My Faith Gave Me Vision
Everyone faces challenges at some point in their life. Difficult circumstances can invite negative inner chatter, risking a downward spiral into “why me?” territory. Whatever our struggles, whether related to illness, disability, relationships or other life circumstances, it is typical to evaluate ourselves harshly. We examine our performance and magnify our imperfections compared to the superficial veneer of others’ strength and competence. In reality we are all flawed, and all deserving of love and grace.
In my own experience, my disability has encouraged me to look inward and shift my perspective in a way I otherwise may not have. But you don’t need a disability to step back and ground yourself. Every one of us has experienced feelings of isolation at some point. We live in a society rife with judgment, where “other”ing is a natural and common behavior. And like so many others, my inner voice at times responds to moments of adversity by asking “why is this happening to me?” It’s not wrong to have these thoughts. But how you respond to those thoughts makes all the difference. And for me, I choose to respond with faith.
We are all human. We all have moments of weakness and hopelessness. In a sense, it is those moments of weakness that make us human. And how we respond to those moments define our character. The great Helen Keller once said “A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.” Being able to navigate adversity is crucial in life.
I have complete trust that I was placed on this earth for a higher purpose. That I lost my sight for a purpose. We are all created imperfectly in a perfect way, like the pieces of a puzzle. Not every piece is alike, but each has unique curves and edges, and every one is critical to the completion of the whole picture.
Faith can take a range of forms. A powerful and empowering sense of faith can manifest in believing in yourself, having external support, or community spirit. My faith guided me to view my disability through a lens of growth. I would not be the person I am today without it. I credit my faith with my deeply held belief that my blindness is my greatest blessing. It pushes me out of my comfort zone, expands my horizons, and helps me evolve as a human being.
The belief that everyone has a purpose pushes me to ensure that everyone has space to bring forward their authentic selves. My work has taught me that regardless of our differences, we are all indispensable to the fabric of society and life. And until we realize and embrace the beauty and value of our differences, we risk sacrificing the potential we each hold and the possibility of true inclusion. For me, faith is one of the driving factors in my journey toward creating a more inclusive society. In the face of our everyday struggles and those seemingly insurmountable challenges, I encourage everyone to rely on their own concept of faith as a source of strength, clarity and drive. Sometimes we need guidance to find our path forward; faith may just light the way.