Sails of Optimism

There’s plenty of research correlating that our bodies, able-bodied and disabled, respond to what we think and believe. (I talk more of how I learned, and continue to practice, this in my book, HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU, in “As A Man Thinketh.” In addition, I believe that our bodies not only “eavesdrop” (Chopra Deepak) on our thoughts but also believe them, negative or positive; so, I choose to see/envision what I want to believe will happen.

Since my brain, eyes, and heart co-habit one body, my heart’s desire is to see what I believe. I watch, in my mind’s eye, my nerves innervating whatever muscle I’m struggling to move since becoming disabled, as I progress through my day or as I exercise. Whether I feel defeated or have almost fallen, some days I even watch myself stand up and walk.

Any way you look at it, whether it’s physical return or emotional adjustment, time heals. If you’re a new SCI, caregiver, or friend, give yourself/patient/friend a two-year post injury pass to accumulate answers to impatient questionings. Continue therapy, positive thinking, and planning for the future—like it will turn out as you hope; tweak as you go.

After the second year, introduce yourself to the new you, happily making your acquaintance. By then, you’ll have a good perspective of your abilities and will have gained a new respect for the champion you’ve become, no matter what.

Although there are occasional setbacks with any SCI, my body’s sensation level took another leap after 36 years. I barely had any sensation the first two years post injury; it’s improved slowly but surely, as have my confidence and problem-solving skills dealing with and eliminating the occasional curve balls life with SCI tends to throw.

sailboat on water Just remember: acceptance doesn’t mean dropping your anchor wherever you are in your recovery today. It means embracing where you are, in case you’ve reached your physical plateau, but keeping your optimistic sails open, not to miss even the gentlest breeze of progression.

While my body hasn’t fully evidenced what I’m believing, I’ll continue working toward it, believing that I’ll see it…with a finger up in the wind!


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