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Why I Don't Mind Being Called an Inspiration as Someone With a Disability

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I am a member of my fair share of cerebral palsy support groups across social media. I have seen many people complain about us as disabled individuals being tagged as inspiration porn. In certain situations, it does bother me when we are seen as superhuman for functioning the best we can. After all, just because we have a disability does not mean we shouldn’t be allowed to live our lives to the fullest like other people. Just because we need extra help doing activities of daily living, it does not make us that different. It just means we must “jump” through a few more hoops than most people do.

However, if I am praised for being an inspiration because of an important impact I had on someone else, I do not mind. After all, it is my mission as a difference maker to help others live their most positive and enriching lives despite our challenges. Every day, I work on building myself up so I can be the best possible person and in the best mindset.

As an independent writer, my mind is constantly reeling and trying to figure out new ideas to write about. I am always trying to build my own brand, composing and gaining my own wings, if you will. I write to reach out to others, to give them a voice they might not otherwise have. Instead of remaining frustrated with my disability, I try my best to use it as a teaching tool. I use it to raise awareness about the feelings some of us may experience as we age. I like to write about things many of us can relate to like not being physically able to work, fatigue disorder, and chronic pain.

If I have influenced at least one person with my writing, then I feel like I have done my job. If I have touched someone or enhanced their understanding of my life and how I cope with it, then I have done my job. It is then that I feel I have deserved my title as an inspiration or a difference maker.

Not everyone is meant to be a writer, and not everyone has learned to see their disability as a gift instead of a burden. It is a special talent that I have, and there is never a day that goes by that I don’t give thanks for it. I fully believe in the notion that God grants our special purpose when we step foot onto the Earth for the first time. We just have to grow and learn what our exact purpose is. He doesn’t make everyone with a disability for a reason. I believe He hand picks who he believes who is best suited for this kind of life, because I can promise you that it is definitely not for everyone.

I spent so much time and energy being angry with God when I was younger that my vision was clouded. I wasn’t able to see through the clouds until I totally relaxed and let God take over and guide me. Now that I am a teacher and a difference maker, I feel so free. I do not feel restrained by my own chains anymore. I realized that my mind and its negative thoughts were causing a thick fog to guard my heart against my reality.

Now that that fog has lifted, I can breathe. I feel so relaxed and content. I no longer feel like I am going nowhere in life.  I can see the light now that God has shown me my light; one that is not meant to dim, but to continue to brighten by serving others while also satisfying myself.  When I hear the words “You’re an inspiration” after someone has read my writing, I can only respond with thankfulness and gratitude.

Originally published: January 23, 2019
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