Sunday, January 6, 2013

“You can choose to move forward with grace"

“You can choose to move forward with grace"
by Kathie Costos
Wounded Times Blog
January 6, 2013

Sometimes I wake up and expect bad news in my email but mornings like this, I feel blessed to read some of the stories out there about our veterans.

Humans are all equipped with the same basic design. While "gifts" are different when you expose these humans to extraordinary events in their lives, they walk away one of two ways. Either God did it to them or God saved them. If they believe God did it to them, the event eats away the rest of their lives. Take a "religious" young man or woman with the wrong religious education or none at all and you'll find someone with a twisted belief base. They may hear foolishness like "God only gives us what we can handle" which translates into God did it to them and it was some kind of divinely directed test or a test by Satan himself the way Job was tested with God's permission. God does not do evil. God gives us what we need to endure what happens in our lives. While the following is about physical combat wounds when you read about their lives, it is easy to see they had to heal their "inside" wounds as well.

Some wounded vets shine on 'Alive Day,' others wear black
“You can choose to move forward with grace. Or you can choose to succumb to negativity.”
By Bill Briggs
NBC News contributor

One year to the day after Lt. Brad Snyder lost his vision to a bomb explosion in Afghanistan, he swam ferociously across a pool. Then he stood atop a podium at the London Paralympics, wore gold around his neck and beamed to the national anthem, savoring the moment but seeing none of it.

Exactly eight years after Tammy Duckworth lost her legs to a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq, she met the Army medic who revived her inside a mangled helicopter. Amid that reunion, she had an extra reason to smile: Six days before, Duckworth had won a seat in the U.S. Congress.

During the otherwise dark anniversaries of their devastating combat injuries, both veterans chose to cherish the warm light of survival on what has come to be known, throughout the military, as “Alive Day.”

Their numbers are growing more slowly though still rising: Seventy American service members were wounded in Afghanistan during December, according to new Department of Defense figures. That made 2012 the third-bloodiest year of that war in terms of the tally of U.S. troops hurt in action — 2,951.
read more here

They chose to focus on the people who came to help them and not on those who tried to kill them. They made the choice to focus on their lives ahead and not the bodies they had before they were wounded. That their bodies are not "who" they are but just what they looked like to others.

Within the list of human emotions these are some of the ones positive people keep alive.
determined, forgiving, hopeful, motivated, inspired, daring, energetic, loving, eager, excited, receptive, happy, caring, confident, strong, vitality, pride, joy, grateful, serene, in awe, amused, amazed, thankful, content, peaceful, self-assured, proud, trust

Be determined to be forgiving of others as well as yourself. Inspired to be hopeful that tomorrow can be better and at the very worst you survived bad days before. That you will focus on what you have to be thankful for and grateful for the blessings in your life. Be amused by the how human you are and amazed by others. To make a peaceful truce with your past and obtain bliss with the serenity of accepting the things you cannot change.
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

It is hard when you need to heal PTSD but if you make the choice to change your focus from the negative things in your life and turn to what is positive, you will begin to heal. There is nothing I can give you that you do not already have within you. The only thing I give to the veterans and families living with PTSD is the knowledge of what it is, why it is and what can be done to reconnect them with what is already inside of them. Everything they need to heal is already there.

I found what I needed because I refused to give up on my Vietnam Vet husband and myself. I refused to surrender to sadness and misery. The list is long for the reasons I had to give up but the reasons I had to fight were stronger. You can too!
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ― Mother Teresa