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Commitment to your vision

Commitment to your vision
This week I was reminded about one of the ingredients that went into my life pie.:) Remember, in my earlier posting I said that just like you need numerous ingredients to make a pie, it takes several important things to handle various unfavorable situations in life, overcome obstacles or achieve what you want,?:)
One of the things that helped me to get through the most challenging times was a Commitment to my vision. I did not “wish” a better life. I had a burning desire to have a better life. I wanted get back into active full lifestyle and I was committed to making it happen.

Goosebumps go through my body when I remember those years, when I was training to walk with artificial legs. It was exhausting work and endless pain. Every step I made felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife. Still, I was learning to make those steps, just so I can walk again. After walking for 1.5 hrs, my thighs were swolen, covered with bruzes, sores and even opened wounds. I would put the medicine and the bandage on the sores, and would train again. My decision to walk again was non-negotiable. Even though realistically It seemed impossible for me to walk and I was told so many times I should just leave that alone and take a different strategy for my life, I kept training and going for my dream. I was so committed that I did not even listen to people’s opinions nor did I negotiate with pain, my mood or daily “want and don’t want”. The time came when I did reach my dream. I did walk. There is no way I would have walked again, if I was not fully committed to my dream.

When 8 years ago I decided to go to California to see how I could establish myself in this beautiful land, I had absolutely no means or guarantees to implement my idea. I did not have a place to live, did not have a lot of money and did not have a job. I did not even have the right to live and work in the country. I knew English pretty well, but I hardly understood Americans. In addition to that, I had no idea how I could move around independently in the manual wheelchair, cook meals for myself with one hand and just generally take care of myself being in such physical condition that I am. The idea of living in California seemed very exciting, of course, but I was in a very tough position – I had absolutely no resources to make it happen. I had my faith in God, several Americans who loved me, my suitcase and a dream.:) That’s how I started… I put my faith in God and myself I was fully committed to make it happen regardless of how much effort and work it would take. Today I live the dream that seemed nearly impossible… In fact, I have more than I could have ever dreamed of…

The interesting thing was my mindset: when I decided to go to America. I did not go to “try” establish myself there. I was going to do it. I did not leave any alternative to myself. I knew I would live in California before I even flew down here. I had no idea how I could possibly implement my desire, but there was no doubt that I would succeed. Yes, it required determination, devotion, hard work, and persistence. I was very blessed in whatever I did and was protected from evil, but it did take a lot of effort and hard work. Of course there were times when it seemed I would have given away anything just so I can be at home in Lithuania with my family and friends. But I knew I could not just drop everything and leave.The full commitment to my dream pushed me forward through the difficult times. My commitment to the outcome moves me forward up to this day, and I am holding that standard.

…The obstacles, challenges and various problems will come into your life, whether you want it or not. But if are truly committed, you will overcome it all. There might be the facts of your reality that ironically smiles at you saying that your goal is nearly impossible. But if you are truly commited to your vision – you will find a way to realize it.There cannot be “Trying to do it”. Don’t try. Just do it. Of course it is necessary to be wise about the decisions, but the truth is that you must be fully committed if you are going after some big vision, because obstacles will show up without a doubt. It’s what you are going to do when they come will determine your result. Trying is a state of mind when you allow the possibility of not making it happen. Commitment makes your decision non-negotiable. You will achieve what you want, because then you will be absolutely determined to do whatever it takes to realize your vision.

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The detail that will greatly impact your outcome

