I saw this image on Facebook. It’s a picture of an old lady in a wheelchair who is playing with her shadow. She sees her shadow standing up and striking a pose. The image has a caption that says:
“How others see you is not important. How you see yourself means everything.”
I absolutely love the image and caption. I can honestly relate to it. Let me tell you why.
One of the things I value most was the way my parents brought me up. Early on when they found out I was going to have a severe disability; they made a decision not to treat me differently. They would make considerations, sure but they would not see me as someone who less worthy or capable as a normal person.
I never once heard my parents talk about me in a negative way. They always encouraged me to do the things I wanted to do. They never pushed though. They allowed me to find out things on my own and see what I can or can’t do.
They encouraged me to finish school even if I wasn’t motivated to do so because I just wanted to enjoy my time here on earth. I had been told I might not live past the age of thirty so I figured why waste it on doing something I didn’t like.
Turns out, I lived past thirty. I also benefitted greatly from the education I got.
Growing up I also surrounded myself with people who would encourage me. I hated people who would tell me I couldn’t do things. One of the sure fire ways of getting me to do something is telling me I couldn’t do it. Maybe I couldn’t but I would sure try.
All of these led to how I see myself today. I don’t look at myself as someone who can’t amount to anything because of the abilities I lack. Actually, most of the times I forget I am differently abled until I need someone’s help to do something. But even in that instance I don’t see myself less.
I see myself as a person who needs to do things differently but still every bit as worthy as the next person. I see myself as a productive member of society. I see myself as a peer to most people.
How the world sees us is dependent on how we see ourselves. If we believe in ourselves, if we think we are capable then the world will see us as such. Each person has a distinct beauty inside of him/her that is unique. Each one of us is special. Sometimes the world fails to see it because we fail to show it to the world.
If you want the world to believe in you, you need to believe in yourself first.