Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Propellers of Tragedy


I was amazed when I heard the story of Lauren Scruggs. (She’s the model in Texas who was hit by a spinning airplane propeller.) According to the reports I heard, it hit her in the head (she may or may not lose an eye), cut off her hand, cut into her shoulder and left her lucky to be alive. 

Can you imagine? You go flying over Texas to look at some Christmas lights, you get off the plane, go back to thank the pilot for the ride, and get struck by a spinning propeller! 

Most people's reaction, the reaction I get most often in my practice is, "How Could This Happen?" It's not a wrong question. Feelings are valid, and should always be acknowledges. 

But when I heard her response to seeing herself in the mirror for the first time...I was awestruck and humbled.  

Photo from Lauren Scruggs Facebook
 Apparently she shrugged it off and said it “isn’t as bad” as she thought. Her comment struck me. Here’s a model who makes her living off her outward beauty who – because of this accident – will probably have to completely rework the paradigm of her life.That is… who she is, how she makes a living, how she defines herself, etc. 

 I love the attitude that she started “out of the gate” with on this new journey. When the events of life hit, we are left to decide how we will respond. All too often, all we choose to see are the negative effects. We bemuse the incident and wonder how life could possibly be the same again. We somehow expect that life now MUST be worse because of what took place. 

And certainly, what takes place sometimes in life is downright awful. But… does that mean that the “downright awful” gets to win? Are we forever at the mercy of what has happened so that life cannot go on to mean something, perhaps even something more powerful than it was before?

 I don’t know her, but I think Lauren gets it. I heard today that she smiled again. Yes… she suffered tragedy. Yes… she was incredibly hurt. Yes… she has to redefine life. But here’s the deal: if what I am reading and hearing is true, she doesn’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. 

What has happened is a part of her story, but it doesn’t define who she is. What she chooses to believe about herself and the incident defines who she is. And that… is powerful. Powerful beyond measure. 

Are you someone who has suffered something great, like Lauren? How do you define yourself today?

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