Traumatic Brain Injury, Identity and Finding Peace
Posted by Second Chance to Live on March 4, 2013
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Over the past several days I have been thinking about the concept of significance. As a traumatic brain injury survivor I have struggled to find my place of significance in the world. In my attempts to establish my significance I sought to define my meaning and purpose through the identity of a career, through my participation with various churches / groups / organizations and through what I achieved in my doing. Each of my efforts to find and establish my significance appeared to be thwarted by my traumatic brain injury and invisible disability.
But not everything was as it appeared to be. I discovered that there was so much more to me than what I could not accomplish because of my traumatic brain injury and invisible disability.
When I failed to establish my place of significance, I experienced disillusionment, despair and depression. My disillusionment, despair and depression continued for many years — as I struggled to find my place of significance and meaning. Through my struggle I reached a point in time when I surrendered to the notion that my significance could be secured or tied to a career, affiliation or achievement. As I surrendered to the notion that I needed to have my significance validated from outside of me – through a career, affiliation or achievement, I found a new freedom. My freedom helped me to realize that I could stop fighting against myself for what I could not accomplish.
“When I reached point in my life where I surrendered to the idea that I could find my significance through an identity, affiliation or achievement, I slowly stopped fighting against myself.” Craig J. Phillips
As I was able to stop fighting against myself I had a spiritual awakening. I realized that I no longer needed to have my significance defined for me. With my awareness. my focus slowly changed from an external need of approval to an internal sense of validation. With my awareness, my need to have a significance in life began to shift from a need to do to a need to be. With my awareness, my motivation began to shift from having to do, to needing to be. With my awareness, my definition of significance changed from a drive to do, to a need to create. With my awareness, my change of perspective helped me to realize that I could be satisfied by freely expressing myself creatively.
With my awareness and change of perspective, I discovered that I could express myself outside of the box of “significance”. In the process, I could define my own identify and significance.
What I have discovered through my process – and need to remember – is that I am the one who needs to define my identity and significance. As I plant with the seeds of my being, I am set free from the need to define my “identity” and “significance” inside the box. Because I no longer need to live inside the box of “significance” or “identity” as defined by other people, I am free celebrate my who and what I am able to create. As I create with my being, I capture my identity. My identity is revealed to me. Because I no longer need to live inside the box of “significance” or “identity”, I am free to create, while letting go of specific outcomes. By letting go of specific outcomes, I am free to plant seeds.
“Do not judge your day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Because significance no longer needs to be my goal, I am able to let go of my need to be significant. Significance, therefore no longer needs to be the bench mark to validate my worth or value. With my understanding I no longer need to be dependent upon a specific harvest or outcome to define my identity. By letting go of my need for significance, I no longer need to be invested in a specific harvests or outcomes to have my place of significance. By letting go of specific outcomes or harvests, I am able to accept that my being is simply enough. Through accepting that my being is enough, I am able to surrender to and trust the process. By trusting the process, I am able to cease from striving, and find peace.
“By letting go of the expectation to define my identity through doing, I am free to define my identity with my being. Consequently, I am able to focus on what I can do with my life, not on what I can not do because of my traumatic brain injury. By doing so, I find peace with myself.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
“I am only one, but still I am one. I can not do everything, but still I can do something.” Helen Keller
“By surrendering to my process, I am able to cease from my striving because I no longer need to judge who I am. Because I realize that I no longer need to judge who I am, I am set free from a need to prove my significance.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
”If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined…you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau
“Insist on yourself, never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half-possession…Do that which is assigned to you, and you can not hope too much or dare too much.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
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This entry was posted on March 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm and is filed under 12 Step Recovery, ABI: Acquired Brain Injury, acquired brain injury and feeling alienated, Acquired Brain Injury and Suicide, adult children of alcoholics and traumatic brain injuries, Adult Children of Alcoholics living with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, Awareness Acceptance Action, Being Healed, brain injured soldiers, Brain Injury Education, Caregivers for people with traumatic / acquired brain injuries, celebrities with brain injuries, combating brain injury isolation, Empowerment and Inspirational Speaker, Empowerment Speaker, Families impacted by brain injuries, fear of failure, Finding practical hope as a tbi survivor, finding your bliss, Finding Your Significance, Fulfilling your Destiny, Harnish Your Adveristy, How to Make Peace with God, learning disabilities, Learning to Accept Yourself as a brain injury survivor, Learning to Love Yourself as a brain injury survior, life challenging experiences, living life on life's terms, living my destiny, living with a brain injury, Living with a Disability, Living with a disability and overcoming being bullied, Living with a Invisible Disability and feeling shame, living with a traumatic / acquired brain injury, Living with a traumatic brain injury and feeling shame, Living with an Invisible Disability, living with meaning and purpose, Meaning and Purpose, messages of hope, messages of hope and inspiration, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Personell impacted by Traumatic Brain Injuries, Motivaional Speaker, Motivational / Inspirational Speaker, No Longer a Victim, Overcome Being Bullied, Overcoming a Fear of Failure, Overcoming being Bullied, Overcoming Societal Stigmatization, Parents of children with Acquired brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicide, Post Traumatic Syndrome and Suicide, Revealing your Destiny, Self-Respect and Significance, Soldiers and Marines who sustained traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injury, stroke, Suicide and Hope, tbi adults, tbi children, tbi families, Traumatic / Acquired Brain Injury and Anger, Traumatic Brain Injury and being Bullied, Traumatic Brain Injury and Comfort, traumatic brain injury and frustration, Traumatic Brain Injury and Hope, Traumatic Brain Injury and Learning, Traumatic Brain Injury and Significance, Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide, Traumatic Brain Injury and What is my Destiny?, Traumatic Brain Injury and You, traumatic brain injury feeling alienated isolated, traumatic brain Injury in adults, Traumatic Brain Injury in children, traumatic brain injury in schools, traumatic brain injury Iraq, Traumatic Brain Injury Research and Resources, Traumatic Brain Injury Self-Esteem and Self-Worth, Traumatic Brain Injury Support Groups / Meetings, traumatic brain injury treatment, Veterans Living with Brain Injuries, What is my Destiny?. Tagged: Being at Peace, Brain Injury and Self-Acceptance, Defining my Identity, Traumatic Brain Injury and Identity, Traumatic Brain Injury and Significance, Who I am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.