A MIRACLE, INNER RESILIENCE?… OR MAYBE BOTH? By Laura Luz – May 2011
I was at a dinner party recently and among us was my daughter Jessica and her sweetheart Kenneth. Ten months previous to this evening, I received a frantic call in the middle of the night from Jessica stating that Kenneth had been in a serious accident and was being helicoptered into ICU. She imparted that as a result of the accident, Kenneth had received massive injuries to his body, spine and brain. Through her sobs, I soon understood that it was unknown if he would even live through the night. It was an inconceivable nightmare! Yet here we all were a mere ten months later reminiscing about that fearful yet miraculous event which changed the lives of all of us who sat around the dinner table.
Kenneth shared that after months of grueling self-will and work within the hospital program, he finally came to his release date which allowed him to return home. As he walked out of the hospital wearing a cumbersome body brace and neck support, the doctor continually reminded him of his fixed limits – one of them being that he would never work again. Additionally the doctor told him to “not forget” to watch the DVD he gave him about the impending state of depression which would undoubtedly ensue. Kenneth was flushed with anger as he recalled the doctor’s words. “He made me just want to prove him wrong” he growled.
I recently read Norman Doidge’s book The Brain that changes itself which expands on the discovery that our thoughts can change the very structure and function of our brains – at any age. This surprising book of recent case studies shows modern culture through scientific evidence that all human beings have the capability to use conscious management of thought, will and emotions in order to rewire the brain. Through various introduced practices our thoughts and activities can send euphoric chemicals to bathe the brain neurons causing us to reach a higher and healthier state of being. These leading edge ideas have proved assistive to the health of both body and brain function.
Our parent’s lifetime consisted of scientists who considered the brain to be fixed or “hardwired” and additionally were convinced that most forms of brain damage were incurable. Even so recently (over the last 5 decades) several scientific “neuro-pioneers” have ventured to prove that the brain is far from being fixed, and that instead, the brain has remarkable powers of changing its own structure in order to compensate for the most severe neurological injuries and conditions. This astonishing brain capacity is called Neuroplasticity and summed up; it is the brain’s ability to change in response to information and new activities. (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/714987)
In Kenneth’s case, those who saw him on that hellish night and the endless days that followed before his wake-up from his coma, may consider it a miracle when they witness him today; attending daily work, expressing clear thought processes and having enough physical resiliency to camp in the wilderness during early spring – <Brrrrr!> And yet, having the privilege of knowing Kenneth as I do, I’m also convinced that his own self-will and choice to manage his own thoughts; rather than listening to the doctor’s words, is what brought him to health more rapidly than another who might have instead slumped into that predicted despair of impending depression.
Gregg Levoy’s book Callings – Finding and following an authentic life shares an interesting chapter about “wake-up calls”. Often in life, wake-up calls come in the form of major accidents, illness, tragedy, loss of a job, death of loved ones, divorce, abandonment or betrayal. He describes that wake-up calls become desperate to get our attention and surmises that “our souls will speak as softly as possible, but also as loudly as they have to.” When a crisis alters our life dramatically, we have no choice but to wake up and change. And those closest to the crisis are significantly affected and changed as well. This is because when the soul shakes up humanity, it wastes not even one grain of sand, so the ripple effect is momentous. The choice of – how the change looks – varies with each individual. One might become bitter and isolated; afraid and avoiding; or we can face what is in front of us and find the hidden lesson or gem. Whatever our choice is, the event of a wake-up call changes our “bottom line” in most areas of our life. What seemed important before somehow doesn’t anymore. We gain a new set of priorities that often finds ourselves minus many previous friends. Our own internal changes might make former friends and family uncomfortable because we all of a sudden view things much differently with a whole new lens. Levoy shares that “whether a wake-up call becomes a boon or a bane depends on what we’re willing to learn from it and whether we’re willing to be moved by the experience. The outcome depends not on how strong we are but on how we’re strong.”
Also present at dinner that evening was Kenneth’s parents. His mother beamed as she recalled enlisting the prayers of all friends and acquaintances while Kenneth wavered between life and death. “It didn’t matter to me if they called it prayer, meditation, or sending positive healing thoughts because to me, they were all helping”, she confided brilliantly. Author and Scientist Gregg Braden who wrote The Spontaneous Healing of Belief talks in one of his chapters about the collective strength of group focus. He affirms that when enough of us focus on someone or something with clear vision, intent and high emotion that we have immeasurable potential to cause change. There is even the idea that exists that should enough of us understand and practice the power of focus that we could even manage our planets weather systems. Kenneth’s mom was convinced that the strength of collective focus brought on a more rapid healing experience to Kenneth. And looking at Kenneth today, who are we to argue?
So which is it? A Miracle or Inner-resilience? Could it possibly be both? Or an even more radical question to ponder is “could the above titles be the same energy with different names?”
Levoy refers to that part within us that initiates the wake-up call as “the soul”. Scientists within Doidges book refer to the cause of miraculous change within the brain as “higher learning or higher will”. I’ve heard various names for that inner part of us that is the driving force towards our personal expansion during our lifetime. Name such as the Higher-self, Source energy, our spark of God, our Higher consciousness and our Inner wisdom, to name but a few. One of the touching memories that I hold of Kenneth when he emerged out of his coma was his generous and repetitive expressions of love and appreciation for both being alive, and for the thoughts and prayers of the many who contributed to his re-emergence to life. He told some of us OFTEN how much he loved us, and I for one had never heard such genuine affection from him before the accident. Any of us who spent time with Kenneth wore big smiles on our faces when ever we spoke to him because of his infectious devotions of love and future commitment to using his experience to help many others. He was truly amazing, even though we were acutely aware that he was struggling daily to heal to a place of stable physical equilibrium. Call me an idealist, but I truly think the part that was “running Kenneth’s operating system” at that time was the highest and most soulful parts of him. And the ripple-out affects of such positively and love was astounding.
Each of us “has options” when life’s wake-up calls send us to a place of reeling like a deer in the headlights. And some days, we might not do so well. Even so, every moment brings a new opportunity to “choose again” how we may view what stands before us as our personal challenge. And we are never alone! Whether it be those around us sending prayers and thoughts, or soul family beyond the veil of this existence who intervene on our behalf, we are never alone. We only have to center ourselves quietly within to really know.
Any soulful awakenings which occur to one of us, sends ripples of influence to the many who surround us; beyond even the scope of our immediate knowing. We are connected beings of humanity who are undoubtedly as linked to each other as the cells are liked within our own bodies; inevitably demonstrating our present state of heath and wellbeing. And the sooner we all come to acknowledge this, the sooner we will – together – create a peaceful and healthy world existence.