What makes a difference why sometimes people overcome pain and obstacles and sometimes don’t? This question has been on my mind for quite a long time.
 As I was going through my challenges the first several years since the accident, I never really analyzed what made me do what I did and what helped handle the pain and overcome obstacles that made my vision look nearly impossible.  I just knew I would never give up on my vision and would not allow anybody to talk me out of it. I consistently moved forward in life breaking through the obstacles that I met on my way. I had my sight on my vision, was holding on to my faith and would not let anything to stop me. Only after I implemented some of my biggest goals, I started thinking about what helped me to go through my toughest times and reach that, which seemed impossible. Especially it made me think about it once I started hearing people say “I’m not as strong as you are”. Listening to them, I would ask myself “Why do they think they are not strong enough to handle their situation or that I am stronger than they are?  
The truth is that it is not that I am stronger or better. It is what I decided to do after I had the crash. Observing people’s comments, I see that it seems to many that I handled everything easily because I am “naturally strong”. Well, No it was never easy. Never. At times the emotional pain was just unbearable. I do get those hits on the ongoing basis.:) and No it is not easy. Sometimes it seems that the further I go in life, the stronger hits I get. But I keep going.  I am committed to my outcome and I do not allow myself to give up on it when it gets tough.  Often I say that problems either break you or make you stronger, and it depends on you what result you are going to have. I learned something very powerful that I use to handle whatever I have to face. There are several things that are important. It is like only by putting numerous various ingredients you can make a cake.:) But today I am talking about the detail that greatly influences how we feel and how we handle unfavorable situations.

 

I shared in my previous post that faith is my strong foundation and it is the main source of strength to handle it all.  Faith set the mindset that empowered me at all times. It gave me the hope and strength to move on no matter how desperate my situation seemed to be.

 

There is another critical part to it. It is the power of how you communicate to yourself about what happens and what you are going to do about it. Observing myself and other people, I started seeing that how things turn after unfavorable event happens, most of the times depends on how we look at it. Why? That’s where our journey starts either toward winning or losing the game. The reason being why it is so crucial is because depending on how we interpret the event and communicate to ourselves our ability to handle it, we will feel either low self-esteem or even helpless Or strong and empowered, and That will determine what we are going to do next. Would you agree that we choose different action when we feel helpless and doubtful, and when we feel determined and empowered? 

 

Having the same event, you have two choices of how you look at it and what you say to yourself. Is this a punishment or is this a lesson for you? Is this a loss or an opened opportunity to have new and better? Does this situation show you are not capable or does this situation show there is an area where you can improve yourself, so you can do better next time? Is this a dead end or a challenge for you to find a way because you know there must be a way? Is this too much for you to handle or not? Your first choice to say to yourself is “I am not strong enough to take it. This is too much for me”. Second choice – say to yourself “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, and so that means I am strong enough to take it.  And I am strong enough not just to cope with it, but I will take it with courage and with God’s help I will win the game”. Would you agree that communicating things that empower and dis-empower you, will deliver totally different result in your life?
So it is important to be careful with how you communicate to yourself about what happens, and what you say to yourself whether you can or cannot get the outcome you want.
Which mindset are you going to choose? It depends what outcome you want to have in your life. You are the one, who decides how you look at things and what you think about. We cannot control events that happen in our lives, but we can control how we look at it and then what we do about it.
So, be strong and choose the perspective that will empower you. You will see a big difference!
 

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Where to get inner strength?

I hope your week was a good and productive one, and you had strength to endure various problems, overcome obstacles and handle some unexpected unpleasant surprises that life throws at us sometimes.:)

Talking about strength, I hear a lot people saying that I am strong, and they ask me where from  I get that strength and endurance to go through  all the physical and emotional pain, and to do things that I do. Yes, pain and difficulties tested me and made me only stronger. I know, character and personality has a lot to do with it. And I will agree I am stubborn.:) My Mom used to complain about my stubbornness :), but really stubbornness is one of those qualities that helped me to get through the most challenging times. But you know what is my real source of strength? God is my strength.  Prayer and faith – this is my source of strength and driving force. I know, this might not sound “serious” to you or “religious stuff” :), I am sure you have heard numerous times about it, and maybe really what you would like to hear is something concrete and tangible. 

 As strange as it might seem to you, faith is much more than a good job, friends or money. All of you know that people or any beneficial contacts might betray you. One day they can seem to be your best friend and even promise to love you and never leave you, but then another day they break their word and disappear from your life. Also, one day you have money, house or outstanding career, but it might be gone in a flash any day. From my experience I learned very well – one day you have it all, and the next day you might lose it all. But faith will never disappoint you. Yes, faith is not tangible and it is invisible. But it has an immense power and it can turn the impossible into possible. There is nothing more powerful than a prayer and faith in God.

