I did not intentionally set out to find my purpose in life through service to others. It is something that continues to evolve within me. I have no road map, nor do I have a strategic plan. I just follow where my spirit leads me.
In 2010, I experienced two great losses. In February, my mother passed away and in September I lost my ability to walk due to a spinal cord injury. The world as I knew it had been turned upside down and shaken so hard that I barely recognized the thoughts swirling around in my head. However, it’s not what one would think. I didn’t have bouts of depression, despair or thoughts of suicide, instead I felt overwhelming mental numbness. I felt absolutely nothing, I was emotionless. I felt as if my being consisted solely of a set of eyes viewing the world through a body I no longer recognized and could no longer control. I became acutely aware that I had control of absolutely nothing in my life and strangely enough, by embracing that awareness, I began to heal and I began to feel again.
Adjusting to a new way of navigating through life as a paraplegic and dependent on a wheelchair for mobility was physically challenging. This life adjustment was the hardest aspect to manage. I had so many questions that I did not want or need clinical answers to. I needed life hacks, tricks and tips to make it easier to get through a simple day.
I am so appreciative to the people, organizations and online support groups that showered me with information and it made me want to create my very own platform to communicate and share my road to recovery with others. That is one of the reasons why I felt compelled to create Refocused Lives. If I can reach out and touch or enrich someone’s life with an email, a text, sharing of a link, a phone call or a visit, I believe that I am fulfilling God’s purpose for my life. Not to mention, it just feels good!
I honestly believe that by blurring the focus on my own injury and sharpening my sights on the needs of others has allowed a new passion for life to reside within me where there was once nothing but numbness.
Letitia Collins, Editor In Chief