A true tale of survival and awakening…
I was cycling along, lost in thought, oblivious to the sun shining, the cars honking, and the railway arm on the other side of the road slowly descending, bells clanging in a call for drivers to stop. Nor did I detect the roar of the charging beast that seemed to suddenly appear and be looming down upon me!
Horror-struck, I realised the sequence of events had been set in motion, and there was nothing I could do to escape. I watched stupefied, in slow motion, as the train sped toward me, ready to cut me off at the pass!
I don’t know what made me look up. But, in that split second, I somehow made a decision that would save my life. Somehow I just knew what to do.
Although, I don’t remember making the choice, something told me to turn my front tire slightly to the left. Somehow, I had the presence of mind to do it. As the train struck, I went over on my side, in front of, and then was dragged beneath, to the jaws of the monster.
Thankfully, the newly appointed angle of my front tire shifted the position of my bike, causing the back tire to catch the cowcatcher. Had it not caught, I would likely have been torn asunder and pulverized beyond all recognition, but for the titian tendrils that were once my trademark.
I felt a complete sense of calm. Nothing flashed before my eyes. And astonishingly, I did not feel afraid. I was surrounded in warmth and light. I was above myself, beneath myself, within myself… I was the light. I knew that I was going to be alright and that I had great work to do.
After a bounce or two, I sensibly held my head up, waiting and watching the sights as they went whizzing past. Pinned, the left side of my body grazed the ground, fastidiously collecting pebbles and other debris, as the screech of the brakes screamed in the background. After a lifetime of moments, the train finally came to a slow stop.
I lay there in shock, patiently presuming that someone would be out to help me. I had just been hit by a train! It had not occurred to me that they had inaccurately if, understandably, surmised that I had not survived and could be scattered in pieces along the length of the track! Nobody came.
Agitated, I somehow managed to gradually pull myself out and unhook my bike with the insane notion of carrying on, as if merely inconvenienced. And as I slowly rose, and the darkness came to claim me, my knees buckled, and I promptly and less than prestigiously, passed out right there on the track. There I lay, splayed and unconscious, as the flabbergasted engineer emerged, and with disbelieving eyes, beheld the stupefying fact that I was somehow still alive.
I came to in the ambulance. Miraculously, I was relatively unscathed, only suffering a few minor abrasions, a dislocated shoulder, and a concussion. Other than that, I was fine. In fact, I was better than fine. It was a miracle that I was alive! As the truth of this hit home, and I pondered this remarkable and extraordinary proffering, I was grateful.
And I knew I was here on this earth for a reason. We all are. We all here to make a difference and that difference matters.
And so it goes, that life-altering incidents tend to open our eyes to simple truths and lessons:
Do not avoid things out of fear. The alternative could be worse.
It is ironic that I had been riding on the sidewalk because I was too nervous to ride on the ro ad for fear I might be hit by a speeding car. That I was on the wrong side of the road where there was no barrier to stop me, was an eerie happenstance.
Things are not always what they seem.
Much to my dismay and irritation, I was outrageously charged with failing to yield at the crossing! I also had to go to court to defend and address this accidental trespass. To further add to the travesty, a newspaperman declared that I had purposefully tried to beat the train and should be punished to send a message to any other would-be daredevils! Really?! Did I seem the sort to take on a train for an adrenaline rush?! I think not! Luckily, the judge believed my seemingly absurd declaration that I, in fact, did not see, nor hear the train, and all charges were ceremoniously dismissed. I emerged from the courtroom, vindicated.
When extraordinary things happen, people like to talk about it!
The Christmas immediately following this incident, I must have been a really good girl because Santa surprisingly came to our Christmas party! And as I sat on his knee, I was presented with the most beautifully wrapped present, replete with silver and gold bows and bells. Inside, was a beautiful silver frame. In it, was the railway crossing schedule for that particular intersection. What a thoughtful gift, Santa wanted to make sure I was safe! I smiled sweetly, while my friends tittered in the background.
To this day, people still like to tell the story. Some seem to think surviving this ordeal was a great accomplishment. In actuality, living to tell the tale was hardly the point. Living to make a difference is what matters. Realising this, is what opens the doors for many truly great accomplishments.
We are all here for a purpose and that purpose is to make a difference.
There are signs everywhere to lead us to our purpose. Life is not to be squandered selfishly or carelessly. We are all here to make a difference in whatever way we can.
Pay attention to what’s going on in the world around you – or you could get hit by a train!
Life is full of wonderful and magical moments, lessons to be learned, opportunities to care, and to ease another’s pain. Don’t miss out because you’re not paying attention. Make a difference while you can. It can be over in an instant.
1. Do you have any stories or wakeup calls to share?
2. Are you living the gift of your life making a meaningful difference?
Shelley Lundquist is an international best-selling author, motivational speaker, and Self-Mastery & Success Coach who uses her intuitive gifts and powerful transformational breakthrough processes to empower audiences all over the world in leveraging the unlimited power of their own potential.
By guiding you through a journey of self-discovery and a shift in the way you perceive yourself and the world, Shelley will help you create your best life—a peaceful, harmonious life of joy and abundance, that acknowledges body, mind, and spirit.
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