There Are No Accidents

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There are no accidents. Knowing what I know now, I believe that to be a true statement, for when we live with awareness, we will always find the connection, the reason or the lesson.

Twenty one years ago I had a car accident, one which changed my life forever. It was the biggest learning curve of my life, and today I am all the wiser for it. The years of dealing with a severe injury was where my greatest lessons lived ~ in the pain, the panic, the fear, the anger, the frustration, the despair, and in the will to keep going. And the instant it happened I knew ~ when the car stopped spinning, and I was able to get out, I looked at the wreck and said aloud, “What do I have to learn from this?” And learn I did … for year and years.

My body fell apart a few weeks later ~ one night I awoke and couldn’t breathe. The twisted metal of the car seat should have been a clue. It was so badly damaged it could not be repaired, and for a very long time it seemed my body may not be able to be repaired either. I was in constant pain, I couldn’t get a proper breath, I could barely walk, I couldn’t use my arms … I couldn’t do anything ~ I was trapped. Everything which represented who I was … was gone. Instead, every fibre of my being was focused on surviving the next second … and the next … and the next. It was so intense, if a bomb had gone off next to me I wouldn’t have noticed. I was no longer the nurturing mother, the supportive wife, the doer, the giver, the loyal friend, the keeper of my house, the achiever, the university student, or the partner in our family business. Except for my will to survive I was stripped bare.

About ten years after the accident I started writing a book, the purpose of which was to help others going through a similar experience. In the early years an acquaintance, one of those good people who throw you a lifeline when you need it most, lent me exactly such a book written by a man who had survived a serious car accident. At the time his words were a godsend ~ someone out there actually understood what I was going through. An injury such as mine, with massive soft tissue damage, long term inflammation, and no broken bones or outward signs of injury, is hard to deal with. I would imagine it is very similar to depression, asthma or rheumatoid arthritis … invisible to those around you, but always the silent companion walking beside you. It never complains out loud, only you know it’s there. And because there are no bandages, the support you so desperately need is not there. Not because no one cares, but because no one notices or understands. Only the closest ones know, and while they do their best, even they cannot share your journey.

Today I am too far removed from the events to ever finish the book. I have no desire to call myself a survivor, nor do I wish to revisit those desperate times of panic, struggle and uncertainty. I define myself by what I’ve learned, not by the struggle. I worked through each step with purpose and determination, and have no desire to step back into yesterday’s emotions. When I look back at my journals they are harrowing ~ my despair and isolation was overpowering, but so was my hope, my strength and my courage. If I had not been such a positive person I might have given up, but I didn’t. I was determined to get better. I have always believed that I could heal myself, both on a physical and spiritual level, and I was prepared to explore anything and everything to get there. I saw doctors, specialists, spiritual healers and every kind of alternative therapist you could imagine. For the first three years I had physical therapy every day except Sunday. It was my safety net. But ultimately, it was when my head space changed that the journey changed.

One day I stopped fighting. In a moment of utter desperation I heard myself scream, “Die now or get better!”. I had challenged the Universe and fully expected to be struck down, but it didn’t happen, and that’s when I surrendered. I let go of resistance and instantly changed the vibration. I stopped focusing on the pain and the struggle.

The next few years were a mind-blowing time. I left no stone unturned in my quest to open my mind and my heart, and connect to the healing energy within. I meditated myself into oblivion. I created affirmations, recorded them for my meditations, worked on releasing cell trauma, imagined a better quality of life where I could move and breath freely and easily, aligned myself with ease and flow, and saw myself as ‘new’. I also discovered deep tissue laser therapy, and that was like a magic key. It broke down the scar tissue, and allowed a courageous therapist, one who had the guts to do what was needed no matter how painful, to put everything back in its place. Slowly I started to improve. And in the years that followed I finished my university degree, taught in a classroom, was able to get back into our business, and bit by bit create a garden. I was holding it together, and I was getting better.

It took fifteen years to get to a place where my body felt reasonably stable ~ where I had more good days than bad, where I could get a decent night’s sleep, and where I felt well enough to plan for something in the knowledge that I would be able to fulfil it. I still have to pace myself, but now I am able to do many of the things I once took for granted … simple things which fill me with immense appreciation and gratitude.

So what did I learn and what did I change? I learned to look after myself first ~ to pay attention to my body. I learned to ask for help, and I let go of being the eternal fixer-upper. I examined my beliefs, and let go of fear and perfection. I learned to trust on the highest level. I learned to validate what someone is going through ~ to honour their strength and courage. I also created a peaceful place within, one which I can go to anytime. I learned to find the joy and live in the moment, and I connected to the infinite source of love.

