Welcome to Second Chance to Live. I am glad to see that you decided to stop by and visit with me. A little over four years ago I wrote this article for several reasons: to help other brain injury survivors realize that they are not alone in their process and to encourage my brothers and sisters to not let go of your dreams or your destinies — because more will be revealed to you.
I believe that our passions never die. A brain injury, a disability or any type of adversity for that matter is merely a switch on the railroad of life that points us off into a direction that we would not have normally gone.
In my experience, God has led me in such a way to use the gifts, talents and abilities that He has given me in ways that work for me. I have found that God is not limited, just some times my thinking limits me.
I like a quote by Helen Keller, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us”.
What I look to do through Second Chance to Live is to encourage, motivate, empower and instill hope into my audience, with the end that they will look for the door (s) that are opening for them to use the gifts, talent and abilities in ways that work for them for the people that want what they have to give.
I also believe that our gifts, talents and abilities are not of us, but through us. Gifts on loan from God. We just get to go along for the ride. Consequently, we can trust that a loving God will lead, guide and direct our steps — as we depend on Him — to use the gifts, talents and abilities that He has given to us, in ways that work for us.
Welcome to Second Chance to Live. I am glad you decided to stop by and visit with me. At the request of a friend, I will share some of my struggles as a traumatic brain injury survivor. I do not share this information to whine or complain, but to help others who are recipients of an invisible disabilities. My experience is unique to my journey, however I believe you will be able to benefit from my experience. I have found that the power of identification sets us free from the shadows of despair. (Please read my post, The Power of Identification ). As I write, I use the principle of identification to guide me.
Through much of my life, I had no idea that I was a traumatic brain injury survivor, much less a person living with an invisible disability. As I have shared and alluded to in some of my articles, I internalized my despair and disappointment as a reflection of who I was as person — a flawed individual. I absorbed the intolerance that I received from other people as a quotient of my being inadequate and defective. I practiced self-hate because I owned the messages given to me through ignorance. Consequently, I spent many years of my life questioning the struggle of life itself. As part of my struggle, I unconsciously believed that I deserved to be abused by people, because I did not know how to trust my judgment. I also lacked self-confidence for a host of reasons, but mostly because I relied on others to validate my worth and value.
I bought into the notion that what other people thought of me was more important than what I thought about myself. Unknowingly, I attempted to overcompensate for my invisible disability through striving. I was driven to over achieve in my attempt (s) to silence the inner wrangling of debilitating guilt and debilitating shame. In the process, I spent much of my time attempting to answer, defend or explain myself to other people, because I feared being misunderstood. I sought acceptance through active participation in many different kinds of churches. Needless to say, I frequently found as much, if not more intolerance from religiously pious individuals. I also found myself in a love – hate relationship with the God of my understanding. These cumulative struggles — as well as other ordeals that I will not mention here for sake of time — motivated me to look for solutions.
So as you have read through my posts, you may ask yourself some questions. How did the author of Second Chance to Live arrive at these conclusions? The answer is simple, but not easy. Every post that I have written has been birthed in the rooms of disappointment, discouragement, heartache, self-hate, self-sabotage, self-doubt and other menacing dark times in my life. I write from my journey as a person who has encountered many learning opportunities through pain and anguish. These learning opportunities provided wonderful lessons that have empowered my life and being as an individual. Although at the time I did not see the value of my struggles I now see how the value of those lessons and struggles.
The articles that I present through Second Chance to Live present practical solutions and strategies. In my experience I have used these solutions and strategies to encourage, motivate and empower my process. These solutions and strategies have helped me to succeed far beyond all expectations – according to professionals and testing. The solutions that I present through the articles that I write for Second Chance to Live have given me tools for living life on life’s terms. The solutions that I present through Second Chance to Live have given me a map to lead me out of my perceived despondency.
My emotional catharsis began when I realized that if I did not look for solutions, I would die emotionally and spiritually, if not physically. All of the material that I present on Second Chance to Live is from my experience, strength and hope and is written in such a way to encourage, motivate, empower and provide hope. The practical solutions that I present are unique to my experience, however what I have learned can be applied to life at large. I believe that life is for living, not merely surviving.
Although I am a traumatic brain injury survivor who is living with an invisible disability the solutions, strategies and hope that I present throughout Second Chance to Live can be applied to anyone who has experienced any kind of trauma, abuse or adversity.
As a person living with an invisible disability, I have come to accept certain realities. Ignorance perpetuates itself like a bad virus and for some people ignorance is a terminal disease.
If I am waiting for someone else to change before I can hope to live the life I have imagined, I will be disappointed. And if nothing changes, it will remain the same.
That is why I encourage my readers to get busy. So as you read articles from Second Chance to Live keep asking yourself questions and then look for solutions, because you are the only one who can live your life.
“If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined…you will meet with 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 only have 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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All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA