My lifelong dream had been completed. I had achieved the enviable status of having my website pop up at the top of the Google search. Need help finding the site after hearing it mentioned somewhere? Simply type in “flat on…” and Google automatically suggests “flat on my back ryan atkins.”
Over time, however, I noticed the association was becoming a bit too literal.
Rather than knowing my name, people may have heard my story and inquired, “Is that the Flat on my Back guy?”
Great for branding. Not necessarily what I want to be known as.
Rather than 27-year-old, male, Cincinnatian, college graduate, writer, or YouTuber, etc., the USA Today headline ran across the country stating, “Love story for quadriplegic.”
Is that how I want to be defined?
I literally have been stuck flat on my back in bed dealing with a variety of issues since essentially the end of 2014. Even so, is that the association I want to have? To identify with? A quick look in the dictionary denotes being “flat on one’s back” as “helpless, without recourse, defeated.”
I will have none of that.
The Bible stresses that there is power in the words we speak (Proverbs 18:21) and that pleasant words bring health to our physical bodies (Proverbs 16:24). I may not literally be physically up on my feet yet, but I want to continue to boldly believe in and declare God’s power for the impossible.
It’s time for a change and an opportunity to celebrate both how far I’ve come and what I believe is still ahead. Instead of “sharing hope on the journey of paralysis”…why not “on the healing journey?” I have already received quite a bit of healing in many different areas, regardless of what state my spinal cord is in.
So I’m going to stay on the more promising journey. The one in which the journey’s trajectory is upward rather than where my eyes are just looking up at the ceiling.
One could make the case that due to my physical limitations right now, I still could be considered “flat on my back,” but I’m going to instead focus on the ways I have already managed to metaphorically get back up on my feet- as well as the day when I am finally physically once again Flat On My Feet.
For a new welcome to the website and more of the thought behind the name change, check out this week’s video:
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