Sustaining a brain injury can result in a loss of identity. As a result we may have bought into the notion that we are our brain injuries. What was once familiar to us, becomes foreign. We may have also lost our sense of significance, self-esteem and self-respect. But there is good news. Discovering our significance, self-esteem and self-respect, after a brain injury, is in our reach.
Below I would like to share what helped me to discover my significance, self-esteem and self-respect. If you have struggled with discovering your significance, self-esteem and self-respect after your brain injury, I would invite you to read this article.
My traumatic brain injury occurred in 1967 at the age of 10. Once my external wounds healed and “I looked normal” the impact of my brain injury remained hidden (invisible) for many years.
Hidden from both other people and from myself.
Hidden from the impact that my brain injury had upon my feelings of significance, self-esteem and self-respect.
What I Discovered
As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I struggled to find my place of significance in the world for many years. In the process of my struggle to find my place of significance, my self-esteem and self-respect were repeatedly dashed by disappointment.
In my struggle to find my significance, I sought to define my meaning and purpose in a variety of ways.
Through educational pursuits, career paths, participation with/in various churches/groups/ organizations and relationships.
Little Did I Know
Little did I know that the deficits and limitations connected to the impact of my brain injury kept getting in my way. Kept getting in the way of attaining my significance, self-esteem and self-respect. In the process, I kept running into one “wall” after another “wall”.
The Impact on Running into One Wall after Another Wall
When I failed to establish my place of significance I experienced disillusionment, despair, and depression. My disillusionment, despair, and depression continued for many years.
In my experience and because of what I could not overcome due to my brain injury, “Keeping up with the Joneses” was out of my reach. Being unable to maintain gainful employment and thus have the money” to catch up with the Joneses” left me feeling inadequate.
Feeling inadequate led me to believe that my worth and value was of little significance.
Feeling inadequate and of little significance effectively undermined the way that I thought about myself.
But I am Glad that I Did Not Give Up
Surrendered to the Notion
Through my struggle, I reached a point in time when I surrendered to the notion. To the notion that my significance, self-esteem and self-respect had to be defined by an educational pursuit, a career path, an affiliation or a relationship.
I surrendered to the notion that my brain injury was keeping me from my place of significance.
Benefits of Surrendering
And as I surrendered to the expectations of “Keeping up with the Joneses” I discovered a new freedom.
A freedom that helped me to realize that I could define my own place of significance. A place of significance beyond the expectations of an educational accomplishment, a career path, an affiliation or a relationship. A freedom to live my significance beyond a societal expectation.
A freedom to define my place of significance through discovering how to use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that would work for me.
A freedom to discover my self-esteem and self-respect through creating and expressing myself.
“When I reached a point in my life when I began to realize that I could define my own significance I began a new journey. A journey to discover my significance, self-esteem and self-respect.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
Stopped Fighting Against Myself
In my experience, when I stopped trying to not be an individual impacted by a brain injury I was able to stop fighting against myself.
As I was able to stop fighting against myself, I began to discover what I could accomplish, despite my deficits and limitations.
As I stopped fighting against myself, I discovered my significance.
My significance beyond “beyond keeping up with the Joneses”. My significance to use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that worked for me. My significance to of service in ways that I never dreamed possible. My significance to grow in self-esteem and self-respect.
In the event that you are living with the impact of a brain injury and feeling insignificant, I have good news for you. You no longer have to “Keep up with the Joneses” to have significance. You can discover your significance. You can discover your self-esteem and self-respect through creating and expressing yourself.
Below are several links to articles that may help you. In these articles, I share principles and strategies that helped me to discover my place of significance, self-esteem and self-respect. As you read through these articles and questions come to mind, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions and welccomed.
You have my permission to share my articles and or video presentations with anyone you believe could benefit, however, I maintain ownership of the intellectual property AND my articles, video presentations and eBooks are not to be considered OPEN SOURCE. Please also provide a link back to Second Chance to Live. In the event that you have questions, please send those questions to me. All questions are good questions. I look forward to hearing from you. More Information: Copyright 2007 –2018