Accept. Persevere. Grow.
When I began my first set of surgeries almost fifteen years ago (holy cow) I was always trying to think of words that described my journey. Words that I could cling to. Things take time – and when you are patient the results can be wonderful.
Dwarfism doesn’t define me, nor will it ever, but it sure can feel like it at times. For 27 years I have struggled with the ignorance, the questions, the comments, the staring and pointing. Only recently did I realize that I have two choices:
1. Cry, pout, stomp my feet and let it all come crashing down on my 4’11” big hearted little self.
2. Accept myself for who I am. Accept the obstacles that I have overcome and continue to face. Accept the fact that it isn’t always going to be easy.
Obviously I am going with the latter. Once I fully accepted who I was and that I only have me for the rest of my life, things got real. Why on earth do I want to waste my time worrying about how other people view me or the choices that I make? Now, obviously we all have our bad days, me included. That is when I need little reminders. Sometimes I am strong enough to remind myself and other days I am lucky enough to have people in my life willing to step in and give me a reality check. Bottom line is that you must accept you for who you truly are. Every little piece of you.
Once you accept everything; the good, bad, happy and sad – then it’s time to face it all and do whatever it takes. The word persevere has been a favorite ever since third grade when my teacher told me that I had perseverance. My crinkled nose and raised eyebrows said, “Persa-whaaaaat?!” She told me that I possessed the ability to keep trying and achieve no matter what difficulties that I faced. I liked it.
As I got older, that ability got more difficult but I managed to stick with it. A little progress everyday adds up to big results. A great example that I reminded myself about was during the lengthening process – which seemed to take fooorreevverrrrr. A 1/4 turn four times a day equaled a millimeter of length a day. A tiny bit of length. But over the course of a month, those millimeters added up to an inch. Once you see progress or that glittering light at the end of the tunnel, you know that you’re doing something right.
We all have everything we need to put on our game faces and persevere. Our ability is cultivated over time, just remember that you have it. Perseverance baby!
Once we accept and persevere, our progress leads to personal growth. People, let me tell you, it is a glorious thing. It is so hard for me to believe that almost two years ago I was about to undergo my 10th? surgery. (I’ve lost track at this point) Leading up to it I had so much resentment and resistance that the pain was overwhelming. Only when I accepted that it was my choice to undergo the procedure and finally decide to put my game face on and get through it all did I begin to learn from it all.
These miraculous transformations take time. Remember to remind yourself not to rush. Enjoy every up and down along the way. All experiences, good and bad, shape us into who we are. When we rush around all day and envision ourselves into next week, we are missing tiny moments of ‘f-yeah!’ right now.
So stop, take a deep breath and allow yourself to grow and expand with every interaction that you encounter, ‘bad day’ that you have, hurdle that you clear and every moment that you can simply smile and know that you did it.
Accept ourselves for all that we are… our situations and challenges, all of it.
Persevere, using the strength and wisdom that we all have inside of us, along the beautiful journey we call life.
Grow into amazing, beautiful individuals from our experiences. [We physically grow taller along the way too, that pun was totally intended. Wink]
To this very moment, those are the words I hold onto. Accept. Persevere. Grow.
Happy Friday 😉