And So It Is

Day 18-Letting Go

Who or what did you let go of this year? How has it made a difference in your life so far?

I don’t want to call it letting go, because it was something that I had already done the previous year. Actually, I’d let go at least three or four different times; it was more of an acceptance of the way things are right now. Then again, I’d rather not say that I had “accepted” anything because it seems like acceptance is more or less a way of giving up; and I’m not the kind of person to give up easily. Acceptance should also come with peace, which is something that I feel on certain days, and not so much on others.

Please know that I am not attempting to make this a pity party; I am trying to get into the habit of simply being authentic and genuine with anyone who reads this, for reasons that I’ll elaborate on at another time. This is not exactly a happy go lucky post, but one of choosing to face reaility.

This past Sunday, one of the speakers at my church chose to give a message about God’s healing power and living with various types of disabilities. It spoke volumes to me and hit incredibly close to home. One of the things that she pointed out was that there comes a time when eventually it is no longer about physicality, but rather about trying to move beyond the social stigmas and live a normal life.

That’s exactly right! I thought to myself.

I thought about how yesterday I discussed my feeling the need to prove something. Deep down, the one thing that I have wanted to prove is that having Cerebral Palsy at this point in my life does not affect me; that walking five and a half blocks to school does not make me tired. That I can do my hair and make-up within a span of under and hour and not have to worry about messing it all up. That it doesn’t place somewhat of a role in the relationships that I have in my life: that it is partially the reason why some choose to be in my life and others don’t. 

But the truth is, it does. Maybe not every single day and not all of the time, but there are definitely moments when it becomes the pink elephant in the room; knowing that I’m not exactly like most people, but not wanting to press any further. I couldn’t tell you the reason, other than it’s a possibility that they don’t want to come across as offensive. Or they just don’t care. 

The other point she brought up had to do with a bishop for the Church of England; I can’t recall exactly what he had, but it was something that confined him to a wheelchair. In any case, he was pastoring at a church where after the service, a member of the congregation approached him and said “I’m sorry that you’re suffering.” 

The man looked at him and said, “It’s not my condition that I suffer from, it’s from people like you.” 

Whoa. That pretty much sums up my line of thinking right there!

I realize that one cannot control what another person thinks; but let me tell you, the amount of judgement and ignorance in the world today makes my blood boil. I’ll never understand the difficulty in trying to get to know someone. I’ll never understand the point of taking pity on someone from afar; if you honestly feel that bad, go talk to that person. You don’t have know everything about them, but just talk to them.

 That’s partially the reason why I don’t outright tell a person that I am mildly handicapped when I first meet them. I want them to first off know me for my heart and personality, not my body. 

Although I have long since stopped wanting to completely rid myself of CP, I occasionally wonder what life would be like if I didn’t have it: would I have accomplished more by now? Would I know any different? Would I think differently? Would my friends and family view me the same way? The possibilities are endless, although I don’t like to spend a lot of time speculating because those are questions that will most likely go unanswered. 

That is where acceptance comes in; accepting that no matter what phase of life I am in, there will always be obstacles to get over, doubts to silence, and frequent tests of whether or not I believe in myself. It will not get any easier, but that does not mean it is impossible, either. 

I usually am not one to get upset or somber over this topic, especially if there is little that can be done except to persevere. Yet, I do have my moments where I find myself contemplating my circumstances and what I can do to become stronger. Sometimes I think that if I don’t give thanks and count my blessings, it will all be taken away from me. I am blessed to have been where I’ve been, and somehow still be standing. 

I accept that I am who I am. That I am strong. And that whatever I encounter in the future, I will only become better and stronger because of it. 

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