Yesterday I stumbled upon the story of Benjamin Breedlove, the teenager from Texas who completed his life's legacy December 25, 2011...Christmas Day. By all accounts Ben was your typical happy youth. He had what he termed an "awesome" family, good friends, and a quintessential story book life in his home of Austin, Texas. Ben was grateful to live on a lake most of his life, stating that it was "pretty" and that he was "lucky" to be there. Ben had known his best friend Justin since he was four years old when they became neighbors on the same street. He stated that he had a sister Ally, a brother Jake, and attended church regularly his entire life because the most important thing in his life was God.
It was also when Ben was four that he had his first brush with death. Ben experienced a life threatening seizure and while being wheeled down the hall on a stretcher with nurses and his mother by his side, he described an experience wherein he said, "There was this big bright light above me. I couldn't make out what is was because it was so bright. I told my mom, 'Look at the bright light' and pointed up. She said she didn't see anything." Ben said he didn't remember much of that day but that he never forgot the feeling that made him smile during the experience of seeing the light.
As Ben continues to share his life telling his story in his last two YouTube videos that were uploaded on December 18, 2011, under his third YouTube channel titled TotalRandomness512, he states that because of his diagnosed condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, that he wasn't allowed to participate in the sports his friends did and this made him sad. "It kind of sucks that I missed out on that part of my life. I really just hoped that I could be the same as everyone else but that is one thing that I learned to live with and accept." As a teenager Ben had learned acceptance. Ben also stated in his YouTube video titled About Me (BreedloveTV Channel) at age 17 that he had a really big challenge in his life, that it was a serious condition but that he felt it wasn't really a problem. It was Ben's unconditional acceptance of his condition (including potential surgeries) that allowed him to live his life to its fullest on his terms.
Are we living our lives accepting what is or are we still resisting?
Ben went on in his two-part video sharing his story to describe two other instances in his life where he felt he'd cheated death. The second incident was this past summer while undergoing routine surgery. While in the operating room he went into cardiac arrest. He said that, "It was a miracle that they brought me back. I was scared to die but was so glad I didn't. After this I tried so hard to just forget about it and not worry." As a teenager Ben was learning to let go of the things he had no control over.
How many of us are still worrying about the things we have no control over?
On December 6, 2011 Ben had his third experience of what he calls cheating death. He was walking down the hall of his high school. He says, "I was at school, walking in the hall. I could tell I was going to faint, so I sat on a bench. I passed out. The next thing I know, I woke up with EMS around me. I couldn't talk or move, I could only watch what they were doing. They put the shock pads on my chest. I heard one of them say 'They are ready'. And the other guy said 'Go!'. I passed out again. My heart stopped and I wasn't breathing for 3 minutes." Ben went on to share more about this last experience, about the light he saw, the room he was in that was never ending and the peacefulness that passes all understanding that he felt. He said that it was the same feeling he never forgot from when he was four years old. It was during this experience that he reflected on himself in a mirror within the white room and said that, "I was proud of MYSELF, of my life, of everything I have done. It was the BEST feeling." Ben closed his two part video series by stating that, "I didn't want to leave that place. I WISH I never woke up. Do you believe in Angels or God? I do."
Are we truly proud of ourselves, of our lives, of everything we have done?
It was Christmas Day that Ben received his wish. From the stories I've read online about this young man, his family didn't even know he'd posted those last two YouTube videos under the third channel until after he'd left. The lessons Ben left to all of us in his videos are reminders of the power of acceptance, letting go and the importance of living our best lives.....lives that we can leave behind being proud of.
I believe that Ben's soul knew his time was near and that circumstances surrounding that internal knowing are what brought him to create those last two videos. He may have called his last YouTube channel TotalRandomness512 but believe me, there was nothing random about the area code he lived his life and the memories he left there. There was nothing random about the day he passed on and didn't come back. There was nothing random about the message and lessons he left behind and there's nothing random about the lives all over the world he's impacting now. Ben acted on inspired thought in making those last two videos and by doing so, he left lessons behind that time cannot erase.
Thank you Ben for acting on that inspired thought and thank you Ben for sharing your near death experiences.
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