What does it mean to be strong? There are at least three areas of strength, spiritual strength, physical strength, and psychological strength.
In my particular situation, being a bilateral amputee, I have found spiritual strength to be of the utmost importance. My belief in a higher being and in a higher purpose has helped me remain strong in my outlook toward my life and in my life situation.
I refuse to believe that the loss of my legs was some arbitrary act of nature. I think there is a purpose for my loss. Perhaps this is a test of sorts, to see how and what I would do to deal with my legs losses.
It has always been my suspicion that this leg loss will in some way serve a higher purpose. The introspection I have done has shown me to be a stronger spiritual person than I might othewise have become.
I believe and have always believed in God. My belief is that God is not an angry God to be feared, but a God of love. Because I believe God is a loving entity, I cannot imagine I have lost my legs because of something bad I have done in my past. I don't believe this is some sort of "payback."
I have chosen to believe that my loss will somehow benefit other people. It is my hope that the words I impart and the actions I demostrate will in some way make lives better, that we will live lives that are more aware and thankful, not taking for granted all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us.
Another area of strength I would like to touch upon is physical strength. When you have lost both of your legs as I have, your physical strength is an immeasurable asset. Exercise, particularly weight lifting, helps give you the physical stamina you need to live your life independently.
I am so thankful I have remained physically active through my daily exercise regimen. My physical exercise has not only helped me to manitain my muscle tone but also helped my mental state of well being. By routinely working out I have a systematic way of preserving my body and also my mind. Physical exercise helps me retain not only much needed strength to live my life as an amputee, but it also makes me feel good about myself.
When you have had a physically altering event occur in your life and to your body, your often can develop feelings of inferiority, that you don't, nor will you ever look good, or even that you are ugly.
These feelings can be offset by physical exercise. Yes, I have lost my legs but I am going to take care of what I have left to the best of my ability.
The third area of strength I would like to discuss is psychological strength. Psychological or mental strength is not only your intellectual capacity but also your mental outlook on your life. Realizing we are the only ones who can control how and what we think means we can choose the mental state that will be the most benefical to our happiness.
Because we are only human beings, we cannot be happy one hundred percent of the time. Discouragement, frustration, and disillusionment are going to happen from time to time. Our strength comes from knowing that these are normal human occurances and more importantly, temporary feelings.
Before the loss of my legs, I would never have thought I would be as strong as I am (or so I've been told). Where did and soes this strength come from?
I believe strength comes from within ourselves. I think we are all born with an innate strength. It is almost like Darwin's theory of "Survival of the Fittest" if we are going to be happy and survive all the slings and arrows that life can present, we must reach within ourselves and pull forth strength.
I am not a well known spiritual leader, a championship weight lifter or Einstein, I am simply a man who has lost both of his legs. I am someone who refuses to let my leg loss dictate my happiness.
By paying attention to and working at increasing my spiritual, physical and psychological strengths, I am being responsible for my own hapiness.
I thank God for the strengths I have been made aware of and I pledge to continue down my path ever increasing my strengths spiritually, physically and psychologically, something we are all capable of doing.
Overcoming loss, in whatever form, takes tenacity, determination, and perseverance, qualities we all possess. The question then becomes, are we going to utilize our God given strengths? Only you can answer that question for yourself.
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