Don't Forget To Be Perfect

September 10, 2015   Opinion

Paul Brailer | Source

Self-acceptance is hard for me…
allowing my value
to be dictated by my flaws,
trying to fit into a world
where I was once
thought of as less-than.

It is hard to get the words
of others out of your head…

“You’re on crutches and braces.”
“You use a wheelchair.” 
“You can't play with us.”
“You’re my disabled friend.”
“You won't have a real relationship.”
“Those scars are gross.”

Looking to God for comfort,
only to hear… 

“You don't worship like I do.”
“You're wrong.”
“Your God is different from my God.”
“You're wrong.”

So I spent the better part
of 10 years running from God,
trying not to piss him off.
I looked around and I saw a perfect world.
No one that I perceived as smart,
good-looking, and Godly was disabled.

So their words became mine,
my internal dialog
telling myself,

“I can't.”
“I'm not good enough.”
“I'm ugly.”
“I was in special education, so I'm not smart.”
“I lusted and got drunk and no I’m going to Hell.”

Now I'm 3 weeks away from my 43rd birthday.
I run a non-profit organization Criptaedo.
I speak to other disabled people,
encouraging them to live
an active and healthy a lifestyle.
Hoping that I can help them not to feel
what I felt about myself for so long.
I still visit those feelings
but they get shorter
as I learn more about myself.