We all are spiritual beings, and such qualities like inner strength is not based on material things or economic status. Material wealth might give you confidence, if that’s where you put your highest values (the problem with that is that you will lose the confidence if/when you lose the source of that material wealth).  But have you experienced being well economically, but feeling sad, depressed and unhappy anyway? It’s what is within you makes a difference on how you feel.  Jesus said once that if we drink the water that he gives, we will never be thirsty. He is the source of inner peace, strength and joy. While  I was in the Intensive Care Unit on a verge of life and death, I had absolutely incredible experience, and I don’t just believe Jesus is alive in his Spirit. I know he is.

Faith is my strong foundation. It always gave me hope, and it gave me courage and strength to move forward no matter how desparate my situation was. It lifted me up when I fell down. It gave me inner strength to take another step when I felt exhausted. It helped me to move forward in life in spite of obstacles and difficulties that I had to face.I know sometimes it is not easy to trust God, who is invisible, because we human beings naturally rely on something that we can see, touch, feel and have confidence in. We tend to hope for help from supernatural power only when we cannot do anything to change our situation. Have you heard people saying “Well..now only God can help”? That’s exactly what taught me to seek God. I’ve been in such situations numerous times, and that’s when I had the biggest miracles happening in my life – when I put my trust in God, not on people or any resources.

You feel tired, deeply disappointed, worried, afraid or even desperate? I want to encourage you to try do the same. Be like a little child and seek God. Trust anyway. Try to seek for help and for inner strength in a prayer. Just close the door of your room… and talk to God. He always answers to those, who seek him with all their heart.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)

 

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Can you move forward by going backwards?

Everyone has various events that hurt us. I’m sure all of you experienced pain because of some daily events or people, who hurt you. Usually we dwell on that for some time, thinking about it right? 

Can you move forward by going backwards? Same way, you can’t move forward in life, if in your mind you keep going back to what had happened earlier. The past events now are only the facts that cannot be changed. It’s a “historical” fact.:) Also, going back to them in your mind won’t make you feel better nor will it empower you. In fact, you make it only worse for yourself, because by constantly thinking about your unsuccessful attempt to accomplish something, who hurt you or what you have lost, you re-live the pain over and over again. 

 Your faith, empowering attitude and actions that you choose today can make a change. By focusing on what you have today (forget what you have lost or what you cannot do!) and how you can improve your circumstances can change the direction of your life.  Your past events cannot determine how you feel nor can it determine your future, if you decide not to dwell on your past, but move forward creating the life you truly desire.  Take care, and… step forward, not backwards.  

 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Rise Above It

…Lately  I have been thinking about gratitude and the power of focus. What we focus on dramatically affects how we feel and what we do.  I remember very well this special moment that was like a turning point in my life. I think it was about 5 or 6 years ago. At the time I recently moved to the United States from Europe. I lived in a land of sunshine California, but I felt very unhappy. Everything in my life seemed dreary, cold and dark. I did not feel happy nor was I even pleased with my life. I was on the bus going home from work. I did not want to go home. I did not want to see anyone and I did not want to do anything. I just felt empty and depressed. As I was driving and looking through the window, black thoughts were bombarding my mind. I did not see even one reason why I could feel happy or at least at ease. I caught myself feeling this way and asked myself “How did I get to this..? How in the world I got myself to the point that I feel so unhappy..?!” Suddenly, I felt this quiet gentle voice within me “Rise above it. Rise above all your problems and what you are not happy about. Inga, look at how much good you have in your life! But you don’t see it because you are focused on what doesn’t go the way you want it to go and you are constantly thinking about what you are not happy about. Rise above all you are not happy about.  Rise above your dissatisfaction and look how much good you have in your life.”  In my mind I envisioned myself going up and leaving behind all that made me unhappy. I left behind my dissatisfaction, my daily routine, household and job duties, concerns, problems, worries.   As I left it all below, here above it felt so good and bright. I felt at ease!  I looked at the horizon and I saw Success, Happiness, Joy and Victories of my goals to be achieved yet. I was so longing for the sheer joy and easiness… I was so longing for the excitement of moving forward and achieving the goals that were getting me closer to my ultimate vision.  The victory was ahead of me waiting for me to reach it, but… I stopped moving toward it. Just a while ago I had so many goals that I wanted to achieve. I was striving for excellence every time I did something. I had such a beautiful vision for the life I wanted to create! But I lost my vision because I switched my focus on that, which was right in front of me  – facts of today’s reality. I focused on the parts of my life that made me irritated, unhappy and annoyed. I was constantly thinking about that, which made me unhappy instead of what I have achieved and what made my life fulfilling and beautiful. I focused on what was not working for me instead of seeking how I could implement the vision of the life I wanted to have. I knew I needed to switch my focus back to my vision. I needed to rise above all that made me so unhappy, leave it all behind and move toward implementing my dream. I had to walk in faith – I had to see my dream to be achieved. I had to choose to think about what I wanted my life to be like and how I could realize that, instead of what I was unhappy about. I will not implement my vision and I will not be happy if I am going to dwell on what was not working for me. I needed to shift my focus.
 
