Monday, February 6, 2012

The Ares and the Are Nots

As I enter into the tenth year since my first TBI, I've been thinking a lot about my life experiences post-injuries, the people who have helped me and those who have not.

I believe there are two kinds of people:  The Ares and the Are Nots

The Ares have the ability to see through a disability, mistakes, shortcomings and are able to find the beauty that still remains.  They are the ones who still encourage the true spirit untouched by tragedy or trauma.  They treat others with a beautiful, strong,  and graceful  dignity, empathy, and respect.  They are the ones who can see, as Josh Groban's song says that "You're still you."

The Ares are the ones who love you to the core because they have an unconditional love.  Instead of labels and expectations that chain us to the impossible, they have hope.  They themselves have a rare grace, dignity and confidence of their own, they naturally and freely extend to others.

Succinctly put, Ares build people up.  They reflect the goodness they find in everyone.  They are able to let go, their love seems limitless like the sky above, they found the key to happiness is unconditional friendliness for themselves and everyone they meet.  They are honest, transparent and while they are hopeful, they cannot offer false hopes.

The Are Nots, on the other hand, are the ones who need us to be our old selves.  They are indeed chained to the past and their needs are most important.  This is a difficult character defect for most TBIers to deal with because it's often masked as rejection or betrayal, so it hurts.  A lot. 

The Are Nots are less flexible and fluid to people or anything changing and oftentimes find a difficult comfort in blame.  

The Are Nots communicate both verbally and non-verbally, "I don't accept you," or "Why can't you be like you used to be?"  This is confusing to TBIers because you see, we're not the only ones who changed with the injury.  You changed too.  You no longer love us like you once did, or accept us like you once did.  So I guess the question TBIers ask is, "Why can't YOU be like YOU used to be?"  or "Why can't YOU accept or support me where I am today, right here, right now like YOU used to?"

Life is short. 

Are you an Are or an Are Not?  Do your beliefs or the way you live your life lend themselves well to being an Are or an Are Not?  Will you look back on your life with gratitude or regret?

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