How You See Yourself

I saw this on a friend’s Facebook and loved it. It speaks volumes about attitude and living life, especially when you are chronically ill or disabled. It also says a lot about people who are successful. Those that see themselves as conquerors, survivors, thrivers, achievers…may not look like it to other people but what is important is what they think about themselves. I am this person below. I do not see myself in my powerchair and incapable of doing. I see myself dancing across the floor and living life.

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Son says I remind him of the little kitten that sees a lion in the mirror and thinks that they can do anything. I might be like the left side of the picture above but in my head…I am capable and I am strong and I can do and I do what I do with integrity and honesty.

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I had someone tell me once that they could not do what I did as they were just not strong enough. My reply was a quote that I love….”whether you think you can or you think you can’t…you will be right”.  It is all about what we choose to do and how we see ourselves. And it is all a choice.

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 I am not stronger than anyone else. I CHOOSE to be stronger. I see myself as stronger. I could sit back and say that I am just too weak and I can not do this and wait on everyone else to do it for me. But I do not do that. I choose to be all that I can be and do for myself.

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Instead, I look at myself and this is what I see in my head below. This is how I see myself and it is a choice. I know I look like the guy with no muscles but I choose to believe I have the muscles of the guy in the mirror. This is how I choose to see myself. It does not matter to me if others see me as someone who is frail and disabled and weak. It matters what I see myself.

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We are more limited by our minds than anything else.  We get to choose what we want to try and we get to choose the course of our lives…whether it be a life of honesty or integrity or one of deception, a life of trying in spite of or a life of not trying at all.  And it all goes back to how we choose to view ourselves.  When we choose to be all that we can be, our life is fulfilling. When we choose to sit back and make no attempt and expect others to do the work for us…..we are constantly searching for that fulfillment.  Which one are you?  Which life do you choose?  How do you see yourself?

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A very few years back, I worked in a soup kitchen serving food to the needy. People around me told me I should be sitting there eating instead of fixing the food but I did not see myself that way. I did not even see the forearm crutches I was standing on to serve food. I saw myself helping others…putting others first and I saw myself as capable of doing that. We are only limited by what we think.

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I learned a long time ago to never give up. Do I have moments where I feel like it. Oh yes, I do. I have moments when I am laying here in the middle of the night with my body racked with spasms and spasticity beyond what most people can comprehend and I lay here with tears running down my face and want to just give up. But, inside me is that lion..that warrior that chooses to keep fighting….that chooses to keep trying and keep believing in myself. As Laverne told a work therapist once….I am an adjuster. When things seem impossible…I adjust my sails and keep sailing.

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Life will always be tough and will always throw obstacles our way.  We will have battles and losses and hurts and pains and sorrows. It is not these things that shape us. It is what we choose to do about them and how we choose to handle them that shapes us.

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Yes, I have gone through some really tough times and I continue to and I know that it will continue to get worse. And I could choose to let that pull me down but I fight not to. That is a conscious choice. No matter if you are disabled, chronically ill, lost your job, lost your home, lost a loved one….we will be affected by it but we do not have to be pulled down by it. That is our choice.  I choose to tell you all the things that are right in my life. Some choose to tell you all the things that are wrong in theirs. It is a choice. I prefer to not present myself as a victim or as someone who is poor pitiful me. And it is how we choose to view ourselves is what counts.

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Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. It is almost meant to be a life where we make the choices to keep fighting and keep going and we choose how we will handle things. It is a time of character making or breaking. We either choose what is right and honest or we choose ways that bring us down and destroy our character. It is all choices. But, it is so important that we live and we keep dreaming and we believe in ourselves and we see ourselves as winners. Really living life requires us to give all and to be willing to have to dig deep and be strong.

I live my life totally. I choose to see myself as someone strong and a survivor. I choose to act with honesty and integrity. I choose to not waste my life but to really live it and be fulfilled by it. I think that some of the most beautiful people in the world are those that have gone through hell and back, suffered, lost and still keep going. I want to be one of those beautiful people. I want to inspire others to keep going and to live their lives in spite of the obstacles. I want to help people see themselves as winners…as survivors. I do not want to have people gush to me how much I inspire them to keep going and yet they are sitting on their laurels and not even trying. I want them to be beside me in the race saying “I am still fighting…how about you?”   Those are the people I admire.

