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This morning, I watched Marie (Marie Osmond’s new talk show on Hallmark) and the episode was inspiring and tear-jerking (in both a happy and sad way). The episode was partially about two women on a show called “Push Girls”: actress Angela Rockwood and dancer Auti Angel. They’re quadriplegic and paraplegic, respectively.

Angela was in an accident in 2001 that left her paralyzed and classified as a C4-5 quadriplegic, so she wasn’t able to move anything below her neck. The accident she was in was also the same one that killed Thuy Trang, who played the original yellow power ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the ‘90s. The doctors told her that she had around a 3% chance (if I remember correctly) of ever being able to move anything below her neck again. But she still pressed on, and regained the ability to move her arms and hands. She’s now a paraplegic instead.

Auti was in an accident in 1992 that left her paralyzed from the waist down. The details she gave of the accident made me cringe, so I’ll leave that part out. The doctors told her that she would never dance again, but she didn’t accept that. She continued her dancing career – not in the same way as before, as she’s still wheelchair-bound. “Once a dancer, always a dancer,” as she said. She dances by using her arms and wheelchair tricks.

Both of them are amazing. One of them stated on Marie today that if you still have breath in you, then you have a purpose. They lived through those accidents for a reason. Even though the accidents left them paralyzed and paraplegic, they’re still living, still happy and smiling, and still inspiring others to keep going. Does that mean they never struggle emotionally? Of course they do. But they praise their way through it. They thank their way through it. Despite their struggles (immense struggles), they’re still thankful.

My whole life, I’ve been bitter, pessimistic, and angry about one thing after another. I was born with a bad hip. The socket in my left hip wasn’t fully developed when I was born. By the time I was 10 years old, I had undergone 4 surgeries – 3 of which required me to wear a body cast afterward for almost 2 months. It was difficult on both me and my parents, and it was heartbreaking for them. Until I’m older (and old enough to receive a hip replacement, which I will eventually), there’s nothing more that the doctors can do for my hip. So everyday, I deal with pain. Some days, there’s lots of pain…throbbing, constant pain that puts me in tears and keeps me up at night. Other days, it’s just minimal pain, thankfully. But every single day, there’s some level of pain to be dealt with.

The last few years, I’ve been even more bitter. Throwing a pity party, so to speak. But this show made me stop and think, “What is the point in this? What will feeling sorry for myself do for me in the long run? What will it do for others?” I know everyone suffers in their own way and on different levels, but Angela and Auti’s experiences made me feel like I don’t really have a right to complain. I can still walk. I can workout. I can take care of myself. I’m not wheelchair-bound or handicapped. I’m not even disabled. Yeah ok I have a limp often, I’m in some form of pain everyday, I do need some help standing up every now and then, but that’s nothing extreme. And not much to complain about.

In fact, my bad hip could be something to be thankful for. I won’t give details or even tell the story, but my bad hip is what led to my adoption to my grandparents. They’re the best parents I could’ve asked for, they’ve given me a great life and a great education, they’ve instilled wonderful morals and values in me, and they’ve supported me through everything – not just my surgeries.

The point here in this long post is that, despite how bad a circumstance may be, it happened for a reason and there’s always something to be thankful for in the end – whether it’s a lesson learned, a life you’ve saved, or even one person you’ve inspired or helped. There’s always something. Sometimes it takes a ton of thinking, soul-searching, and praying. But it’s there, and you’ll find it. You just have to want to.

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