Apr 17, 2015 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

One of the blessings I have always been grateful for is the knowledge of knowing that I am in charge of my own life. Now, you might think that sounds pretty silly coming from me – a man – a quadriplegic man – confined to a wheelchair for the last 14 years.

And it is true, there have been times in my life where it may have appeared I didn’t have control….. But, that’s because I hadn’t made the decision to take charge. It may not seem like it at the time, but we do have control over most aspects in our lives; we merely choose to not use it.

Part of the reason may be because all choices have consequences, and we might not want to be responsible for the actions we take. That’s completely understandable. For instance, have you ever taken charge of a situation, made the wrong choice, and ended up with consequences so devastating that you didn’t think you could bear it?

I did – and that choice put me in a wheelchair:

Living with that choice and what subsequently followed was never easy.

Living with the fact that this choice not only paralyzed me, but my family as well.

Living with all the changes that occurred because of that one choice has been a day to day challenge – at times, an hour to hour – minute to minute.

The blessing that came after many hours, days, and years of regret was the day I decided I needed to take charge of my life once again and discover the positives, if any, that came with that choice.

I have always been one of those people that want to be in charge – that needs to be in charge – that has to be in charge. That was a period in my life where I felt that had been taken away from me. But it hadn’t – not really.

I had relinquished it because I didn’t think I had a choice. However, I came to realize that even in this, I could still take control of my life. I might need to have a little more help, but, still, it would be my life.

Those of us who choose not to take charge – who choose to just hang in there till “something” happens, might have a long wait. I don’t want to be one of those who waits till “my ship come in.” I want to take control and steer the course of my own ship.

Before my accident, I had always mapped my own course.
And I had it all – and then, in an instant, I felt like I had lost it all.

Life, as I had known it, was gone. I had to start all over.

For the first time in a very long time, I was going to be in charge again.

Could I have done it all by myself – no way. But, with the love and support of family, friends, and many, many strangers, I was able to succeed by becoming a motivational speaker.

With that, came confidence that perhaps I could become once again -“independent;” as independent as a quadriplegic could hope for anyway. Maybe I could drive again, dress myself, travel …. the possibilities were there. All I had to do was take charge.

What we do today determines our destiny for tomorrow. I believe we find we are much happier when we know we are in charge. We get to choose which path we want to take.