Who's giving up? You giving up? Not me, that's for darn sure. Although, there are days when I have to set everything aside and refocus. But that's not giving up. That's changing my perspective. And sometimes that's just as important as trying.
Yesterday, I finally got to see the Soul Surfer movie.
You know, the true story of Bethany Hamilton who was attacked by a shark while she was practicing for her upcoming surfing competition and lost her arm, just barely surviving? Have you seen the movie yet? Make the time for this one. Besides the fact that it's set in Hawaii (my most fave place in the world) and the scenery is gorgeous, Bethany's story will move you and touch your heart.
The obvious take-away from her story, is to never give up. That we all face obstacles and adversity and at times, we all will fail. How frustrating it must've been to just make a sandwich with only one hand, let alone trying to get up and balance on a surfboard. No one would've blamed Bethany for giving up surfing ... or even for never going into the water again after what happened.
But she did not let it stop her. And it wasn't easy. Actually, she got so frustrated that she did give up surfing. For awhile. But only to gain some perspective. You know what she did to refocus? Found a way to help others. She went to Thailand right after the tsunami of 2004 and did mission work. How's that for a fresh perspective?
Sometimes we think we have it so bad, we forget there are thousands of people around the world who would give anything to trade places with us. We tend to wallow in our failures and self-pity. Which means it's time to step back and look at what we have already accomplished.
When Bethany returned to Hawaii, she did get back into surfing... and came in 5th place in the Hawaiian regional surfing competition. She didn't win, but she was certainly the only one-armed surfer out there. She didn't give up when things got tougher than she ever imagined. She stopped and focused her attention on what she could do for others. And THAT is what gave her the strength to press on.
Perspective. It's so easy to forget to change it. There's a line in the film that says, "Sometimes we have to change the way we look at things. If we're too close to it, we can't really see it for what it is."
I think about that with my stories. And with writing in general. Hey, it's not the end of the world if that first, second, or third story doesn't pan out like we want. We just ... move on. Until we're ready to get back in the water and catch the next wave. Why? Because it's what we love. And no one, not even ourselves, is going to stand in the way of our dreams.
It's also why we need support from each other. It's why this writing community is so so important. Bethany wouldn't have the guts she has without the support of her loving family and from people around the world who saw her story and sent her letters of support and encouragement. I know we're all supposed to be here in the blogosphere to create our platforms and that jazz ... But it's more than that! We have a network of support and encouragement from each other, and that is what will see us through to our goals.
Gosh, I love you guys. *sniff sniff* LOL! (for dramatic effect) ;)
Have you seen Soul Surfer? Or know the Bethany Hamilton story? How does she inspire you? Is there someone else who inspires you? Please share ...