All people have disabilities.
Some are visible.
Some are hidden.
The physical disabilities are very obvious and often others will stare or inquire with all the how, when, where and why questions.
The hidden disabilities that we carry around are very personal and often begin to exhibit physical symptoms the longer we try to hide them.
I am blind.
Obviously, it is only a temporary condition brought about because of a movie that I have thought about all day long.
Last night I watched At First Sight (1999) with Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino. The movie is about a blind man who briefly regains his sight only to eventually lose it again. The thing that made this movie so thought provoking to me was the fact that it was based on the true story of Shirl Jennings. When his sight was restored, he suffered sensory overload and had to learn to associate what he saw through his eyes to connect with the information he knew in his mind. It was not an easy task.
Today as I was driving to my job where I sat in front of a computer to work, I thought about Shirl and the lessons we can learn from his experience.
Do we appreciate our body?
I immediately thought of my bout with nakedness. Even with that struggle, I’m still thankful for my pale, freckled self that carries a few extra pounds.
How about our homes, automobiles and jobs? How much do we appreciate them?
Think about how many hours you spend at your job, cleaning your home, and waiting for your automobile to be fixed. All this manual labor is required and usually isn’t fun or exciting. Even with all the work, I still feel very grateful for the roof over my head and the food on my table.
What if we had to do all those things while being blind? How appreciative do you think you would feel as you tripped over furniture, got burned while cooking, and were unable to see your families faces, drive a car or enjoy the bird sitting on the window sill?
I believe I would be very angry and frustrated, however, in many ways I am still blind. True, I can see with my eyes, but often my mind holds me back from new experiences because of the fear of failure or heartache. I let perfectly wonderful experiences pass me by and later I feel regret.
Thankfully, I was able to remove the physical blindfold tonight and see my daughter laughing at me for being a crazy blogger. “WHAT are you doing?” she asked me and the look on her face was just so funny.
While reading this post tonight have you been reflecting on your hidden disabilities? What can we do to remove the blindfold that hides our weaknesses? Are we willing to take the chance of making a fool of ourselves in order to improve, learn and grow?