When Fabrice Muamba, a footballer, slumped in the middle of the pitch during a football match, his Bolton teammates feared the worst. They had seen medics attend to him on the football pitch. Many people believed Muamba wasn’t going to make it after his heart attack, even the medics present talked about how difficult his condition was, they said he had to fight for his life. Muamba lived because he fought so hard not to give up – even when his heart had given up on him.
When medics say people “fought” for their lives, they mean it literally. People who fight must find the strength to breath over and over again; they have to suck it in for as long as they can and hold on to life. As I turn another year on earth, it is fitting that I look back at my life and ask if I have fought dearly for the very breath I exhale today, fitting to look at the fights or non-events that had occurred because of my aversion to fighting. Have I fought for my life?
Looking back at situations that would have required me fighting dearly for my life, the situations that kept me on the edge between mortality and beyond, what was my instinctive reaction? When faced with daunting challenges that require resilience and grit, do I throw in the towel or do I keep fighting – like Fabrice did in the face of death?
One time I was air-bound and was suffering from Ear Barotrauma, it was so severe and intense that a full bottle of water and multiple sweets and swallowing later couldn’t stop it. I’d tried the Vulvasa Maneuver yet it wouldn’t stop. At some point, I stopped hearing totally and the flight attendants were worried. When it became so intense, I stopped trying to fightback. I basically sat back on my seat and imagined what the worst would be? Going deaf? People have done that and lived. I will survive. What about dying? Oh well, if now is the time, so be it. I literally gave up fighting. I stopped trying to do anything to solve my problem. I just let fate decide (more on this later) what my end would be. By thinking about the worst-case scenario, I was preparing myself for the end so whatever it was wasn’t going to take me by storm.
I strongly detest anything that threatens the balance of my inner peace. I’d rather give in than let whatever it is distort my equilibrium. I have lost count of the human relationships, opportunities and possessions I’ve lost because I wasn’t willing to fight, because once that relationship threatened to distort my inner peace, my instinctive reaction was to run. If I was ready to give up my own life to preserve my inner peace, nothing else was worth it. I always let fate decide what the outcome of my dealings would be. I always try not to influence these outcomes by anything peculiar to me.
It is against this backdrop that I remain ever grateful to the powers that be, albeit unforeseen, who have tried so hard despite my negligence to preserve my Being. I look back at my disposition about life and it’s not so hard to see where it all began.
Tales abound of how as a fetus I gave problems all through pregnancy. Looking back, it sure feels like something did not want me on this earth. Perhaps I was the last Airbender or the Seeker. Whatever it was, something must have wanted me not to make an entrance and in keeping with my style, I obliged. I made no efforts to come out of the womb when it was time, I had stayed in there for eleven months going to twelve months and yet no sign of movement. It looked like I was happy to just stay in there rather than distort my inner equilibrium. Even when I came out, it was not out of my own volition, I was forced out and was heading to the floor until a nurse clad in white held me with her gown. As usual, an “Angel” had appeared to save the day.
The events surrounding my birth has been mirrored in all the major events that have surrounded me. As I approach a new year, my most successful year yet, it’s so clear that no matter what I do – and I say this strongly, because the life I live now, I do not deserve – the powers that be appear to always back me, it appears they have me destined towards the very best things in life, even I can’t stop that journey.
Muamba is alive because he fought, according to the medics at least (Muamba himself alludes his survival to God). I am alive despite having given up my fights, because the powers that be keep fighting for me unconditionally.
Happy Birthday Ihemrochi, as you live another gracefully given year, may the powers that be keep fighting for you even against your own will.