"The Question was 'Why did I survive? Why I?' Every survivor had that question. Every survivor is hounded by that question to this day". Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)
I was watching an interview with Elie Wiesel. After surviving the horrors of two concentration camps he became a prolific author, humanitarian and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He passed away last year. I have also asked myself 'why' - many times. It troubled me early on in my recovery. Then, later, when hearing of events in which others did not survive, it, once again 'hounded' me. Just two weeks ago, a former colleague reached out to me. A close friend of his, a marathon runner and triathlete, had a sudden cardiac event while swimming in a pool. Almost identical to mine. Resuscitation efforts were not successful. He did get to the hospital and as he lay in the ICU, my colleague called, desperately asking: "What can we do? Can you help? What can I say to his wife and children?" Unfortunately his friend did not survive. He never regained consciousness and passed away shortly after being hospitalized. I was stunned, once again asking: "Why did I survive?"
I think trying to find an answer to this question is somewhat futile. I actually do not think there is one - or maybe not just one. I think there are many and they change over time as you adapt, accept and move forward. I believe one eventually finds their own answer or answers. It is a choice - you choose them. It takes time. After traumas answers maybe revealed when you become absorbed with an issue, surprising opportunities emerge or passions are unearthed. Other times, they are almost an afterthought. As you move on in life, you may begin to recognize how things evolved, how you changed - for the better. How relationships and your attitude toward the event and life itself slowly changed, slowly grew. You did not necessarily plan for it but it happened nonetheless. Going through bad stuff provides perspective. Such events change focus. It certainly did for Elie Wiesel. Perhaps that is an answer.
So as we begin 2017 let's celebrate the fact that you survived another year. I have friends and close acquaintances who did not. It is understood that survival came with both good and challenging events. Some more troubling, more traumatic than others. As I mentioned, the 'why?" question is tough. It may not be apparent for a long time. And it can also change over time. So instead, for now, let's focus on the how. You did survive, you worked through traumas and challenges: how did you do it? Gain insight from that answer. How do you plan to use those experiences and information? Your choice. Why don't you start by choosing to live? Really live. Then choose a purpose, a way to serve. Keep it simple. Be a better friend, spouse, neighbor or parent. You may take on something bolder. Let your survival remind you of how strong, how resilient you are. Leverage that...go for something significant and exciting. You are here....let the life you choose to live honor those who are not.
Team Metahab is committed - to you. We choose, as a group, to continue creating programs, provide support and guidance, assisting you and those you serve. That is our purpose. We look forward to being there for you in 2017.
Enjoy and thank you.