I recently had the good fortune to work with a young man who is remarkable.
His name is Cameron Clapp. His story is relevant because once in awhile life can face us with unimaginable challenges and obstacles. How we react to them is going to be the difference between living and dying. We don’t actually have to exit the planet to die, sometimes, giving up and not finding the joy in just being is a kind of dying in itself.
It is the death of our spirit, our peace, and our right to happiness no matter what. There is a saying, that if we could see other people’s problems we would gladly trade ours in for our own.
When Cameron was fifteen, he was a high school student on the central coast of California. He was a model, a surfer, had an identical twin, was popular and, unfortunately, on his way to becoming an alcoholic.
One night while he was loaded up and trying to get a better look at a 911 memorial that he and his family had erected in the front yard, he backed up into a train track and was so out of it, that he didn’t hear the train coming.
Within seconds, the freight train mowed him down, and no one was even with him to help save what was left of him.
When he didn’t come home, his twin brother ran outside to look for him and saw the commotion on the tracks. Cameron was taken to the hospital where he lost both of his legs and one arm.
The fact that he lived at all is nothing short of a miracle.
Some days later he awoke to find that a great deal of him had been amputated, and quickly realized that his life would never be the same. Having to learn to walk without legs, or face life in a wheelchair after having had an active life suddenly became his reality.
He had to emotionally face what had happened, and adjust his mind to accept many hard truths on so many levels. He had to face the facts that his consequence was due to his own actions.
He had to literally start a new life.
Cameron could have curled up and died inside. The doctors told him to get a good wheelchair and prepare for his new life. They told him that he would not be a good candidate for artificial limbs because of where he had been amputated (above the knees and above the elbow).
He refused to believe it. He refused to accept that as his truth. He refused to be defined by his losses. Instead, he learned how to walk on his stumps, he began to build his strength, to attempt swimming, surfing, and to rebuild his life, literally, from the ground, up.
He never gave up. He never believed he wouldn’t do the things he had done before.
Cam had a few more episodes of drinking and then, the unthinkable happened. His twin brother died when he accidentally combined alcohol and an incompatible drug. The bottom Cameron hit, was hard.
That was it. He never had another drink. He worked hard to gain back his physical strength. He was committed to make not only his life, but his brothers life, count for something. He eventually received his artificial limbs and began the difficult task of learning how to use them. He changed his mind, and that, changed his entire life.
Today, Cameron Clapp is somewhat of a "bionic boy;" he has state-of-the-art limbs and is an advocate for Hanger, the company who creates these computerized limbs for men and women all over the world.
He works with soldiers who come home from war without the limbs they went there with. He is there to reassure them that their life is worth living, because he is living proof that they can not only put their lives back together but will find peace and joy again.
Cameron also loves to speak to high school kids about choice and consequence. About living life to it’s fullest potential, about how to not waste their lives on drugs and alcohol. He speaks on how to turn obstacles and pain into power. He has a terrific sense of humor in his speaking, and is highly relatable. He has acted on TV shows, dived off cliffs, snow skied, surfed, ran marathons, and pushed past any fears he has been faced with. He has a talented and beautiful girlfriend, Nataly, whom he one day dreams of marrying, and as fate would have it, she is crazy about him.
What obstacles are you facing? What choice will you make to push past them and make a masterpiece out of your life? What are you focusing on? What you have, or what you do not have? You can do it. You can push through to the other side of just about anything if you put your mind to it.
This is why I chose hypnosis and hypnotherapy as a profession, I love helping to guide people to a better way of thinking, one which works for them rather than against them, one which guides them to all of the wonderful possibilities, one which already lives sleeping inside them.
Cameron told me he had to get hit by a freight train to wake up and find his purpose. You can do this the easier way.
Your mind is your most powerful asset, use it correctly, and you can transform your life.
Awaken your inner super hero!