The Privilege of Being Alive


The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free.

Today, I celebrate what I call my Alive Day.  It was five years today that my life flashed before my eyes and I thought life as I knew it was over. It was the 2nd time in two years that I stood face to face with the possibility of my own death. Two totally different circumstances, yet both had me looking at death head on. Maybe I didn’t really get it the first time. But in both moments when in that split second life as I knew it changed, I knew without a doubt in my mind, I was not ready to die. I was only 32.  In those split-second moments five years ago, everything was out of my control and all I could do was shout out, asking God, who wasn’t particularly my friend, to be with me. In those moments He clasped me in His hands and He cushioned my fall.

Amazingly, I survived.

With just a few bruises, cuts and scrapes, six months of both long-term and short-term memory loss and a bit of emotional trauma to work through, the blessings that were given to me that day were plentiful.

Every day I am grateful for the miracle that occurred on that sunny Saturday afternoon. And for the last five years I have celebrated, every day that I woke up breathing.  And today I celebrate even more. It’s almost like it’s my birth-day all over again.

One of the things that day taught me is that if you are alive you have got to flap your arms and your legs, you have got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death.

That day taught me that whatever your fate is, whatever happens, you have to say “this is exactly what I need.” It may look like a wreck, but you have to go through it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge that has been given specifically to you.  I learnt that if you bring gentleness and love to moments like that, and not discouragement, you will find the strength there.

We have all survived setbacks and tragedies in our lives – wounds that take a while to heal. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one. A heart-breaking divorce. A job loss. Serious illness or a horrific accident. These are not things we usually celebrate. More often than not they are shoved into a dark alcove of our memory, where they just fester away unknowingly at your soul.

Any disaster you survive, followed by wreckage is actually a beautiful gift that improves your character, your stature, and your life. For when a crisis arrives and it throws you back, when you are required to exhibit strength, it does come. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop and look fear in the face.

I lived through this horror.

Wow, what a privilege!

You get to choose if you spend the day of your ‘injury’ in a dark room feeling sorry for yourself or you can choose to get out there and celebrate the day your life was spared.

It is a day that life pauses ever so slightly for me. I remember the fear, feeling this was the end. I remember the sights, the sounds, and the feelings. I remember the angels who walked with me that day. I remember the hands that wrapped around me. I remember the blessings. I could dwell for a moment on all that was wrong that day, or I could dwell on all that went right.

In both cases, I choose the latter.

With boundless energy, contagious optimism, and a big heart.

I embrace all that I can still explore and learn.

Life is not just a life.

It is an adventure.

And it is meant to be lived.

Out aloud and in full colour.

My life is my message.

I hope this reminds you that in each choice we face.

We can dwell on the pain.

Or we can choose to celebrate second chances.

On this, my 5th Alive Day, I stand in absolute joy and celebrate surviving the worse day of my life.

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I HAVE lived.

I AM alive.

I DID survived.

And that is worth celebrating!


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