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Turning points

06/17/08 7:55AM By Deborah Doyle-Schechtman
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The story goes that on the night that I was born my father paced the halls of the small rural hospital with a football in one hand and a baseball mitt in the other. Imagine his surprise, and dare I say, initial disappointment, when he was introduced to me. A turning point? For whom? My father? Or me?

When I was three I toppled off the end of a long dock and sank like a stone while waiting for the man in the red boat to come and take my father fishing. A 16 year-old neighbor saw me fall into the lake and dove in to save me. Did that experience change the course of my life, or his?

A few years later I literally drowned in a swimming pool (I'm a really good swimmer now). I saw my body being pulled out of the deep end and resuscitated on the patio from a vantage point I can't adequately describe. Did the impact of that situation alter my character, or that of my rescuer?

Most recently my dog Zeb and I were struck by lightning. No kidding. There was no indication of a storm brewing, only gray skies on a warm August morning. I was on the phone - Zeb was lying on the rug - when something came through the line and then through the window. We are both seemingly fine by the way, the emphasis being on seemingly, which begs the question, "What the heck was that all about?" Did it grant us access to some type of inner knowing that made us each better beings for the experience? Did all of that energy alter the states of our individual and collective consciousness? I can't honestly say.

But what I do know is this. I've never had, nor do I expect to have a singular turning point in my life. And I'd wager if we really think about it, no one else has either. What changes us is not what we've deemed to be the major events in our life. What changes us is how we choose to respond to and interpret them.
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