This was the day when my depressed inner state turned around. It seemed like someone opened my eyes and I saw what I didn’t see before – my life truly was amazing and I had so much beautiful in  my life!  All of a sudden I saw how much good I had in my life. I came to the U.S. knowing only one person and now I had so many wonderful people in my life. When I decided to move to California, I had nothing except my suitcase, few friends and my dream, and now I do live in this absolutely gorgeous spot of the world! I move around independently, work, travel and enjoy my life just as I did prior the accident. When I decided to establish myself in California,I said to my family and friends that my next goal is almost as impossible as a flight to the moon, but I am going to try it anyway. And I landed! I literally live the dream that seemed nearly impossible! My life is just a miracle… I have so much more to accomplish and I have the opportunity to do that!  That moment I felt that all those details that made me unhappy could not even compare to all what made my life so beautiful. I could not believe I did not see it before! And I did not see it only because I was focused on what was wrong in my life. I was constantly thinking about what I did not like and what I was unhappy about. Since that day I stopped doing that.
 
I made the decision to put my effort Not to dwell on things that I was not happy about. I had too many good things happening in my life to waste my time and my emotions on the negative. I decided to focus on how much beautiful I have, what I have achieved so far and what I was going to accomplish yet. If there were situations that I was not happy about, instead of sitting complaining or being drown in dissatisfaction about it, I was seeking for the ways how I could improve my circumstances, so I don’t have to feel this way any more. And I did not even bother myself thinking about some things that were irritable. That was a new beginning for me. In my mind I kept the vision of the life I wanted to create, consistently worked on my goals, and by achieving one goal after another I improved my life conditions and my circumstances. Today I live my vision. Of course life had and still has its own moments and unexpected surprises, but I always remember what that quiet voice gently told me.
 
Today I want to pass that message to you, who took the time to read it – “Rise above it…. Don’t look what’s in front of you. Rise above it and look ahead. See the vision of the life you want to create, and move toward it.”
~ Inga Lizdenyte
 
 

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Stay committed to your decision and never, never give up

Greetings to Everyone, and Happy New Year!

I am new to the blogging, so this is my very first posting.:) 

 As we start our new year, I want to encourage everyone to be committed to your dream, to your purpose, to your desire. In the beginning of the year a lot of people set big and small goals that they want to accomplish. It became a tradition to have New Year resolutions, which everyone enthusiastically talks about. And then life takes its course by having disappointments, problems, and unexpected turns. It’s not the New Year resolution, which you made on a New Year’s Eve that will get you to accomplish what you want. It is a commitment to your goal. It is not giving up when you face obstacles, challenges or problems that you will meet in your life. It is not being discouraged and doing it anyway when you see that your goal is nearly impossible. It is a commitment and not giving up on your dream that will get you to where you want to be. 

