By Angela

Leap of FaithWalker1

Although it makes sense logically that a person will function differently after surviving a brain injury, the biggest challenge is to let go of the expectations of one’s old self and to accept a new ‘normal.’ Two of my greatest challenges include mobility difficulties and problems with extreme fatigue. Before my brain injury, I used to be able to push myself very hard to quickly accomplish goals I set for myself. Now I have to pay attention to my fatigue level and force myself to rest frequently in order to function at my best. I find this very frustrating because I often feel like my life is at a standstill. I become upset when I don’t feel like my life is progressing the way I want.

I’ve been interested in Native American spirituality for a long time, particularly observing animals and nature and learning important lessons learned by engaging in this practice. I pay attention to animals which are present in my environment and reflect upon their behavior, how they move and survive, their strengths and challenges, and how these things might relate to what is going on in my life at that particular time.

While I was feeling upset with issues of fatigue, mobility, and how slowly my life now progresses, I saw a grasshopper resting on top of a sunflower in my backyard. As I thought about the grasshopper, I suddenly realized how similar I was to it. Because the grasshopper had no comparison of life pre- and post-injury, I began to see how I now move through life in a much different way. Comparisons to others or to how I progressed previously are not helpful.

grasshopper, wingsThe way I move through life now is simply different. At times, I engage in resting, enjoying the beauty that surrounds me and making important revelations while others seem to surpass me. However, like the grasshopper with its powerful hind legs, I am in touch with my surroundings, know when to quickly draw upon my inner strength and can leap extraordinary distances to get to where I need to be as long as I take time to rest and reflect. Below is a poem I wrote as a tribute to lessons learned from the grasshopper.

—————————————

Leap of FaithGrasshopper01 2009-09

A creepy feeling came from within
His unseen gaze prickled my skin
Identity & purpose were concealed
Should I be scared? Should I run?
But finally answers were revealed
I spied him basking in the sun.

He tells me I have brought him here
Feelings of hopelessness, feelings of fear
Answers to your plight have I
If you can see more than just a bug
Focus your mind and give it a try
Hear my wisdom, don’t be so smug!

Step by step is how others move
But copy me, if your life’s to improve
Wait & listen for your inner voice
When to rest or when to leap
Blessed are you to have this choice
Your inner strength runs very deep

So when your life seems in a slump
Think how far grasshoppers can jump
Allow yourself some time to grieve
Then fix your sight on something more
Gather your courage and dare to believe
Then take a chance and soar!

© Angela Cramer, 2008-2009

First 2 pictures are the property of Jupiterimages made available through subscription:
© Jupiterimages Corporation, 2008-2009 www.clipart.com ;

Grasshopper photo is the property of Angela Cramer, 2009


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