Dan Gottlieb said:
Went to dinner last week with my friends daughter. Coming out of the restaurant, my automatic door and ramp didn't work so she had to do it manually. But then driving home, something felt very wrong with the van and I felt unsafe driving. So I turned on my flashers and drove about 5 miles an hour. By the time I got home, I was pretty shaken-a feeling I know pretty well when I feel at risk.
The next day I was going to a five day meditation retreat so I had my van towed to the repair shop and I rented another. As many of you know, the tie downs on rented vans are not as secure as electronic ones, but never had any trouble before so off we went with my nurse driving. A fellow behind us thought we should be driving much faster so he passed us on an exit ramp and got in front of us and slammed on the brakes. The tie downs didn't hold me and my chair went towards the dashboard. I didn't hit very hard so I wasn't injured, but again I was shaken (and furious)
So off I went to the workshop to meditate for five days. And the first couple of days were awful for me. I really felt my vulnerability and I felt powerless to deal with it. So emotions like anxiety and insecurity flooded in as I had no distraction. Because all I could do is feel my feelings.
The fact is, I am and we are that vulnerable. So am I in denial when I am not feeling that fear and powerlessness? I don't think so.
Most days I wake up feeling that my life is good and I am a more than a player in my life story, I am the writer and producer. As I've talked about before, I am fortunate enough to give and receive a great deal of love and am very confident in myself.
And then for the first 48 hours for the retreat, my narrative was that I was a victim and powerless, that my life was difficult and always would be.
It's amazing how we humans can have different stories about our lives. And depending on how we experience the story of our lives, we can enjoy our lives and feel powerful or we can feel helpless and suffer.
The issue is not so much about disability, the issue is about how we tell the story of our lives.