I don’t remember all the details, but the moment is forever etched in my mind.
One day I was talking with a woman. We were just getting to know one another and she began to tell me about her life. It was extraordinary and amazing. I had never met or even heard of anyone whose life was filled with so much tragedy. It was truly extraordinary.
Her parents had died in a car accident when she was young.
Her first child was born severely retarded.
Her husband died leaving her with two children to care for, both under the age of ten.
She herself was battling cancer.
I think that is a lot for any one person to have to deal with. I even told her so. Then I asked “How do you do it? How do you get out of bed every day and face the world?”
Her answer was so simple. But at that moment it struck me as profound. Four simple words that I have repeated so many times since that day we spoke and that I will never forget. “The options are limited.”
Sure. She had a choice to make and every day she chose to get out of bed and face the world. She was alive and chose to live. In spite of her problems, her past traumas, and what seemed like insurmountable odds, she wasn’t done yet. As long as there was breath in her lungs, she was going to live her life the best she could.
Am I faced with challenges? Of course. We all are. Having problems is a condition of being alive. So I say bring it on. Let me face every problem as an opportunity. Let me deal with the challenges that I face in a way that makes me feel alive. Let me always remember the strength, courage and wisdom of the woman I met who taught me that “the options are limited.”
I love being alive. After all, the options are limited.
Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.