Sharing Through The Storm

Although we humans are creatures of the pack, we all still need some alone time now and then. A few of us need it more than others, while some can go days without the need to be in contact with others. Then there are others, which start going crazy after a few hours of solitude. One thing we all can agree on; being alone can have its charms, but loneliness can be dreadful.

Being born and raised in a family surrounded by loved ones is the picture perfect example how things should be, yet not all of us were so lucky. There are those few that instead of growing up surrounded by love, they grow up in the abyss of loneliness.

As a child, we do not have control over our lives, yet as an adult, we do. Step 1 is to stop ourselves of dwelling in the seas of self-pity. Luck is random; it is like the weather that cannot be controlled. However, destiny is a boat that can be sailed, a boat that does not sink unless you let it sink. A boat that can survive all storms and always reach a safe port. It can do all this if the captain has the will to do this, and my friend you are the captain.

Sometimes as we sail through life, we are unexpectedly hit by a huge storm. A storm that can knock us over, turn our world upside down. A storm in the form of an ailment, accident, loss or any bad occurrence that makes your heart break. Once that happens, there is no turning back and our only choice is to give in or to pull through.

After the initial turbulence of the episode, you may find some peace in the calm seas of self-pity, but do not deceive yourself. Those calm seas are just the eye of the storm and surviving in the middle of a storm is not the way to live. You have to pull yourself through it; you have to!

The first few months after my stroke I found myself dwelling over all that I have lost; my life, my future, my mobility, all of it. I was numb, and I thought, “What sense is there in continuing living in such state”. If at that moment, someone would have explained to me that my destiny is a boat I can sail, I would have given them a sarcastic remark like; “should I steer it with these paralyzed arms or by screaming to the steersman that direction to keep with this paralyzed tongue?”

Well, that was 20 years ago. My arms are still paralyzed, and I still cannot say a word. I have my boat exactly where I want it. I have learned that the navigating of one’s life is not about what a person can physically do; it is all about “WILL!”

I cannot lie. At the start, I had no dreams, no plans, not even much will to live. The only reason I was living was that I was alive. My only pleasure was the company of friends that from time to time dropped by to say hi. I appreciated their presence so much that I decided to overwhelm everybody with gifts that Christmas.

I remember that first Christmas of being paralyzed like it was yesterday. I remember sitting there in my wheelchair overwhelmed with emotions as everybody was going through their presents. This moment of rejoice overtook me completely as I realized that SHARING is the greatest thing in life! Sharing is the one thing that brings the most joy and although all that had happened to me, I was still able to share and that made my life worth living.

That day my life took a new meaning. I found my little piece of heaven. I started to open up more, share more, live more and I started to dream again. My faith had been restored. I started to make more friends all over the world and kept sharing every day more and more with just simple words (you cannot imagine how much power a few simple words can have). As time went by, I realized that when I shared I also inspired, and this made me want to share more and more.

No matter what one’s situation or condition may be. Sharing with others is the most meaningful thing we will ever do in our lives. I am not talking about material things.  Experience, knowledge, history, and most importantly thoughts, emotions, love, words and moments are the most precious gifts to give.

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Kati van der Hoeven (Lepistö)
About Kati van der Hoeven (Lepistö) 7 Articles

Kati ”Young achiever of 2014”

The Finnish author, blogger Kati van der Hoeven-Lepistö, is the award-winner ´The Finnish young achiever of the year 2014´. The prize was awarded by the junior division of the Chamber of Commerce International Finland.

Kati van der Hoeven-Lepistö is a 40-year-old former supermodel, whose career was cut short after an afflicted brain stem infarction in 1995. Kati was 20-years-old at that time, Kati lost the power of movement and the power of speech completely. Only her eyes are working, and she communicates with a letter chart.

The grand assemblage of instruments according to van der Hoeven is determination, faith and toughness, these enable her to live a full life. She has helped and encouraged others to cope with being paralyzed and moving forward.

Kati is the author of her life experiences in the book ´Blink of an eye´ (only in Finnish), and she is an active blogger. According to the jury van der Hoeven-Lepistö fosters a positive attitude to life, and she has affected thousands of people’s life and attitude towards life by teaching acceptance of diversity and understanding (spiritual growth).

The Young Achiever is the world’s most prestigious award, the junior division Chamber of Commerce International Finland to share their field and in his own right performing between 18 and 40 years of Finnish citizens. Competition is the national implementation of international ´The Outstanding Young Person Awards.