I AM ME.
I have 3 years experience as an amputee. It seems like only yesterday I was trying to figure it all out, whatever “it” means to be an amputee, physically, psychologically and emotionally. Still, I can’t say I’ll ever get it entirely. I lead my life helping others discover and believe in who they are: “Don’t be afraid to simply be the REAL, TRUE You.” It’s a gift, as I am able to learn, grow and discover through so many miraculous stories, all uniquely our own yet just as significant. Although I feel compelled to inspire hope and expose the light in the darkest situations, it’s definitely not only about those who have been or are going through horrific, life changing events. We all struggle every day to some degree. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be growing and evolving as the creative, capable beings that we are. We all have the strength to smile through the pain but sometimes that can create a facade rather than facing struggle up close and honestly. Perhaps, NOW may be a good time to face our battles directly and live a Truthful life! We may just find break throughs to new enlightened ways of being without perpetuated complexes and fears that have been inhibiting us for years, only getting in our own way of being the realest we can be.
I am aware as well as honest with my own insecurities, struggles and personal battle to live a TRUTHFUL life. This brings me closer to knowing my True self within and closer to that within others. To BE someone people with or without amputation, disability, “deformity” or basic “flaws” (which we define for ourselves) can look up to sometimes feels overwhelming … as I look down at my arm thinking, “WHAT & who makes me qualified?” I was recently approached by a blogger stating, “If you are an amputee why do you hide it so often in the photos? You should be proud of who you are. I would think being as pretty as you are you would not be afraid to show the real you making it easier for others who are similar to you to not be afraid to to show their missing limbs. You NEED to be a role model for people to look up to.” At first I felt a little taken back by a stranger who has made assumptions and judgments on how I live my life or should as a “disabled” person. In fact, anyone who interacts with me doesn’t quite understand how I’ve come to be so self sufficient and confident : rocking my cutoff jean shorts, sleeveless shirts, tanks…..oh yeah, and prosthetic-less!
However, this woman’s judgement on how I preceive myself as a one handed woman did make me take a closer look at how I perceive life as the one-handed woman:)
I rarely, almost never, wear a prosthetic because, one: it’s weird. Two: it can be painful at times. Three: it’s not me…literally 😉 It’s almost as if it creates another facade implying that I am “normal” like the rest of the world with 2 hands. When I do decide to wear it (auditions, a couple times to work or out on the town for fun) I don’t believe it’s for ME. So is it for others? So they don’t feel uncomfortable or saddened or confused by me? Now don’t get me wrong, I love having the option and I am sooo grateful for the generosity that blessed me with my cosmetic hand but I generally choose to just be the realest me. I run around town with one hand. I walk into casting rooms weekly with one hand in a town and industry where image and asthetics are everything. There will always be discrimination or judements on how we live our lives “whether I’m right or wrong I just got to be me.”
This brought up a wonderful topic: How often do we hide, mask the real us? Sometimes we aren’t aware how we may come across to others but it made me think, perhaps I have subconsciously photographed on my right side. Maybe it alleviates the initial shock when people see a “normal” looking photo then, “Woahhhh does that chick have one hand? Crazy!” Or maybe the response is, “that’s….inspiring.” Sometimes it may freak people out till they meet me and realize oh, she isn’t crazy or awkward or depressed, she’s human just like the rest of us. Whatever the interpretation is, I wonder do I subconsciously hide? If so, is it for other people?? Nooooo. Wait. Do I? Perhaps I feel more confident hiding the small, atrophy left arm with no hand attached? Well, anonymous blogger may be on to something…if I do not truly accept all that I am and look up to myself how could I expect others to? 3 years later, I’m still “figuring it out” I guess you can say 🙂
I live a life to serve and remind others to #BelieveAndBecome all you can be, and I want to live up to those standards. I believe I am able to teach because I understand the battle and still find myself confused, unsure, scared at times but I understand we create our own life experiences and when you simply redirect your focus to all things loving and giving for the better of humankind, it miraculously conquers fear itself. I trust and know this to be true based on a series of rewarding events in my life when I simply changed the way I perceived the Universe as generous and giving rather than conflicting and restricting. Trying to BE HAPPY for so many years, yet feeling defeated, empty, lost or scared as I searched outside myself to bring me happiness. The New direction I was lead to, through my “amputation” I guess you can say, showed me I was already happiness because I learned quickly that the people, possesions, status, job, relationships, could not define or be my happiness. #PERSPECTIVE. NO ONE or THING can establish or chemically produce Love, Peace or Happiness within ourselves but ourself. No one gave me the ability to embrace and accept my accident for that matter. It is ME and only ME who gets to create my own life! It’s my choice to not hide and be a positive example for others facing image disorders or a little thing I like to call, the “not enough” syndrom. Nothing can BE HAPPINESS within you but YOU yourself.
I always say, I don’t have the answers, and I learn from all of you. Especially questions I am challenged with daily on the way I choose to live because it absolutley opens door to new ways of thinking and evolving to be the best me I can be! So for better or worse, what are you hiding? Masking? I just happen to have a physical reminder but what in life could we all be more honest with, REAL about? I redirect all negative stories and people to focus on the beauty and blessings we receive daily that give us all a personal purpose. It is the light peeking through the darkest room … excitement to live every day to it’s absolute full purpose. That’s what I believe. Hope through the pain, faith over doubt, Love (God) over everything…..inevitably this creates a loving life and brings us that much closer to conquer fear, anger, hate and sadness. By living this truthful life, we become aware of our weaknesses, offering healthy challenges for ourselves. We can always ask for guidance to change the things that we can and accept all that is that makes us pure and uniquely beautiful. Let’s know and love ourselves and live a Truthful life together! God* Bless.