Do you wish for a better life for your children than you had yourself? Are you pleading for health and healing for a loved one fighting for their life? Are you battling internal wars that no one sees; wars the create invisible walls of bitterness and anger to hide the hope and healing you crave? What is your wish?
In this season of thankfulness and in the preparation for the holiday season ahead, there seems to be so many reminders of those who do not allow themselves to feel joy and gratitude. With hurting hearts and very real crises, they do not know how to embrace the love that is all around us. In the midst of all the love and joy, they choose to embrace their pain and cling to it instead of using it as a fulcrum for hope and healing.
I’ve seen some very beautiful stories this year of people who have embraced their pain and used it as a beacon of hope to others. Who have chosen to not wrap themselves in their grief and misery – despite the very fact they are likely entitled to do just that. Instead, they choose to turn their adversity into advantage for others. To give back and find the hope and beauty in their pain so that others might find the road they walk on a little less challenging. They chose to create what they wish had existed.
Meet the family of Brandt Ballenger, at 7 years old he was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a pediatric kidney cancer. Brandt’s courageous battle was captured on a Facebook page, entitled Team Brandt. People from all around the world took pictures of themselves with “Team Brandt” signs and posted them to Brandt’s page as a show of support for this brave child during his treatments and fight. His fight ended on July 23, 2013. Team Brandt now continues as a way to honor others who are struggling with childhood cancers and to remember Brandt’s endless courage in random acts of kindness. The Ballenger family continues to create what they wish existed.
Meet Todd and Tara Storch, the founders of Taylor’s Gift, an organization they founded in 2010 to bring new awareness to organ donation after losing their own daughter, 13-year-old Taylor Storch, in a ski accident. Their work has brought heightened visibility to the financial, emotional and medical challenges that are associated with being an organ donor and a transplant recipient. They are working hard to change the conversation about being an organ donor to being a positive discussion about life. Bravo to the Storch family for continuing to create what they wish existed.
You can google dozens of stories of real life people who have amazing stories of rags-to-riches experiences: Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling. People who were giving unbelievable challenges in life, whether it be their meager beginnings, their abusive parents or spouses; there are many of us who beat the odds of the cards we were dealt and decided to pursue more.
In his role as John Keating in the movie Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams utters these great words of wisdom:
“No matter what people tell you,
words and ideas can change the world.”
Never limit yourself to the walls around you or the boundaries imposed upon you. Life will give you the opportunity to create what you wish. For some, that opportunity may come in a pretty gold package and tied up a beautiful red ribbon. The rest of us will find ours wrapped in the adversity and struggles of life. Whatever way in which the destiny of what you wish for reveals its pathway to you, create it. Don’t sit on the sidelines, wrapped in misery and sorrow. Create what you wish existed.