Let us introduce our newest HOPEster…..Melissa Whyte, Survivor.
Let’s welcome her to HOPE TBI. We invite you to read her survival story below:
“I want to leave a legacy that shows people that it is possible to overcome adversity. I want them to know it is possible to see past a persons difficulties to see them as capable. I want people to see past my difficulties and see what I was able to accomplish, even with so many things stacked against me………”
That is seven years since the accident that rocked my world and changed everything forever. Seven years since becoming the walking dead to the actually breathing and eventually living.
There is no culture in the history of the world and no religion where the number seven is not a powerful and positive number.
The number seven is a number that represents and symbolize introspection, inner wisdom, truth, and the origination of life. It is said to represent security, safety, rest, and is considered lucky throughout our history and through many civilizations.
Seven is known as the number of total completeness and perfection – most often related to a spiritual direction, though the physical part cannot be ignored or discounted either. It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God creating the world, where the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh day – creating the foundation of the seven-day-week we use to this day (for those that believe in that line of thought). The number seven is also featured in the Book of Revelation (seven churches, seven angels, seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven stars). The Koran speaks of seven heavens and Muslim pilgrims walk around the Kaaba in Mecca (Islam’s most sacred site) seven times. In Hinduism there are seven higher worlds and seven underworlds, and in Buddhism the newborn Buddha rises and takes seven steps. There are also the 7 deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, gluttony, envy, anger, sloth) and the 7 virtues of the spirit (chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, humility OR also known as faith, hope, charity, fortitude, prudence, temperance)
Most of us have even heard about the seven wonders of the world, so seven is special to the global community as well. In fact, regarding every day life, studies have shown that most people can retain roughly seven items of information in their short term memory ( a real challenge with a brain injury let me tell ya). That is why phone numbers in the U.S. and many other countries tend to have seven digits (not counting the area code part of the number).
In fact, even when focusing on healthy sleep hygiene, it is recommended to get seven hours of sleep (less than five or more than nine and your risk for heart attack, stroke, angina, and a host of other non-restful issues increases).
Over the last seven years I have really learned to see obstacles and limitations as opportunities and a reason to really lean on HOPE and embrace faith and allow myself to BE hopeful. To give permission to myself to accept a new type of paced existence. But what does that REALLY MEAN…to have HOPE?
This does not mean that I was positive all the time. I can tell you that! Oh no, far from it. See, HOPE does not necessarily equal optimism or positivity. Sure optimists are often more positive than those that are caught up in dark moments/thoughts, or with overwhelming feelings of defeat and depression when faced with a “new normal” where they literally have to learn everything again. However, even the most pessimistic/negative person can have HOPE for things to be different or improve. I can personally attest to the facts that there have been many dark moments/thoughts over the last seven years. Yet being able to hang onto HOPE, hang onto the belief that I was here for a specific reason (even though I didn’t know what that was) and then making the effort to LIVE and embrace my life in every form it came to me in became my focus and continues to unfold as my reality.
This day is spiritually significant to me. It is physically significant to me. This day is emotionally significant to me and I am pleased to be able to take another breath….to reach another goal……to live a new dream and embrace new aspirations and possibilities. I am pleased to be guided by Faith, HOPE, and LOVE. I am pleased to be able to FEEL pain, FEEL elation, FEEL defeat, FEEL supported, FEEL misunderstood, FEEL heard, FEEL sadness, FEEL happiness, FEEL lost at times, and FEEL accomplished.
I am grateful to be allowed to have an avenue to share my journey with all of you and HOPE I can offer some measure of HOPE for someone who may end up reading this today.
So happy RE-BIRTHDAY to me. This is the YEAR OF THE SEVEN. The year I loudly embrace that special introspection, inner wisdom brought forth, speak my truth, and continue the celebration of life. I accept what seven has to offer: security, safety, rest, and while pacing myself, cherishing how lucky I am to continue to rewrite my own history. I open my arms to the Universe and to my experiences and hold hands with HOPE, while living in the moment and looking forward to the future, while building on that visualization.
Grateful for another blessing and another opportunity to draw in breath one more time.