My mind was expanded last night through the miracle that is cable television. TLC was airing a series of shocking medical stories and I got hooked right away. The first one literally made me gasp. It featured a 55 year old Filipino man who has lived his whole life with a parasitic twin growing out of his abdomen. I will spare you the photo, but the twin consisted mainly of arms and legs and a small patch of hair.
From this man I learned that none of the excuses we use to push away happiness are valid. Are you not dating because you think you’re not attractive? This man has a wife and daughter who love him. Do you think you have no special talents to offer the world? This man once gained fame and fortune working in a circus, which is how he met his wife.
Do you live in fear of what the future will bring? This man now lives in poverty and his heart is failing due to the demands of his twin. Doctors recently offered him a free operation to remove the twin with a high probability of success. He turned it down. His reason? God had given it to him. He was born with it and he would die with it.
I can’t say that I would have made the same choice, but I’ve never been asked to give up a part of myself that I’ve lived with for 55 years. He was able to embrace and love that part of himself that others found repulsive. So many of us struggle to love and accept ourselves, thinking, “I’m too fat. I’m too skinny. I’m too short. I’m too bald. I’m too damaged.” The truth is, we are all perfect creatures that deserve love.
By perfect I don’t mean without flaw.” I mean that our imperfections only serve to make us more unique and beautiful. A tree that has been bent by decades of struggling against the wind is still a perfect and beautiful sight. A Sperm Whale that has been scarred by propeller blades is still a perfect and beautiful ocean creature. And a woman who has lost her hair due to chemotherapy is still inherently perfect and beautiful.
Somehow we have to learn to love ourselves unconditionally in a society full of rules for what perfection is. Once we truly love ourselves, we become free and anything is possible. That’s a message I need to hear and believe, so I’ll say it again.
None of the excuses we use to push away happiness
are valid. Once we truly love ourselves,
anything becomes possible.
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