Ricochet: a verb meaning to bounce off something at an angle.
When it comes to firearms, a ricochet can be dangerous and deadly. When it comes to life, it can go either way. A verbal “bullet” will always be deflected in one way or another. A bad relationship can ricochet emotional baggage into every relationship that follows. A simple conversation can ricochet off one person and have a ripple effect into the world.
I came across this post one day as I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed:
Joanel Fraser Read
March 31 at 12:37 am · “By Getting depressed over your limitations or by focusing on what you CAN’T do- you lose out on all the things you CAN do and miss out on enjoying the journey between here and there.” An amazing quote from a woman waiting for a transplant. She has very low lung capacity and working out is her passion. She has figured out a way. I am going to get to know this lady!
When Joanel’s post popped up on my newsfeed I thought- that sounds like something I would say! Turns out, it was not only something I would say, but exactly what I did say when commenting in a Facebook support group.
Joanel’s words continue to empower me and give me encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing! As I write inspirational messages on social media or directly to another person, I am firing a “bullet” hoping to encourage and help others. In return, the ricochet eventually comes back to me which can be reflected in my own positive self-talk, and good feelings about helping others. Whether the ricochet comes back to me or bounces to another, these words are a win-win. Laws of the universe and the book “The Secret” (Byrne 2006) affirm “what you put out in the world is what you get back.” Joyce Meyers explains, “where the mind goes, the man follows” in her book “The Battlefield of the Mind” (Meyers, 1994). This theory has been proven over and over throughout my life and the lives of others.
It’s that crazy ricochet!
Those who know me see me as an inspirational, motivated, strong, caring, person. The truth is, I haven’t always been like this. For nearly four decades, I was the “i” in team, hidden in the “A-Hole.”
For many years I was just a shell of a person. My hard-muscled exterior kept everyone, including myself, from having to see what was underneath. I hid behind my physical appearance and I was emotionally unavailable. I frequently played the victim after the things I put into the world ricocheted back to me. I was negative and miserable. In secret, all I knew was depression and despair. I also complained a LOT! Whether it concerned me or not, I complained about EVERYTHING.
Every day I struggle with humility. However, my chronic and terminal illness keep that in check. Lots of people hate their disability but I embrace and cherish mine. It changed my life for the better and led me to the path of positivity! Being optimistic and positive, on purpose, has revealed a whole new side of my personality that I didn’t even know existed. By being proactive and interested in other people’s lives, my personality was transformed. I am now an active participant as part of a “team.” That team is called “the human race.”
I have moments where I read a comment or message with the mention of my name and think- there’s no way they are talking about ME. How could they? After all, these are the very same people who knew me as “the i hidden in the A-Hole!”
Regina King Puckett: You really don’t know how inspiring you really are to a lot of people!!
Danielle Tucci Fry: You are amazing! You have an incredible strength that is inspiring.
Darren Eyler: You just keep up the fight and you will be blessed because of who you were and are now
I am literally overcome with emotion each time I read these comments. As I learned to love and like myself, I learned how to LIVE and LOVE OTHERS! I discovered that I am the only one who is capable of controlling how I view my life. That vision has the power to ricochet and change the lives of others. I am no longer a victim of circumstance or prisoner, sentenced to death by despair. I’ve abolished the assumption that all ricochets crossing my path are meant to destroy me. I am amazed every day how my words flow through me and affect the people around me. I can’t lie, they still come out as abrasive in tone, but my intent is no longer tainted.
Understand, for so many years I would pray every day and every night the same prayer: God, Please, fix me or kill me because I just can’t live like this anymore. I am certain that you did not put me on this earth to be miserable. I don’t know what’s wrong with me- I just hate life and want a different one.
Looking back, I see that my prayers have been answered! Although I don’t say it as often as I should, “Thank you GOD! You saved me from the bondage of “me, myself, and i.” You’ve opened my eyes to see the person you created. Thank you for blessing me with a physical disability so that I was forced out of the selfish, arrogant, vainglorious life I created for myself.” I am beyond blessed and forever grateful!
In closing, I challenge each of you to answer these 3 simple questions, while considering your own ricochet potential.
1) When you pull the “trigger” with your words and actions where are you aiming?
2) Do you ONLY hit your target, or do you sometimes miss and hit something else?
3) When the ricochet comes back at you, does it hurt, or does it make you smile?
Keep yourselves on the lookout for the muzzle flash! You never know where the ricochet is going to end up.