No arms, no legs, no worries
At least I’ve got killer calves!
For many years, I struggled to find a single thing I liked about myself. Eventually I’d land on my calves, which garnered compliments long before I understood why the heck anyone would care about what was below the knees—or above them, for that matter!
When I became eligible to give blood on my 17th birthday, I seized that opportunity. Some years before, my godfather had died while waiting for a transplant. I couldn’t give a liver, an eye or a heart, yet, but I could help someone live by donating a pint of blood and an hour of my time.
Did I mention I hate the sight of my blood, or even the thought of it outside my body? I almost passed out every time I gave blood, not because the blood loss itself was substantial—it’s not!—but because mybloodisleavingmybodyomgnonononono.
The nurses all cheered for me when I actually watched them insert the needle on my tenth donation. I watched through the whole transfer process. I confess I still felt a bit faint, but I felt far more strongly the thrill of having given my phobia the finger.
More importantly, I watched that blood flowing and marveled at the thought of what that blood would mean to someone else: life.
That marvel was part of what inspired me to add bedtime prayers—abandoned as a preteen—to my nighttime routine. These prayers little resembled my childhood prayers, instead reflecting my gratitude for all the gifts present in my life. I’d start with my body:
- Thank you for the soles of my feet, with which I can feel the many textures of the earth
- Thank you for my feet, with which I find balance, albeit sometimes better than others, walk, run, dance, and kick
- Thank you for my ankles, use of which enables me to reach more of those too-high shelves
Once or twice, I’ve made it all the way up to my neck. I’ve never, not even once, stayed awake long enough to start saying thanks for things outside my body.
It’s been easier to see the good in me in the years since I started this praying, and to feel I should not be harsher on myself than I’d be on anyone else I love. I have many flaws, but—like all those beloved by me—I have many good traits as well.
I’d wager the same is true for you. I’d also wager that, even if you don’t believe it now, you might come closer to doing so after watching this phenomenal video:
You are beautiful. Look at yourself through Nick Vujicic’s eyes for a while if you can’t see it yet through your own. Donate a pint of blood (or donate an hour at a blood bank, if you can’t donate blood) and revel in the knowledge that you are a part of the beauty of this world, intimately connected to its other beauties. You can save a life.
Take away that self doubt and you’ll have so much more energy left to laugh, love, and live the dream of being awesomely, unabashedly, you.
This was among posts accidentally deleted from this blog.