I feel as though I may have cheated my readers a little bit this morning by giving you such a short post. No worries, I hope that I can more than make up for that with this one. When I woke up today I actually had no intention of writing another blog post, but circumstances are always changing, and I felt inspired. What inspired me, you might ask? A man named Nick Vujicic.
Nick Vujicic, for those of you who do not know, is an Australian-Serbian man born with a condition known as tetra-amelia syndrome or, to put it in terms we can all understand: He was born with no arms and no legs. He travels around the world giving motivational speeches, and I have to say, it brings me to tears. My mother actually showed me a video of his years ago, but what he was saying didn’t really make sense even though it was entirely relevant to what was happening in my life; I simply wasn’t ready to listen. I am now, however, and I have found myself in a completely different state of mind than what I originally was.
What makes Nick Vujicic’s speeches so profound is the fact that he starts by making jokes at his own expense, but then grows completely serious. He looks into the crowd and tells everyone “I love you. I don’t care what you’ve done, or who you are. I don’t care what you look like, because that doesn’t matter. I love you.” And though he is religious, and he says he found his strength in God, he encourages everyone to find strength in whatever they need–be it religion or otherwise.
I think that is the problem with the world. We are too busy judging those around us. Whether they are gay, straight, black, white, Latino, European, etc. We judge based on the religion they choose to practice, the choices they’ve made in life, because we want everyone to be perfect. I’m here to tell you there is no such thing as perfect. Beauty is literally in the eye of the beholder. The outside shows nothing of what is on the inside, and if we would look past our judgements, we may actually find we like some of the people we’re tossing down. This point is validated when Nick states
When I first stepped onto this stage, a lot of you felt sorry for me. A lot of you pitied me. You don’t anymore, do you? No, of course not, because you know me. You know what I’ve been through, you can see what I overcame. You’d want to be my friend now, wouldn’t you? Of course you would! But as you can see, I still have no arms and no legs. At this point you’d say, ” So what? Who cares?”
I’ve mentally written this blog a handful of times already, and each time I reach this point, I’m never sure where to begin.
I’m not perfect. I do not want to be perfect, as there is too much stress. I know what it’s like to feel as though no one likes you, or no one wants you around. I know what it feels like to think you’re not good enough, or pretty enough. I’ve been beaten down, I was pushed to the end of my rope on many occasions; one of them nearly slid me to the end. But I came back. I’ve popped up, and I’ve kept going. It’s true, we all worry a little about what people around us think, even if we are too proud to admit it. We’re always trying to please someone. But my question is why? Why are we so worried about browbeating others into thinking like us, and why do we care so much about what others think? The world around us is full of bullies, whether it is in the form of a kid in school, or a corporate business owner. People are constantly pushing and shoving others down–the only thing that changes is the motivation behind it.
I, too, have been told “You’re not good enough”.
What Nick Vujicic has taught me today is to have hope. I wish I’d listened then, perhaps I would have been a lot better off. But the beautiful thing about hope, is it isn’t too late to change. I’ll never be a supermodel, I’ll never be Einstein. I’ll never have a voice like some of the singers in history, I’ll never have a writing talent like Anne Rice. But I am me, damn it, and there is only one me.
You are more precious than diamonds. All the diamonds in the world.
And that is true. There is only one me, just as there is only one you. There will only ever be one you. Never again will there be another you.
My life has made a drastic change over the course of these past three years. I was annulled, married again, became a mother. I divorced again, I lost friends, I reformed some old connections.
There have been days where I just sat, and I cried. I remember the first night when my now ex-husband walked out, and I cried. I sobbed. I panicked. I mourned what the relationship had become, and celebrated what it had once been. I allowed myself to panic, feeling I deserved at least one night. But when the sun rose the next day, my daughter was going to need me, and I needed to pull myself together. So I did. I sat there and I had my arguments with my now ex in my mind. I made him sit and listen to me, and I told him everything he needed to hear, things he didn’t listen to before. At first, I thought that was enough. Until a few months later I realized I still had anger and hatred in my heart for him.
Then I realized that I’d never really be at peace with anything, or anyone, if I held that hatred. Which then led to the realization of just how much hatred I have in my heart towards a lot of things. Hatred is a poison, and it slowly kills us each day. Perhaps you cannot physically die by hating someone or something, but you lose a piece of yourself each day that you left fear, anxiety, and hatred control you. So this time, I had my arguments. I made him listen, but this time…. I let him speak, and I listened. This is all in my head, of course, so I’m sure I was a lot crueler to myself than he would have actually been.
The next day when he came to drop our daughter off, I took him outside and I forgave him. But then I turned around, and I said I was sorry. I don’t know if he knew precisely what I was apologizing for, as he’d not been present for the mental arguments–which is probably a good thing.
I used to feel so much hatred and feelings of betrayal from my friends because I felt as though they’d left me and they’d abandoned me. I hated them because I felt they weren’t showing me what I deserved. And sometimes that may be true, and I will always be hurt by certain things, I am better than that. So instead of hating them, instead of hurting them, I’m going to simply show them why *I* think I deserve better, by being a better person to them.
I felt so much hatred towards my mother, and towards my father, for a lot of things that happened growing up. I held onto that hatred for so very long, and I used to worry that it meant I’d lost valuable time with them. I’ve struggled, I’ve had my arguments, and though I am still hurt by a lot of things, I even managed to forgive them both. I cannot change the past, but I can change the future.
One step at a time: That’s the other thing Nick Vijucic stresses. You cannot take two steps at once, it has to be one step at a time. I have a long way to go before I find my own inner peace, before I am free of this hatred, but I will get there. One day at a time.
I am lonely, and I am afraid, but I have hope that with one step forward each day, I will become the person I want to be. I need to cast my fears aside, and I need to run headlong into life. I am better than that. I am better than the person I was yesterday, and tomorrow I’ll be a better person than I was today.
Instead of worrying about what everyone is wearing, or thinking, or how they look, or act…Instead of trying to make everyone fit to your ideas of perfection, or trying to fit into another person’s ideas, just be yourself. Be happy with yourself, with how you look, who you are.
No I’ll never be any of those things I mentioned above. But they will never be me either.
Do you dare to hope?
I never really knew what my purpose in life is. Hell, I still don’t really know. But maybe, just maybe, this is meant to reach someone. Maybe, just maybe, this will save someone. That being said….
You are beautiful. I don’t care who you are, what religion you practice, the color of your skin. I don’t care what grades you made in school, or what you can or cannot do. I do not care about what you’ve done in your past, because it is just that: The past. I love you.
Dare to hope. Dare to dream. Do not settle for those who cannot love you for who you are. Be you. Love yourself.
For those of you who may be interested in hearing more about Nick Vujicic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snDQe3tWwRQ
Thank you for reading.