It’s about time we had a talk. It’s not about ‘you’. Your misperceptions are on my mind. For us to be close, the separation has to go. Those perceptions need an update.
A few weeks ago, I told you about a part of me. I told you about a condition; a disability. I told you I exist, nay I live with a considerable amount of pain. I told you I have no sense of hope for a cure and I will live with an increasing level of pain for the rest of my life.
Well, our relationship changed a bit. You may not have noticed and that’s OK. My interest is to return to a level of normalcy in our relationship. I’m pretty confident you could react defensively. Remember, this isn’t about you or me. It is about perceptions.
‘I feel sorry for you; you must feel limited with the disability.”
I am not limited because I live with pain. I am a musician, author, sculptor and artist. I am a faithful husband who found true love and treasures my wife. I am a professional jack of all trades. I can do just about anything I want to. I’m not into sports. I’m not a partier. I’m not a social creature due to the limitations of the condition but that’s about the only limitation.
I’m not an inspiration. I get up every day and take my meds. Just like you. I have daily challenges. Just like you. I have highs and lows. Just like you. If my action I am able to give you something you value, I will accept your thanks willingly. Apart from that, my existence with a disability does not distinguish me as heroic or exemplary. I am you. Which leads me to….
‘I can’t understand how you do it.’
This one is completely understandable but wrong. Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Not one of us are ready for the catastrophes that visit everyone.
At any time, we are all subject to expectations exploding in our face; of lives flipped asunder due to illness, tragedy, loss and/or pain. We meet these changes to our lives with pluck and persistence. We adjust. We make it ‘all right’. Perfection evades ALL human beings. My experiences, like all changes, go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
You will encounter something at least as serious as what I live with. Guaranteed.
You will deal with it. Guaranteed.
I have moments of despondency but they aren’t unique. You have those too. Guaranteed.
Disability by its nature means that some part of the normal homo-sapiens existence is different or lacking a complete complement of the basic stuff. Eyes, ears, arms, legs, nerves, cellular, dna or disease based. A person with a disability is still a person. I am YOU. To a one, people with disabilities I’ve worked and played with want normalcy. Any adulation, wonder or pity breaks the façade of normalcy. Honor that desire to just be; it’s not hard and it’s free.
I love you; All of you. Those I know and especially those I don’t. I started by saying this isn’t about you or me. It’s about our deceptive minds. Perceptions are rife with error. Assumptions of any kind are always error filled; like the old maxim ‘makes an ass out of u and me.’ Without a conversation, perceptions and assumptions are going to creep in. So, in written form, I wanted to have this conversation. A conversation with someone you may or may not know saying something out loud.
I don’t expect anything from you. I don’t have a specific outcome in mind. Part of my practice is living with what ‘is’. Whatever you take from my conversation, I wish only the best for us all. I don’t want sentient beings to suffer. The closer we are to each other in our minds eye, the happier we will me. Namaste.