Tears streamed down my face as I pulled up this video from nearly one year ago.
Not so much from what I said, but rather due to my current situation.
I had great and grand plans for this summer and fall, had lost a good deal of weight, and was shooting to hit many peaks and mountain hikes all around my beloved State of Utah.
Instead, I am here in bed, healing my leg from injury, unable to bend it for a while longer now nearing 2 months in the immobilizer.
I have enough strength to fulfill the contracts for events as Keynote Speaker, but it takes a serious effort to go do those, and then a few days of recovery after each one.
As I thought of all I’ve missed out on in the past month and a half that is what broke me down and the tears began to flow:
Unable to pick my son’s motorcycle up and throw it in the back of the pickup truck to take him for a ride;
Unable to throw the football, or basketball, with my boys;
Unable to hike with my daughter or fit in the car as she drives us around listening to music;
Too uncomfortable to take my wife out for a date, or dancing, and absolutely incapable of helping much around the house.
And so I guess I had a little pity party for myself as I watched this video of me, last October, freely walking up a mountain, not even thinking about the absolute freedom my body has afforded me all these years without thought.
I have faced this challenge with optimism, but sometimes the reality of what we’ve missed out on can really get us feeling terrible.
Perhaps all is well in your world and suddenly you open social media and see the lives of others that appear so much better, exciting, and richer than yours.
These types of feelings are normal. They are real. And they’re ok. As long as we don’t sit with them too long.
It’s best to acknowledge them, say hello, and then allow them to take a backseat to the stage of our mind, as we choose what stays in the spotlight.
As sadness, guilt, regret, and even a bit of despair crept into my mind while watching this video, I thought this might make a good blog for anyone who is going through a bit of change, or loss, or disappointment right now.
In the video I walk up a mountain and talk about the Season of our Lives.
I don’t anticipate I will repeat this experience I’m currently in, but I have certainly learned much from it.
I have learned that I love to sleep on my stomach, but can’t, and therefore I can’t get comfortable…so I am grateful for when I actually do find rest.
I have learned that my whole life I bounded up the stairs 2 steps at a time, whether I was wide awake or exhausted…I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that again, but I’m amazed my body held up doing that so long and I can’t wait to do stairs again even one at a time.
I have learned how quickly I could get things done, even moving things like a fridge, a heavy couch or dresser, and how careful I must be from now on.
I have learned that people want to help me, and serve me, they just need to know what I need, and I just have to ask. And in that, we are both blessed.
I have learned the importance of sticking to the plan, as I daily commit to every single thing the doctors and physical therapists have instructed me to do, and I push myself to the point of knowing I’ve pushed myself, but not so much that I do damage.
I have learned from Job in the Old Testament, that “The Lord giveth, and The Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of The Lord.” That’s an interesting one. Have I only thanked God for my blessings? Can I learn to thank Him for my trials?
Whether you believe in a God or not, can you find solace in your challenges, gratitude in your suffering, a feeling of joy in the darkness?
I believe it all comes down to your mind.
Having stripped away most of what I thought was my capability, much of it dependent upon my agility and mobility, as a performer and someone who uses his body for all things from the moonwalk to a bounding Raptor, dancing, moving, jumping, I have pushed this body to some extreme limits, and now….I sit on stage, hobble around…I am a shell of what I once was.
And yet – it still works. Somehow. The words seem clearer, the message comes across stronger. Perhaps they see themselves in me that much more, now that my leg has been swept from under me?
To see a person you know for energy, entertainment, and enthusiasm, suddenly confined to a bed or chair – it has been interesting to see the reaction of my family, friends, visitors to my home, clients who booked me thinking one thing was coming to their event and someone different showed up.
It feels like a broken Promise.
I acknowledge that. It’s a harsh reality.
And yet, we must acknowledge the one who still shows up.
The person who is going through a life crisis, a divorce, a loss of a loved one, a sickness, a child who has gone astray…and you still show up. Perhaps broken inside, and yet still there, willing to serve, ready to work, able to push forward.
Be it a leg brace that is visibly seen, or a broken heart that is concealed in the chest, we still keep The Promise the best we can and show up.
Finding gratitude for the Season of Life we are in is the trick. Even further, Enjoying the Season.
Here’s the secret – you must ask yourself:
What can I learn from this and how will it make me better?
For me, going through this leg situation has certainly given me the obvious reactions of gratitude for a healthy body, comfort when sleeping, joy to fit in a seat and drive a car.
But it goes way beyond that. Those are the basics, even though they are important.
I now see every person who limps. I feel extreme connection with every person who’s pains I can visibly see.
I now know for a fact that every person must be suffering from something, seen or unseen. I am now much more prepared and interested and looking to lift them.
I now see every person different. I hear their voice different, see their mannerisms different, feel their spirit stronger.
I can’t explain this, but have prayed for what I am to learn through this, and it is truly – within our suffering we grow closer to God. God knows our pain, God knows our joy. He allows us to serve, give, and love one another within our greatest capacity until we turn it over to Him.
I feel different. I speak different. I am different than I was mid-July when this accident happened.
And in that very transition, I am grateful. I have even enjoyed this time of my life….oddly.
This divine kick to the knee has opened my eyes, my heart, my grief, my shame, my capability, my humor, my gratitude, my humility, my pride, my soul.
It has challenged what I can enjoy, and I have found joy within it, humor still there, happiness and purpose.
I wouldn’t trade this challenge for anything.
Yes, I’m bummed I can’t play catch with my boys just yet, can’t run up the mountain, can’t help like I used to, but I CAN do a whole lot more than I could before with my eyes unopened to this, which I now see.
And perhaps that’s why the tears flowed upon watching this video. I had no idea what was coming for me when I made it, and I have no idea what tomorrow will hold, but I can and will, enjoy the season I am in.
~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Project Coach
- World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
- Author of “The Promise To The One”