Monday, July 14, 2014

Sweetness {in Yosemite}

While I was recovering from my spinal cord injury,  my doctor came in one day to have "the talk" with me -- you know, the one about my situation, my life, my future. He knew I was struggling with this new reality of paralysis {something any 20-year old would struggle with}, especially because of multiple unforeseen health set backs. He related something to me that resonated with me then and would stick with me to this day. He began by telling me how life is filled with bittersweetness. There are moments when everything goes wrong and is beyond our control. They may be moments that we feel hurt and hopelessness, like we've been backed into a corner and there's no place to go. That is the bitterness in life. In those moments, we often wish all the pain and confusion would go away because they're anything but bearable. However, it may not seem like it at the time, but those moments are necessary and are part of a plan to help us grow and progress. They will make sense in time. We will come to differentiate the happy from the sad, the good from the bad, and come to appreciate those moments of sweetness as they come {and they will come}. "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." -2 Nephi 2:25. That conversation not only gave me hope that things will get better in the midst of all the chaos in my life, but it gave me purpose in my life -- to seek for the sweetness in life and hold onto it with dear life because those moments would be my foundation in times of hardship {which will come as well}.

Years later, I find myself continuing to seek for the sweetness in each day of my life. Looking for the good, the blessings, the things that make me smile have lifted up my spirits beyond what I had imagined in those initials days. I feel I'm a happier person when I look for reasons to be happy. I am more appreciative of the things and people in my life when I think of the good they've brought me. I am more learned as I seek to be challenged. I am more reliant on God when I put my trust in Him. With all that said, I've become more accepting of this new reality as someone with paralysis as I count all of the blessings that have entered my life since then -- strength, wisdom, faith, happiness, love, education, and adventure. Seeking for the sweetness of life has given me reason to smile and love my life.

One of the things that helps me continually taste the sweetness of life is going after adventures. When my host parents were with me in California, we adventured in my backyard, Yosemite National Park -- home to giant sequoias, beautiful waterfalls, and wild animals including the black bear -- one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. Going through the park brought back so many wonderful memories and reminded me of how much I used to love hiking before the accident. But once we got started hiking over big over grown roots and rocks, we realized this was going to be a huge challenge in a wheelchair. Let's face it, this adventure just got more interesting. There was a lot lifting and pushing {believe me, it was quite a sight}. It took a lot work on my family's part but we made it through. I left feeling really grateful for my friends and family who insist on helping me relish in the sweetness of life, but heck, they themselves make up the sweetness of life for me as well.
There's not a sweeter thing in the world than the bond between a child and those who love him so much.
Our hike to through Mariposa Grove and to Yosemite falls was beautiful. We saw humungous rocks that my host dad easily wedged himself in between as well as many sky high trees along the way. We could hear the roar of the falls long before we actually got there.
www.diaryofatravelingwheelchair.comWe drove up to Yosemite Valley to admire the view of trees and waterfalls from on top of the massive mountain. I looked out in awe of this gift Heavenly Father has given to us. What beauty, love and creativity. I feel so fortunate to be alive now and to be able to enjoy such peace and recharge. It was pure sweetness.

There's so much sweetness in life to bask in and I've been compiling a list of it as I go along in my journal. I would love to hear some of the things you find sweet in life -- things your family does, places you've seen, things you've done. Please share so we can celebrate this sweetness together!

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