Force Yourself To Embrace It
Sometimes in life, we are placed around people that make us uncomfortable. Most of the time we are uncomfortable because they aren’t “like us”, be it their behaviors, their actions, their attitudes, or their beliefs. When our brains sense that feeling of discomfort, subliminally our brain tells us to step away or to get away from that feeling of discomfort. Those brain signals are sent automatically throughout our body. We don’t physically realize it and we don’t mentally understand it, we just remove ourselves. Many times, it may be correct for us to remove ourselves from the discomfort of those people because we don’t want to allow ourselves to be exposed to their bad behavior or actions. Other times, that feeling of discomfort is not a bad thing and if we stick to it, stick around, and expose ourselves to them or the situation, we can intentionally allow ourselves to understand and grow.
For our family, this particular kind of good growth discomfort has come through the discomfort of being around very special people in wheelchairs. When Nash and I arrived at Madonna on August 17 last year, we were instantly thrust into an environment where there were people everywhere in wheelchairs because for these very special people, it is their only mode of mobility and freedom to get from point A to point B. In particular, that had become an abrupt reality for our son Nash. We had lived our entire lives never being around people in wheelchairs for any extended periods of time outside of rest homes and a few other situations. That immersion in our new reality was very unsettling, very unnerving, and emotionally challenging to our comfort. As time passed, we began to get to know people with disabilities and their stories and life journeys on how they arrived at those points. Our prior insensitivities, our prior taking life for granted mentality, and our selfishness lead us to a point of unknowns and difficult realities of others. While we take mobility for granted every day, many people we have gotten to know simply can’t stand up and walk. They don’t live life as simply as we do. They live life not being able to simply stand to take a shower, or simply hopping out of their car and running into the grocery store to get a pack of steaks to grill tonight. Everyday living is work for many, while we selfishly take oh so many things for granted with very little everyday gratitude for the simple living we do every single day.
You see, this very uncomfortable immersion of our lives into the unknown disability world hasn’t been easy. It’s been downright terrifying, humbling, life-changing, and the most difficult thing our family has ever been immersed into. But for us, we had no choice but to face it, pray on it, and embrace our new reality. Regardless of the extreme level of discomfort, we not only embraced it, but we chose to make the most of the dire situation of the environment, expand on our mental capacity and embrace the very, very, very special people of the disabled world. We look to inspire them, motivate them through our presence, actions, and attitudes, and also gain relationships of people in the disabled world that we can learn from, grow from, and love on. My wife is responsible for taking very deliberate steps, making deliberate phone calls in this new world to help our family advance Nash and our family forward in this journey.
For many of you reading this, your world will likely never be rocked by paralyzation or other newfound disabilities that may place you or a near and dear loved one in a wheelchair immersing you and your family into this newfound very uncomfortable environment and very very special people to help be a positive influence in that environment. But you will be placed in uncomfortable days, uncomfortable situations, with uncomfortable people, and we challenge you to find the courage to keep yourself immersed in that day or situation to be the silver lining. To be the voice of hope. To be the voice of optimism or positivity. To be the voice of the calming spirit. To be the voice of courage. To be the voice of change so many may be looking for but afraid to move forward. The next time you are uncomfortable, force yourself to stay there a while. Force yourself to go back to it. Force yourself to embrace it. With each repeated exposure to that discomfort, it will get easier. It will get better. If you do it enough, one day you will pop your head up and look back, and be like, “Wow, that was damn tough, but I did it! And I made a huge difference in their life, or in that situation!” Force yourself to! It will grow you like you have never grown before!