Tim GilmerIn our journeys from disability to wholeness, often what holds us back is the inability to forgive ourselves. When accident or disease strikes suddenly, it is difficult to accept that there may be no good reason why it happened. And so we go searching for a reason, a cause that can lead to understanding and, perhaps, acceptance. Sometimes it is slow in coming; and sometimes it seems like it may never arrive. It is then that we turn inward and assign the ultimate cause — I am to blame.

Blaming oneself may happen subconsciously, lurking like a shadow just below the surface of our thoughts. We may feel its presence from time to time, yet we go on day to day, acting like everything is all right.

It can happen to anyone for any reason: You have had two drinks at a party and drive home, slightly tipsy. An animal darts in front of you, you swerve, the car rolls, and you wake up in the ICU, paralyzed. Or you fall asleep in the back seat, tired from working a long day, the driver swerves, the car rolls, and you wake up in the ICU, paralyzed. Or, exhausted from a long trip to see relatives, you return home, go to sleep, and wake up the next morning, paralyzed for no apparent reason, then go to the ICU, where you learn a rare disease has attacked your spinal cord.

Without clear understanding, you can always find a reason to blame yourself: You should not have had those two drinks; you shoul