During the month of February, I often reflect on my journey with love and learning to love myself while living with Cerebral Palsy. Those of you who have followed me for a long time know that I have experienced difficulties with my own journey to self-love since I was a young girl who didn’t understand her beauty and disability, to being a young girl who was insecure about her buck teeth and later on having to wear braces to wearing round glasses on her face.
When I was a kid, I was made fun of for having a swan neck deformity on my left hand caused by spastic diplegia. I also had to use a wheelchair for transportation.
Society made me feel that there was no point in loving my reflection, so I didn’t accept it. As an adult in my mid 20s, I am in love with Cerebral Palsy and all that it has to offer. This is because I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for my condition hidden behind a beautiful body. For instance, I have developed thick skin which has enabled me to handle the judgement of society and to be a voice for the voiceless.
This is why I chose to love my cerebral palsy and what it has taught me, despite the lessons it has taught me over the decades: everyone is full of diversity, and beautiful means diversity and can’t be judged by what others reflect. You should judge it based on how you reflect on others. Everyone is unique and valuable in their own way; embracing these differences is what true beauty is all about.
My second lesson from cerebral palsy is that life isn’t always a pleasant adventure. Even though you face challenges and obstacles, you will eventually arrive at your beautiful destination, and you will soon appreciate every aspect of your struggle. Through these experiences, I have come to understand that life is full of twists and turns; yet, if you remain positive, you will find yourself in a much better place than where you first started.
Living with Cerebral Palsy has been challenging, but it has taught me to stay strong and to appreciate the small victories along the way. The experience taught me that no matter what life throws at you, you can survive and it will be worth it in the end.
Lastly, I learned that everyone has a story, and we should not judge a book by its cover. No matter how big or small the book is. Our lives should always be viewed from a perspective of appreciation for the stories others have to tell. Each of us has a unique story that can help us learn and grow. For example, James Sanders, a Vietnam War veteran who came back from the war with a positive attitude, shared his story of surviving adversity and still remaining positive.
My personal opinion is that if we just took a moment to exhort ourselves and share our stories, maybe we wouldn’t see disability as such an ugly thing as society makes it out to be, and perhaps we’d be able to love ourselves, embrace our journeys, and understand that this is an amazing life that we have been given, and we ought to embrace it.