In all my time recovering, I have found myself taking time to read articles that I would normally scroll past and recently, I read one that challenged me in an unexpected way. It was called, “What I Learned from a Broken Ankle,” and featured a stock photo of a man on arm crutches with one of those hard plastic boots.
Now, if I’m really honest, my first reaction just to the title was to arch my eyebrows and purse my lips in an expression that said, “oh, really?!” We all know I have the sass, don’t even act surprised. Instead of scrolling past, as I normally do when that expression and the sass that accompanies it strike, I opened the article and began to read. And then I began to laugh as this man told his story and listed 5 great truths he learned from breaking his ankle.
I wasn’t laughing at his experience. God knows I spent half of one long summer as a child with a broken ankle only to spend the other half of that long summer when I broke the other foot as soon as I was off crutches from the first. It was painful. I wasn’t laughing at the truths he discovered either. I went back and reread the piece once my mirth had passed and they’re all lovely truths I hope everyone learns in their lifetime.
Let me be clear: this man experienced a painful injury that if not healed correctly could cause him pain and trouble for the rest of his life, he was forced to slow down and rely on the grace and love of others as he healed, and he used his time for self reflection and growth.
I am not in any way trying to throw shade at his experiences and the profound impact they had on his life yet I laughed enough to have tears in my eyes. Why?
I laughed because when there’s something you need to hear or share it will come to you if you just listen… and in the last two weeks I keep saying that perspective is everything.
He shared the sacred truths he learned from his experience that were challenging enough to need to share with the world. It was no small thing to him, yet from my perspective I was struck by how little that experience seemed in comparison to the one I’m living in now.
As we go through life it is easy to sneer at someone else’s journey and to sit in judgement. When we call someone else’s journey less than and we try to minimize theirs to highlight ours, we are trying to be the victim and we are telling them that their journey and their struggle isn’t valid.