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8 Things Only People Who Have Experienced Traumatic Accidents Can Understand

8 Things Only People Who Have Experienced Traumatic Accidents Can Understand

Every now and then we come across people who have been through terrible trauma. Without fail, we can see that these people possess qualities and characteristics that are admirable and, to say the least, enviable.

They see life through fresh eyes and from a totally different perspective than before.

While life isn’t all easy for accident survivors they do seem to gain insights which are out of reach for the rest of us.

Here’s what they have come to understand:

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1. We Only Have Today

There is no more poignant a lesson to teach us about the value of living in the present than to be in a serious accident.

Facing death changes us and our personalities. People who face terrible challenges usually become stronger and better able to face their new world.

2. We See Beauty All Around Us

Something we don’t notice before a trauma is that beauty is everywhere – it’s in nature, people, children, cities, galleries and so on. There are things worth seeing everywhere we go. Those who have suffered trauma don’t need to be reminded of this – they can see it clearly.

3. We May Need Support For the Rest of Our Lives

Nobody wants to be dependent on others, but it is a saddening fact for many who have serious accidents. This can be frustrating, embarrassing and downright intolerable but eventually the survivor has to accept that they are unable to do some things for themselves and so need the help of others.

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4. We Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

After we’ve been through something really big we don’t worry about the smaller stuff as much. Our outlook on what the smaller stuff is can change too.

Giving an important presentation would have been a big deal at one time but after a horrendous emotional and physical journey the presentation is no longer a big deal – this is a walk in the park for the survivor.

5. We Still Have Challenges – But Now it’s Rewarding Too

Many things may pose as challenges for those of us who have survived accidents: driving a car, speaking, figuring out problems – some things just don’t come as easily anymore.

The silver lining to this cloud is that after such trauma we often realize that every small achievement is a reward in itself. We take great pride in our small wins.

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6. We Cherish Our Family and Friends

Things we once took for granted like the love of those closest to us are embraced after a serious accident. We feel vulnerable and at the mercy of those who care for us.

After an accident we understand that nothing is here ‘forever’ – that everything and everyone moves on sooner or later. This is difficult to accept but helps bring us closer to those that matter most.

7. We Know That Life is Full of Surprises

No one expects to be in a serious accident. One minute everything’s great – the next – bang, your whole life changes. You may be seriously injured or left with difficult memories to deal with.

Only someone who has experienced this can understand how this impacts on your daily life. The unexpected twists can leave someone with a severe sense of uncertainty.

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8. We Fear the Bad Memories Won’t Leave Us

Remembering traumatic accidents can be overwhelming and many need help to overcome these powerful thoughts. However, the darkest times will pass.

Being in a very serious accident is not something we plan for. It’s not something we ever want to happen to us or our loved ones. But rest assured that while recovery is difficult, the survivor understands more about life than many of us do.

They know how precious life is and what’s important and what’s not. The survivor grows stronger everyday and becomes an inspiration to us all. They become the teacher in the end.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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