Amy Rees Anderson

Staying Positive In The Most Difficult Of Circumstances

I am SUPER excited for this Fourth of July week as, next to Christmas, it is my favorite holiday of the entire year!  I love celebrating patriotism as I feel so grateful to be in America and it’s an honor to pay tribute to this land that I love and those brave souls who serve and sacrifice to protect the freedoms it affords.

Tonight my husband and I were watching a documentary about some of the bravest of those souls, the Navy Seals. As we watched there was one soldier’s story in particular that really stuck out to me.  It was the story of Navy Seal Lt. Jason Redmond.  During a battle he was shot in the face by a machine gun that literally shot off half of his face. While recovering in the hospital people began visiting him, expressing how sorry they felt for his wounds. In his interview he shared that he pledged at that point that he would not let himself feel sorry for his wounds and he didn’t want anyone else feeling sorry for them either. So he created a sign and hung it on his hospital door that read:

“Attention to all who enter here. If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got doing a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20% further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid re-growth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere.

The Management”

What a great example of staying positive even in the most difficult of circumstances. Jason had every right to feel sorry for himself – after all, here he had been selflessly sacrificing for his country and everyone in it, only to have half of his face blown off in return – but the fact is that feeling sorry for himself would have done absolutely nothing to help him recover, in fact it would likely have hindered his recovery greatly.  But there can be no doubt that his positive attitude and his optimism helped get him through the 37+surgeries and years of recovery.

I extend my sincerest gratitude to all those brave souls who do so much for their country.  And thank you Lt. Redmond for the example you set with that sign on the door…thank you for the courage and strength you displayed by choosing to have a positive attitude.

Here’s a picture of the actual sign:

~Amy Rees Anderson

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