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Life is not about the end of the journey. I am on the last half of my journey. It is about how we live that journey, about how much we are willing to give of ourselves and how we view ourselves. It is all about the climb and how you view yourself doing that climb. Are you adjusting your sails when things are tough and seeing yourself as a survivor…as a fighter…as one that is strong and can make it?  Or have you already convinced yourself that you are not strong and you are weak and you need someone or everyone to take care of you and give to you? How much is your mind limiting what you are capable of doing?

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8 thoughts on “How You See Yourself

  1. Pingback: Rose Coloured Glasses In The Mirror | Life In The Dash Lane (1962 – ?)

  2. AHH yep Cdn Stormlover just about said all that can be said about this remarkable blog and the writer… “aweSOME you are”, and profound with the photos for emphasis I just might add… Surviviors and thrivers you both are indeed… LIVING THE DASH,
    I have no doubt that those of us who STAND UP, who give all and take what is dealt, yet choose live the length of our lives adding the width will leave great skid marks when our time here is done, saying we had moments that took our breath away, and moments we were like the Phoenix and rose from the ashes determined to soar and to choose with I CAN, I AM, I WILL… no matter how many times others think we won’t , can’t, shouldn’t or fail…

    Thank you for this fabulous post, bet you couldn’t sleep and this was the result of a night in pain when you COULD AND CHOSE TO RISE against some pretty remarkable odds once again…

    where eagles soar

    • I believe Sherry that is what makes people either victims or survivors and then thrivers. Some people relish playing the victim. Some are still learning and are surviving and some go on to thrive and grow and make their lives the best they can. I can remember a time many many years ago that I was being the victim and sought out the attention of others to foster this feeling. If things were tough I would tell someone I knew would tell everyone else so that help and love and attention came flowing in….help for things that I really could do myself. It took me years to learn that I had to be in charge of me and not be a taker but a giver. The more I give to others..the more I get in return of love and caring.And when I discovered that piece of wisdom, life changed for me and I realized that I was happy and in charge of myself. We can start out a victim, but we have the choice to not stay a victim.
      thanks for your words sherry…as always you touch my heard.
      hugs my friend

  3. Deb…! This is one the best posts I’ve read online. Soooo friggen profound! I have tears in my eyes right now. I gave up on MYSELF years ago because I felt I didn’t deserve better than what I had. When breast cancer reared it’s ugly head in 2000 I found out that I was stronger than I ever thought I could be ……and I stopped being “emotionally crippled” from that point onwards. I’ve never looked back. I volunteer a lot of time to those who have physical ailments, diseases and brain injuries. I’m doing what I can do……..I’m enjoying the last half of my “dash”. I’m living a fulfilled life the best way I know how…… helping myself and others. KUDOS to you for this incredible blog post ……….and for living a fulfilled life on your terms as well.

    • I am so glad you liked it so much. Your journey sounds like mine and glad to see another person who is riding the crest and looking across at me and saying “I am still out there fighting…”. That is what we have to do…help ourselves and each other. Your comment has brought tears to my eyes…what a fighter you are. you are a storm fighter for sure. 🙂

      • That pic of the storm is incredible and the quote with it is soooo profound. I’d like to copy it if you don’t mind and use it for an upcoming blog post. I think I’ll print it out and frame it for my office as well. It speaks volumes about who I am. When I use it for a blog post I’ll be sure to give credit where it’s due and provide my readers with the link to your blog……….
        HUGZZZ to you Deb. You’re a true warrior spirit!

      • You are a true warrior spirit too Lee. Of course you can use it. I always put a link under pictures I use to show where they came from. Yes it does say so much. It is my most favorite of all the quotes on that post. Kudos to another survivor and fighter..YOU. HUGSSSSSSSSSSS

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