It’s in the dark night of the soul that we reach out to touch what we need to move into the oneness of the light, and that’s exactly what I did. And if we are brave enough to be truly honest with ourselves, the steps we take forward will be sure-footed, and we will find the right path. This is a poem I wrote about a year after the accident, when one day, my mother said to me, “Insi, you are very brave”. And I thought, yes I am. It’s simple but expresses exactly how I felt at the time.

I Am Very Brave

I am very brave
For I want to save
My body, my mind
Not leave it behind
To see a new day
With the pain gone away
Is where I will be
Just wait and see

I am very brave
I don’t hide in a cave
I go forth and try
With my head held high
I won’t give in
For me that’s a sin
My body can make it
It’s just hard to take it

I am very brave
Even when I rant and rave
Then I yell and scream
Till I run out of steam
I feel lonely and sad
Sometimes it’s so bad
My body hurts so much
That I just lose touch

I am very brave
For I choose to behave
Like I can cope
And I don’t mope
It’s been so hard
From my life I’ve been barred
I hate being trapped
But it’s like its been mapped

I am very brave
I’m in touch with a wave
That helps me to flow
And cope with the blow
I’ve learned many things
It’s like I’ve grown wings
Sometimes I feel I could fly
Right up to the sky

I am very brave
For now I don’t crave
To have what is past
I feel safe at last
I’ve let go of the fear
That made things unclear
I now dance with the ‘All’
And I know I won’t fall

I am very brave
For I know what to save
Often I wondered
And sometimes I blundered
But with the love of those dear
My path is now clear
This moment’s the one
To feel joy and fun

I am very brave
For now I behave
How I really feel
And it’s no big deal
To myself I am true
For me, and for you
I know I can do it
I will get through it

Inara Hawley © 2014

 

12 thoughts on “There Are No Accidents

  1. Dear Inara – thank you for sharing this with us. You ARE very brave on so many levels – what a wonderful poem. A beautiful blog, a beautiful message, a beautiful person. Hope, strength and courage… ❤ Lesley

  2. “I define myself by what I’ve learned, not by the struggle.” This sentiment stood out for me as I read about your experience. A few years ago, I was in a car accident; my sister’s car was struck from behind by a driver who had back brakes. Six months later, I woke up with back spasms; the worst pain I’ve ever felt, though I’m sure not on the level you experienced. Anyway, I began doing the Tai-Chi routine I’d learned before and gradually, as I allowed myself to respond to my body, my back began healing. I’ve discovered that dwelling on that struggle only kept me living in that time, rather than the present. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and what you learned. Love and Light

    • Hi Lauren ~ thank you so much for your comment, and for sharing your experience. And yes, by staying in the struggle we remain in a state of resistance rather than a state of allowing, which is where the healing begins. The present is where we find the joy. Love and Light to you as well. ❤

  3. Thank you Inara, I’ve been there- emotionally – and still learning to deal with it. But someone close to me is suffering now and I feel helpless in the face of it. I try and pass on the accumulated wisdom I have under my belt, and new ideas which are emerging at this moment. But it is hard, especially when there is great physical distance between you. This is very good to read.

    • Hi Lynne. Thank you for you comments. The best thing you can do for your friend is validate what she is going through. Most people said to me, ‘Hope you get better soon’, and while I know it came from a caring space, it was the most meaningless statement. I felt abandoned. Paraphrasing is really good. I have an acquaintance who is a social worker, and I always felt better after I spoke with her because she paraphrased what I said, the result of which was that I felt I’d been heard. It really helped me a lot at the time. Also writing my journals, and meditating were really helpful too. I needed to pour it out, and then connect to something greater with trust in my heart. Hope that helps. xo

  4. Thanks Inara, yes, all good advice. Meditation is helping but there are long-standing issues which have not been resolved. I am hoping that just being ‘there’ , holding, staying in communication, will be of some assistance.

  5. Oh. Inara you describe the journey of the injured so well indeed – it’s as if you just wrote my story – Thankyou for the precious sharing – and the courage within – a fabulous reminder of the strength we each hold inside ourselves. What was the modality of the therapy used as described above please? Bless you Inara 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Nerisa, and I know you know exactly what it’s like. As for therapies, I had many. I started with physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic and osteopath treatments. Then I tried Bowen Therapy, Reiki, and Alexander Technique. I also delved into psychic healing, plus other physical therapies that I can’t remember the name of. None of these really helped. Amongst all of that I had saline injections in all my thoracic joints front and back. This encouraged healing around the joints and made them stronger. I finally found deep tissue Laser Therapy, and while it took a few years, it changed everything. It broke down all the scar tissue in my chest, and my physical therapist was able to start moving everything back to where it belonged. As I say, it took years, but eventually it all stayed in place thank goodness. Every therapy has its value, but my recommendations to anyone who has been injured would be the saline injections, deep tissue laser and a good physical therapist who understands soft tissue damage. Hope that helps. 🙂

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