I found a quote written by Emerson that simply puts a very powerful life lesson into words. Ralph Waldo Emerson frankly states, “It is easy to live for everyone else, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.” I know that this quote didn’t quite hit me until I truly pondered it for a while and evaluated every possibility as to what it was referring to. I know that I am always very critical of myself because I so deeply fear that others are going to judge me for my gait. The truth is: I can get around seamlessly. My gait is a bit awkward, but oh well. It is a gait nonetheless. I always promised myself that if I could get back to some form of independence, I would be forever satisfied. Of course, that light of satisfaction dims at times, but by reading Emerson’s quote the spotlight is drawn back again. Emerson calls on individuals to be satisfied and find comfort in doing what it takes for you to live. The quote is larger than that one line.
Following an injury there is a very fine line between caring deeply for others and being overly concerned with what they think. Having a deep rooted concern for one’s well being is far different than being overly concerned with what others think. Taking into account one’s well being and state of mind is what it is all about. I often reflect upon this quote when I am considering if I look awkward in my high heels. I think about Emerson’s quote and I take comfort in knowing that it really does not matter who has an opinion about how I walk in high heels. There is comfort in knowing that as long as I feel comfortable (and I do), then that is all that really matters.
I would love to hear a few comments from some survivors and their families who have had a feeling or experience where they tried to push the envelope. It is helpful to hear from other survivors who are engaged in similar activities to push themselves. So much comfort comes from truly being in touch with ourselves. I challenge all of you to take a minute and think about the challenges that you tackle and try to evaluate what drives you to do so. Emerson would hope that you prove to yourself that you can accomplish the task. Emerson would hope that you would attempt the same challenge if you were the only inhabitant on a far off deserted island. It is easy in Emerson’s view to follow the crowd and act as part of a pack. Emerson would greatly object to the “pack mentality” in which people continue to blindly follow those in front of them without a sense of where they are going.