Greg and I have been talking a lot this past month about Admiral James Stockdale. He was the highest ranking Navy POW in Vietnam. He was a POW for 7 years and his attitude had everything to do with why he survived. Look him up, his story is super inspiring. James Collins wrote a book called Good to Great (which is how we learned about him) and he interviewed Admiral Stockdale. When asked how he was able to cope he said,"I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."When Collins asked who didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:"Oh, that's easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."Stockdale then added:"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."Collins went on to describe this as the Stockdale Paradox.Yes, we MUST have faith that we will prevail in the end.And, we MUST confront the brutal facts of where we are at this very minute.At times, it seems that they are opposites!The end of my story says that I will be healed, in my blessing it said that it will be imperative to remember those words. At first I thought, "How could I ever forget? "What is this thing that is wrong with my body that would require such faith, and such a blessing?"Now I am thinking, "Oh, I will need to 'remember' because it might take a while or maybe even a long time to be healed. Even now.... even though it has been a little over a month, in the grand scheme of things, that really isn't a long time. But I have to keep reminding myself that I have received a promise. A beautiful blessing that I will be healed. A Happy ending..... but the facts that I am confronting now need to be addressed and helped and if possible.....treated.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
My Happy Ending
Posted by Steph Ingram at 4:50 PM