control my attitude. I decide how I’ll feel. Nothing else – no comments of encouragement from friends and family, or advice from books would make the difference. A major attitude change was ignited that day.

I finally realized that I had to get going, had to get involved, be a husband, a father, a friend, a son. At last I understood that I needed to move myself out of my depression and try something different. That simple decision, obvious to everyone but me, made all the difference.
Anyone who accepts this idea can create a new life for themselves.

By keeping a positive attitude about my circumstances, I’ve been able to do things doctors didn’t believe I could do. It wasn’t easy.

Christopher Reeve wrote in his autobiography about how difficult it is to look at what it means to live as fully as possible in the present.

“How do you survive in the moment when it’s bleak or painful and the past seems so seductive? On stage or in a film, being in the moment is relatively easy and very satisfying; it is an artistic accomplishment with no personal consequences. To have to live that way when the ‘moment’ is so difficult is a completely different matter.”

Somehow I did it. I learned to focus on and enjoy the moments of my life. None of this took place until I made that attitude adjustment and rediscovered my own inner strength. Eventually, I did come to believe in myself again and this brought new opportunities, more independence. Nothing felt better.
At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable
Christopher Reeve