This week, I sit down with Steven Webb, host of the Stillness in the Storms podcast, a show that helps you find inner peace at difficult times.
Each episode, Steven brings a different perspective and way of living life that eases your suffering. Being severely paralyzed is just a fraction of Steven’s mountain climb to find his inner peace. If Steven can sit with stillness, you can also.
It’s the first time, really, that being paralyzed really creeped up.
Steven talks about the moment that he hit rock bottom when he was forty. At that moment, it felt that his life had come to a grinding halt, and that he was going to be truly alone, and couldn’t see how his future was going to play out.
The Dark Night of the Soul
Steven talks about how, leading up to his darkest moment, he had been thinking about all the things that were going wrong in his life, and likened it to The Dark Night of the Soul, a poem by John of the Cross.
I was creating everything that was terrible in the world, and I was the victim of everything.
As Steven sank deeper into depression, he began drinking, and he shares how the embarrassment of needing to ask his carers to pour him a drink was a major turning point in getting his life back together.
On Living in Invisible Shame
One of the things that Steven pushed back on in his early years was the belief by others that he was doing something amazing or inspiring. If he heard people say that, he’d run away. But then he realized it was pretty amazing when it came to what he’s done:
- Multiple charity challenges
- Organizing music festivals
- Running in politics and becoming the deputy mayor elect
Steven talks about how it took him a long time to accept people were being genuine, and not just saying or doing something out of pity for his disability.
I don’t look at it as incredible for being paralyzed to do that; it’s just incredible for me.
Why It’s Important to Reflect
In one of the episodes on Steven’s podcast, he talks about the anniversary of his accident – not just to the year, but the exact day and time that it happened. In that episode, Steven recounts the moments of the day leading up to his accident.
Steven does this every year, and as he mentions in our chat, he reflects more on that than he does his own birthday. He believes it’s because it was such an ordinary day like any other, until it wasn’t, that it remains so clear and so remembered.
It was just an ordinary day; but we never know when it’s the last day we’ll do that ordinary thing.
How His Difficult Childhood Served Him Well for What Lay Ahead
When Steven was a young child, his parents were divorced, and he, his sister, and his mum were left homeless.
At the time, he thought it was a big adventure and something cool – after all, they eventually moved into a big house. It was only afterward that he learned it was a refuge for women. This knowledge of having nothing and losing everything helped shape an important mindset for what was to come.
Those are the times that really decide who you’re going to be, and how you’re going to show up.
Join us for an open chat about loss, adversity, affirmation, consistent persistence, and why losing everything isn’t the end of the world.
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