You are going to love this wonderful TED Talk I discovered when I clicked on a blogger who had “liked” my last post. I found an article about Aimee Mullins who was born without fibular bones in her legs. She has inspired many and I love the way she redefines the term “disability” in her presentation, titled “Opportunity of Adversity” (20 minutes in length). Aimee is truly a potential inspiration to everyone on the planet. She has enlightened me in so many ways.
One issue I reflected on after watching Mullins’ talk was the fact that her “adversity” is one that is fairly obvious–the lower part of both legs were amputated. She uses prostheses and if she’s wearing a long skirt or pants, you wouldn’t know. But say during the summer when she’s wearing shorts, I’m sure she gets lots of questions and looks. I do not have a disability; I have a scar and PTSD from a surgical procedure that brought trauma into my life as an infant. I have a more “hidden” issue, in a sense. Giving my “adversity” credibility has always been a challenge: You were too young to remember. You didn’t feel a thing. You were perfectly fine after your incision healed. Babies don’t feel pain. Mom and Dad and your brother are the ones who suffered. There is such pressure to be normal.
Inside, I felt very different from others–special because I rebounded from the brink of death but damaged because I had that ugly scar. Do I wish I had had a more obvious, less hidden challenge to work with? Not at all. Each of us in this life has his or her particular limitations to work with. Those who share this journey of transformation with others give strength to everyone to continue learning and growing from difficult circumstances. That’s why Aimee Mullins is so awesome. She helps us embrace the “opportunity in [every] adversity.”