December Blog 2015 - Post Traumatic Growth: Be the Coffeeby Susan Myhre Hayes on 12/05/15
December Blog 2015 - Post Traumatic Growth: Be the Coffee
On December 5, 2014, my life changed. While on a business trip in Phoenix, a fall following a seizure caused a TBI and brain bleed. The anniversary of my accident felt like the right time to begin my blog again and reflect on what I have learned in the last year.
Steadfast friends and family, who have supported me during my recovery, consistently asked me when I would be writing my next book. The idea of writing again seemed remote during the first months of my recovery, but they were consciously planting a seed that helped me look forward. The more I came out of the fog, the more I was able to think about making sense of what had happened to me. The more I came out of the fog, the more I was able to see that writing would be the vehicle.
So, one year after my accident, I begin my blog again with a story from my first book, Peace in the Puzzle: Becoming Your Intended Self.
An unhappy young woman complained to her grandmother about the state of her life. Everything was awful. The grandmother listened carefully and then asked her granddaughter to place three pots of water on the stove and bring them to a boil. Once they were boiling, she asked the girl to place a carrot in one pot, an egg in another and ground coffee beans in the third. Then they waited.
The grandmother asked her how the carrots had changed. The carrot was now soft, answered the girl. And, the egg? It was still fragile on the outside but became hard on the inside. The grandmother poured her a cup of coffee, and it was just the way she liked it.
Each had faced the same adversity – the boiling water – but each reacted differently to it, explained the grandmother. The carrot went in hard and unrelenting and became soft. The egg had been fragile and when it encountered the boiling water, it became hard. The ground coffee beans were different. When they encountered the boiling water, they transformed the water.
Over the last year as I faced my adversity, I have been both the carrot and the egg. When I refused to believe my life had changed, the reality that it had changed left me soft and depressed like the carrot. When I felt fragile because I feared another fall, I became anxious and hard like the egg. I am now trying every day to be like the coffee and change the water to something beautiful. I am striving for post traumatic growth.
The last year has helped me learn not only how precious life is but also what is important in life. Through this blog, I invite you to join me on the journey to post traumatic growth.