“Dum spiro, spero - literally, ‘While I breathe, I hope’ or more loosely, ‘Where there is life, there is hope.’” —Aron Ralston

I don’t personally have an “against all odds” survival story. At least I don’t think so. I read stories about sole survivors in major accidents and battles, soccer teams surviving months in the Andes mountains after plane crashes, shark attack victims and people like Aron Ralston who was trapped for days and had to cut off his own arm to survive.

I think about my life and see that I’ve been through a lot and it’s bee hard, painful and often impossible feeling but nothing like these other tales of survival. Aron is a great example that just boggles my mind. How does one survive for 127 hours pinned and then decide “Dum spiro, spero – literally, ‘While I breathe, I hope’ or more loosely, ‘Where there is life, there is hope’” before proceeding to yearn for life so much that they cause themselves irreparable harm to keep on living?

If anyone has a right to just give up, I think it’s Aron but he didn’t. He looked his entrapment in the face and REFUSED to let it beat him. Aron wasn’t a superhero. He didn’t have any special skills. He wasn’t without pain, he didn’t have any more hope in that moment that we do in our daily lives. Aron was and still is an every day Joe just like each one of us. What made the difference for Aron was his choice. He stood there and had to decide, “Will I take a chance and LIVE or stay right here and die?”

Maybe the entrapments in our lives aren’t quite that dramatic but the point and the choice is the same. Will we let situations destroy our chances at love? Life? Hope? Future?

Ask yourself, what do I think? What choice am I willing to make to get out of the entrapment life has me in? I know for me life gets dark, twisted, scary and painful. Right now in this moment though I’m choosing to free myself from the boulder that is weighing me down and I’m stepping into the future with hope and life on my side. Are you feeling stuck or trapped? Just remember you hold the power of choice because “where there is life, there is hope.”

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is a Behavioral Health Technician at RI International and the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer.