Satisfied-In Spite of Disability-Still

Okay. I’m feeling proud and want to toot my own horn. It’s been over a year since I began my blog/website dedicated to SCI, one of the most fulfilling of my adventures, and surprisingly cathartic.

I scrolled down memory lane of that novice writer and after reading the first few posts thought, “Darn, that was good!” So today, I’m reposting my first article from April 22, 2012, in case you missed it.

There are a myriad of things from which we can find peace and satisfaction. Living with a disability, illness, or disease does not prevent us from experiencing joy and happiness either. The heart attitude of ingratitude does that. One of the most important ways in finding peace AND satisfaction is assuring that our friends and loved ones know we love and appreciate them. I know mine do because I show them by how I treat them, and because I tell them every day.

I believe Jewel’s song, “Satisfied,” reveals an anointed insight into our heart’s deepest desire—to love and to be loved, despite its redemptive value. “Satisfied” encourages us to not be timid, afraid of, or hold back words of love, especially important for us with disabilities (we’re physically limited in the many other ways of demonstrating affection). She expresses that the sorrow of regret is worse than any fear of rejection. (“Google” it and give it a listen.)

Growing up, I don’t remember my parents ever telling me that they loved me. It wasn’t until my late twenties or early thirties that I began telling them that I loved them. (I was a late bloomer in learning to express my emotions.) Talk about awkward—very for me, but more so for them.

My intent was to make sure they knew I loved them, not to change their behavior; nor to hear them tell me. Although they did in time, in the beginning there were nervous laughs, bowed head “uh-hums,” and “Okay, then…” at our good-byes.

I could have lived my life without the expression of those three words, by me or from my parents. And, in a futile attempt to justify myself, I could have pointed my finger at them to divert attention away from my failing. But because of my disability, my eyes were opened to see the need in myself, my heart received a blessing.

How often are we found guilty of putting our best foot forward for mere acquaintances, church members, fellow employees, and our bosses, but are rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful to members of our own families? Through my disability, I have realized how much I need others, especially my family. If I don’t tell them today how very special they are to me, I may not have another chance. I don’t want to live with that regret.

Every one of us drew the short straw for, at least, one admirable character quality. If you are clueless as to what one of your shortcomings might be, but truly want to be a better you, try this: Ask your closest friend to help. First, to tell you what quality they love the most about you; second, the most annoying. You will be blessed hearing what endears you to them and, in time, you will be a blessing to them by changing that character flaw.

Don’t expect yourself, or anyone else who may join in on this satisfaction search, to instantly change by just a twitch of the nose. Baby steps are slow, and there will be fall downs.

Get a good brush.

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