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Resources & Inspiration for Life with Brain Injury

The Gift

A while back,  I received an inspiring message from a friend.   It was a YouTube video by Louie Schwartzberg, an award-winning cinematographer and innovator in the world of time-lapse, nature, aerial and “slice-of-life” photography.   After watching the video it reminded me of “the gift” I was given as a result of my TBI.   I’ve shared a link to this video later in this post.

Nearly 7 years ago I suffered a traumatic brain injury.   Like most of you, I’ve had many problems as a result of the injury.   The accident took away things I can never get back.  On a personal basis many things are gone.  Professionally I lost everything in terms of income and my capabilities. The accident took away things I can never get back.   I keep improving, even now, but I don’t want to lose “the gift”.

Prior to the accident I could never have enough to do.    I was very driven and always wanted perfection in what I did and the people around me.    On January 15, 2006 my world changed but I was also given a gift that I am grateful for.    With much despair after the accident I worked hard to get better and I learned many things that are important.

For the first few years my thinking capabilities were very difficult.   I could describe it as cotton balls muffling everything in my brain, muffling my thinking; or as muddiness where the thick murkiness slowed everything in my head.    My view of the world became very telescopic.   I could only focus on a very small piece of what was before me.   Since my brain was now not cluttered with a million other thoughts, I saw the world very simply and was able to connect to the quietness and beauty of nature.   I could let the beauty of what I was seeing or feeling into my relatively empty brain and really experience it.

I learned to see and feel the quiet and healing of nature.   I watched butterflies, stared at flowers, felt the breeze, smelled the soil in my garden.   I enjoyed very simple things.   I saw and experienced many things most people around us are not capable of in our busy world.   I watched the blur of activity of other people racing around in their lives and I thought “they are not really living”.    They do not see our world.   I could not see or feel our world before my accident.   Although, in rare times, I stopped for a split second and saw the glimpse of a beautiful flower it was a fleeting, shallow experience.

As a result of TBI, I can truly feel and appreciate the beauty and comfort of nature.   I love viewing the nature around me, inhaling it, feeling it throughout me.   I love the silence of nature and am comforted by it.    I can sit and enjoy the sky, the birds or flowers or just feel myself exist and feel connected to the world around me.

It is a wonderful experience that I can now have as a result of my TBI.    I hope all of you can find a gift that you were given as a result of TBI and be grateful for it.

Let me share with you the video that inspired me to write post.   Once you are redirected to YouTube you will need to click on the video to start it.

http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxSF-Louie-Schwartzberg-Grati

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