“Is this Mrs. Johnson?”
“Do you have a daughter, Jenny, who lives in Eurka, CA?”
Those few words sent me on a four month odyssey with my daughter who was facing a five year journey. Jenny had been hit head on by a drunk driver going the wrong way on the freeway.
This last weekend Jenny’s five year journey ended when she graduated with her Master’s degree in Speech Therapy and set out for a new life, in a new city, at a new job, helping other people to put their lives back together.
It was wonderful to sit in the auditorium and watch her walk across the stage. It was amazing to see all the people who have come to love our daughter and who wanted us to know what an amazing job we had done. It caused me to do some serious introspection.
We did do a good job of raising our children. Not a perfect or pain free job but a good job. We know that from the fruit, seven loyal, kind, adults with integrity.
But when I think of Jenny I know that her recovery from an accident that left her unable to walk, think of the word for shoe, orange, etc., track conversations and with a brain injury, is due to her preparation for life. Let me share with you a secret for living well no matter the circumstances.
Take control of your thoughts!!
While visiting this last weekend I was amazed at the quotes that are in every room in her home. They are the fodder for her life; they are the core of who she decided she wanted to be long before her accident. She began choosing her thoughts in her late teens.
After the accident, these thoughts which she has seen and read every day for well over 15 years, were what got her through. They had become part of the fabric of her life. She had become what she had thought about for so long.
Let me share with you some of the ideas, beliefs and thoughts that Jenny has chosen to embrace.
Control Your Thoughts, Control you Life!
- If you correct your mind the rest of your life will fall into place.
- Life is not about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself.
- “When I started counting my blessings my whole world turned around.” Willie Nelson
- When we strive to become better than we are, then everything around us becomes better too.
- Live generously, love passionately, and be all that you want to see in the world. Shine your awesome love and light on all around you with no strings attached. Do it just because it is who you are. Love is your nature. Sow it in your mind. Plant it in the world and enjoy the thrill of seeing love multiply and spread. All for love and love for all.
- I’d always heard that your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all – it stretches on forever like an ocean of time. I guess I could be pretty pissed-off about what happened to me; but it’s hard to stay mad in a world where there’s so much beauty. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once and it’s too much; my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. Then I remember to relax and stop trying to hold onto it, and the beauty flows through me like rain, and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my little life.You have no idea what I’m talking about I’m sure, but don’t worry, you will – someday. (From the movie American Beauty)
- “ I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” Martha Washington
- Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. Maori Proverb
I have learned that what Martha Washington said is true. We have choice in this life. We can choose how we are going to react in any circumstance. I recall reading Victor Frankel as a teen and I have never forgotten him saying that the one thing that can never be taken from a person is their ability to choose how to respond.
Jenny has chosen to look at life through a lens of light. She has chosen to embrace happiness no matter how hard the day. She controls her thoughts!
Jenny won’t engage in negative conversations. She won’t verbalize the bad but chooses instead to talk about the good. Even after the accident she would not say an unkind work about the other driver. She said that she wished him well, that she hoped for joy in his life and that she wasn’t going to waste one minute on anger.
Change your thoughts, change your life. Controlling your thoughts can change your life completely. We all have the ability to choose our response in every situation. Accepting personal responsibility for our lives and not blaming others, money, time, or circumstance makes all the difference in the quality of our lives.
Control Your Thoughts
Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Choose your words because they become actions
Understand your actions for they become your habits
Study your habits for they will become your character
Develop your character for it becomes your destiny
Jenny has proven this to be true!
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