On Your Purpose in Life and the Boston Marathon Story

Do me a favor. Right now. Put your hand on your heart.

Do you feel that? It's purpose.

You are here for a purpose.

This isn't always easy to believe. It's not always easy to see. In fact, in your darkest moments, when you have been pushed to your limits,  it is easy to be convinced that the world would be better off without you. That it would be easier to to check out in any multitude of ways, be it drugs, alcohol, getting lost in another addiction, self-sabotaging or even taking your own life.

But you need to do better than that. Because there is a reason you are here. You need to be your best self, because you never know what you're going to be faced with down the road. You never know whose life you can change.

I want to share a story with you. It's the story of a man named Carlos.

Carlos lost his son to the war in Afghanistan. He and his family were completely devastated. So much so, that seven years later his second son took his own life.

Carlos grieved as anyone in this situation may have. His pain was so intense, he considered taking his own life as well.

But he didn't. He fought through his pain and began to reclaim his life. He eventually quit his full-time job to focus on protesting war and encouraging peace.

Still with me? Ok, good. Because there is more to this story.

On Monday, Carlos Arredondo was stationed at the finish line for the Boston Marathon to hand out flags to National Guard Runners and a suicide support group.

Then chaos ensued.

2 bombs exploded nearby. Carlos jumped into action. One man, Jeff, was in particularly bad shape. There is a very graphic photo circulating the internet of Jeff in a wheelchair, his legs damaged beyond repair, and Carlos, the man in the cowboy hat, is running alongside him. It appears that Carlos is actually holding Jeff's leg artery, pinching it shut.

Jeff survived, although he did lose his legs. When he woke up in the hospital, he immediately asked for pen and paper. He expressed that he had seen the man that placed one of the bombs. Jeff identified one of the bombers from his hospital bed.

Today, the world knows exactly who that man was. And early this morning, he was taken down in a violent shoot-out. As I'm typing this, it appears his accomplice and younger brother may have been taken down as well.

Without Carlos, Jeff may not have survived the bombing. If Jeff had not survived, the suspects may not have been positively identified as quickly. If they had not been identified that quickly, who knows where these dangerous men would be right now.

Carlos had no way of knowing any of this. But he didn't give up.

We have no idea what path our lives are going to take. We never know how a single act of kindness or bravery is going to affect someone else. It doesn't have to be as obviously dramatic as pinching shut someone's artery. But it can be as dramatic as going on with your life, facing your past and thriving. I've been in that dark place. I seriously considered taking my own life on more than one occasion. But believing that I had a purpose helped me get through it.

So next time you feel like you can't go on or you want to give up, do me a favor. Put your hand on your heart and feel your purpose.

Stay Strong,

Rachel

The Dandelion: Where Survivors of Abuse Come to Connect

www.thedandeliononline.com

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