“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”
One of the most beautiful things about being disabled, at least in my opinion, is having the ability to inspire others and encourage them in ways that you never could without them. Not to say that because of my disabilities, I am so much more inspirational compared to those who aren’t disabled, which is totally not true; everyone is an inspiration in some way. Everyone has overcome some sort of difficulty to get where they are today, had the courage to face the challenge head on and to embrace whatever laid ahead of them.
This past Monday, one of my good friends from college asked me to share my story with the youth group she leads. The theme of my talk was trusting God and forgiveness. I absolutely love my talk on forgiveness because it shows that even though forgiving someone is difficult, when we do forgive, we lose the negativity that holds us back in life and help ourselves to heal.
When I was younger, I had brain cancer and after several surgeries to remove the tumor, it kept growing back. (It was just as stubborn as I am) So instead of trying surgery one more time, I tried radiation. Well long story short, the radiation destroyed the cancer but left me physically disabled and nearly killed me. It was like an atom bomb went off in my head, I know really awesome, right? The thing was my doctor overdosed the radiation too. The radiation I received was new technology at the time and I was the youngest patient to ever receive this type of radiation so it was pretty risky. If all went successful, destroying the cancer and leaving no major side effects, my case would have been famous in the medical world and my doctor would have been famous too. Before the radiation treatments were even finished, he had written papers about me to present in conferences. My parents and I found out he rushed my radiation treatments for his own good; not out of a desire to heal, but out of a selfish desire for glory. He caused me to become physically disabled, and changed my life forever. I was just a “little” angry with him. But like the quote at the beginning implies I could either stay angry at my doctor or have the courage to forgive him and move on with my life
Being angry at someone or only focusing on the negatives is exhausting and draining. Besides that, who really wants to be around someone who is always bringing them down?! A couple years after the radiation, I started to realize it was time to let go of the past, forgive, and stop being so angry at the world. As much as I hated my disabilities and being different from everyone, they are part of who I am. My disabilities make me a stronger person, allow me to inspire others, and help them to see anything is possible. So maybe I am physically disabled, but I am alive, I have a loving family who supports me and I am cancer free. Forgiving someone is never easy but when I forgave my doctor, this huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and all of a sudden, my life was so much more beautiful and full of opportunity.
We’re human, we all make mistakes; some bigger than others. When someone betrays us or hurts us, it is hard to forgive them for what they have done, but being angry or holding a grudge against someone only creates a brick wall between you and that person. It also gets in the way of letting wounds heal from past experiences and finding your own happiness. So before you hate or even begin to hold a grudge against someone, take a step back and forgive them, for everyone deserves a second chance and it is in forgiving that we set ourselves free from anger.
“Forgive others, not because they deserve it but because you deserve peace”
-Jonathan Lockwood Hue