you see, i have amazing friends. as i read about little pieces of their lives on facebook, i am constantly reminded how incredible they are. i am surrounded by people currently who come along side me and help me navigate this stage of my life but i have been in the company of extraordinary people for each and every stage i have traversed. this week, two of their stories came back to me and reminded me of some very important lessons.
i met justin my freshman year of college. he is hilarious and one of the kindest people i know. we hit it off and i had the pleasure of his friendship my entire college career. justin had some muscular problems our freshman year of college and even before. i can remember the day he walked into the ASB office of PLNU having received the news from his doctor. at that time he was told he had ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease. since then, his diagnosis has changed slightly and he officially has been diagnosed with Multifocal Acquired Motor Axonopathy. the symptoms are much like those of ALS and justin has slowly lost the use of muscle groups in his body.
this hasn't stopped him. he got married out of college to one of the most beautiful and inspiring women i have had the privilege of knowing. kirstin is, without a doubt, one of greatest people on the planet. when it comes to her ability to love her husband, she lives out that love every day of her life. she is amazing. together, she and justin haven't let the disease slow them down. with their three kids, they have founded www.the-disabled-traveler.com where they help people with disabilities overcome their fears and see the world. they have just returned from three months in italy, sharing all they learned with other travelers with limited mobility.
today, i got to hear about justin's newest adventure. here it is.
jeremy was another friend from college. have i mentioned i have always been surrounded by the greatest people on earth? jeremy is one more of those people to add to the list. jeremy was active in college but when he was in a horrible motorcycle accident after we graduated, his level of activity skyrocketed. jeremy is paralyzed from the waist down but has used his current disability to push himself to do more, to be more.
in the last couple of years he did the following TEDx presentation. since then, he has, with the help of some very cool "legs," taken his first steps since his accident. did i mention my friends are inspirational?
please note, if you are having trouble viewing this on our site, please click on the
following link to view it on youtube: Jeremy McGhee TEDx
1) stop complaining: what do i have to complain about? even on my toughest days, my life is pretty amazing. it's good to remember that.
2) surround yourself with great friends: do i have people who would push me in a wheel chair for six weeks or cheer me to the top of a huge mountain? my friends may never have to do that literally but i'd like to think i have friends who figuratively do that everyday. whatever you are going through, have you surrounded yourself with people who cheer you on and push you toward your dreams? did you notice the wall hanging on justin's kitchen? "love will save the day." do you have someone who would love you like that? if you don't, find someone. be someone.
3) be that type of friend for someone else: am i the type of person that cheers on others? will i encourage others to dream big and then do whatever i can to encourage them on that path? am i the type of person who would say, without hesitation, 'i'll push you?" i want to be.
4) get out there and make it happen: i need to remember some of my dreams. i don't have physical limitations that are keeping me from dreaming big but i have mental and "real life" limitations. somewhere along the line i've stopped dreaming like i used to. i need to remember that i can still dream big...and that, until my life is over, i can work to make those dreams happen. it's time for me to step out and remember how to dream...and then to work like crazy to make those dreams a reality.
today i am reminded of greatness, of big dreams, of amazing and inspiring friends. today i'm willing to step out and be brave. today i'm going to be thankful for things big and small. today i'm going to love well.
what about you?