..When I realized that I have lost my both legs and that my left arm was irrecoverably paralyzed, it seemed that every tiny fraction of my being screamed out of pain “Why! Why it had to be so cruel?!” I was shocked. I was scared. I was lost. It was a car accident that turned my life around when I was just 22 years old. My boyfriend was killed, and I almost lost my life as well. When I perceived my condition, I found myself not being to move or speak. In addition to the fact that I lost both legs, my left arm was paralyzed, I had other multiple severe injuries, which resulted me being able to just open and close my eyes. This crash completely destroyed everything that made my life beautiful and exciting. I lost my exciting career and activities with my friends, and everything that I was doing. in addition to that I lost half of my body and became confined to a wheelchair. From being healthy, beautiful, confident and active I woke up being weak, helpless and totally dependent on other people. I was blessed to have my family and friends, who were there with me and for me. But I had to face a very cruel reality. I was only 22, and had to accept what happened and figure out how I was going to continue my life. I decided that I was not going to blame my boyfriend, God or destiny for what had happened. I understood that blaming, crying and idol dissatisfaction about what happened will not change anything, nor will it improve my situation. I knew I had to fight for my life. I completely refused to accept people’s suggestions to give in because this is my destiny. I said to them that with my God’s help I will create the destiny I desire. I will do whatever it takes to change it all and I will live a beautiful life in spite of it all. So…after I healed I started my journey, fully trusting that with God’s help I will recover my life. I was walking through the valleys of tears and pain.. There were so many times when it seemed impossible and I was tired, disappointed, hurt and had no strength to take another step in life. So many times my circumstances looked at me ironically smiling and said “You have no choice. Just give up” So many times I heard people saying that what I was trying to accomplish was impossible and should just give up and do something different. But I had my vision and deeply trusted that my God will help me to get through it all and I was ready to do whatever it takes to realize my dream. I still would make an effort to take another breath, get up and take another step. And then, I took another step…and then another one. I have fallen down many times and got hurt. I felt discouraged again and again. I did have to face fear and hear suggestions to let it go and accept my circumstances the way they were. But my Lord gave me strength and I again would make another step… I had a vision that I will live a full active lifestyle in spite of my injuries and worked toward my dream goal.
It was a long tough journey, but I arrived. I set the goals for myself, which step-by-step transformed my life from not being able to move or speak to travelling across the world by myself and building my life all over again in a foreign country. Today, having tears of joy I say that I literally live my dream that seemed impossible.  I live across the globe from my family, live by myself and take care of all the household matters by myself, work, travel, have a lot of wonderful friends….just live an amazing life. It is scary to even think about what my life would be like, if I gave up…?

 … Success is not just a random thing that drops out of the blue sky. Success is a result. Determination and persistence are required in order to achieve anything in life. You have to be as a drop of water that by consistent drop polishes and finally breaks down the rock. If you don’t have a successful result right when you want it, it does not mean that you never are going to have it. Maybe you just need to put a little bit more effort in what you do. Or maybe you need to change your approach. How would you feel, if after giving up on your dream, you would find out that all you needed to do was find out a little bit more information and think a little differently to figure out how you could implement your desire? What if you had achieved it if you pushed a little further, a little bit harder? Or..maybe you needed to just take a one more step…? Try again and again. Know that there is always a solution; you just need to find it. Try until you reach it. You run, walk, take step after step, crawl. It doesn’t matter how fast you will move, but do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. And there will be a day when you reach your finish line and will smile… You have achieved it anyway. And where would you be..if you gave up?

 Lastly, I just wanted to say…. really, the easiest way is to sit and complain, blame someone else for your problems or to say to yourself and the rest of the world “Probably this is my destiny” or “I am not that strong” and just simply go along with whatever life gives you. It is easy to stop fighting and give up. Giving up doesn’t require any talent…nor it needs the effort.. Usually this is the choice of someone, who seeks for an excuse why he lives the way he does instead of making an effort to take charge of his life and make the change. It’s the choice of an easier route, but this way a person can waste many years of a beautiful life being in pain, hate and anger.

 It requires a lot of strength though to look up and say that life is going to be good in spite of all. Yes, it requires strength and courage. It requires determination to look straight into the eyes of occurred problems and fear, and say that you will change your circumstances and you will live your life the way you want. It does require perseverance and patience to go against the stream. And only those, who really have a desire to win in life, go against the stream if they need to. They don’t allow negative emotions take over and dominate. They do whatever it takes hold on to their faith and hope that will show them the path in the dark and will give them the strength to move on. Yes, it is not easy, but it’s that kind of people that are able to change their circumstances and create the life that they desire..
So be strong…keep moving forward and win.

~ Inga Lizdenyte

 

 

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