[image description: a young Asian American woman with shoulder length black hair, smiling and sitting in her wheelchair outside surrounded by trees]
Guest Post by Mao Yang
For most of us, whether or not we live with a disability, accepting ourselves just the way we are with flaws and all can be a very difficult and lifelong process, but accepting who you are is about more than just physical appearance. For although it feels good to look good, your body and your looks will eventually fade away while your heart and soul will allow the true unique you to shine through.
So when you feel down because of what you see in the mirror, or the chair that is wrapped/trapped around you, write it all down. Try not to focus on all your flaws and your struggles. Yes, those are important to recognize and work on accepting, but just focus on what you think are your best qualities and let them shine. For it is these qualities that make you who you are and are the very essence of your soul. Listen and let your soul speak, and let it be a guiding light for you as to how you choose use the space you occupy in this world. Let it not only change the direction of your life, but also how you view yourself.
Mao’s Self-Portrait Poem
My voice is like the loud roar of an ocean’s tide finally crashing on the open shore.
My eyes are like deep, big, black holes trying their best to suck in, pull in, and compute what is going on in the world that surrounds them.
My hands are like the beginning lines of an artist’s first rough draft sketch, filled with stories of where I’ve been and where I’m going.
My fingertips are bold colored markers constantly writing and spreading my message of hope, love, kindness, and positivism for the world to see.
My arms are a shelter protecting and comforting the people I love most.
My skin is the color of a banana pale and soft to the touch.
My heart holds love, kindness, and compassion
That is as pure as the fresh drops of a waterfall.
I live in the midst of a dark and chaotic world
But I gain strength and hope for peace through the love I feel around me
each and every day.
This poem is all about how I see myself. My hope is that if you decide to write your own self-portrait, in whichever form you want, you will realize that although your flaws will forever be a part of you, who you are and all that you have to offer to the world is worth so much more.
Mao Yang is a 21-year-old young woman with Cerebral Palsy. She loves to write, listen to music, spend time with her family and friends, and meet new people. She is a dreamer who wants to make the world a better place by filling it with hope, kindness, and compassion. She writes about disability awareness because of the misconceptions that still follow people with disabilities today. You can find her online at: http://maosinspiration.blogspot.com/ and https://maoslife.wordpress.com/