In Mind, Body & Spirit, Pushing Forward by Ariel SilverSpirit

How we see ourselves is very important, though others’ perceptions of us play an interesting role in our lives, too, we must be careful how we act on them. Especially for disabled people, we must project a positive image, mainly for ourselves. Our overall well being depends on it.

It doesn’t matter whether others approve or
accept you, it does matter that you can do these things for yourself. Our self perceptions affect what we think, feel, say, and do. They affect our lives in ways we don’t often realize.

When we see ourselves as victims, we’ll act that way, whether or not this is a conscious thing. The mind is extremely powerful, and believes what we tell it. When we are afraid, depressed, and angry, our minds set up the sequence of commands
to follow those instructions. We are like
computers in many ways. We do act on the input we give ourselves.

Have you ever been asked, “Why are you doing this,” or “Why do you feel this way,” and your reply is you don’t know?

Just as we act on negative input, we also act on positive ones. Notice how you feel and what your body does during those times, recall your tone of voice, your decision to withdraw or participate, listen to music, or whatever.

If you have a painful condition, you might not feel as uncomfortable as when you’re happy.

I know these things very well. When I got tired of feeling like all I was doing was struggling and fighting, much of my tension eased and my health improved. Back when I was always unhappy, my body language spoke of it loud and clear, and was revealed to me by a friend.

When I released that sorrow, I felt lighter, and felt myself walking proudly, with a big smile. People said hi to me more often, and were more receptive to
helping me when I asked for assistance.

Body language is one way to help with how others see us. If you are able to sit up straight, or stand up straight, and smile, do it. When you have doubts, your body follows your thinking.

When you’re feeling confident, this comes through also. Wouldn’t it be interesting to go through your day without anyone knowing you were sad, or in pain, especially if you have a job? The
reports on you will be glowing! It might say, “She did her job well, was always pleasant.”

I’ve had some awful days at work, when my health was really intruding on my projects, yet I challenged myself to do my best, and was able to achieve the goal I set for myself that day, despite the inconvenience my body put me through.

Especially when we interact with others in an official manner, they don’t care if you’re having a bad day, all they want is what they came there for. I wish I had been able to be pleasant more often at my jobs, perhaps I’d still be employed.

The days I wasn’t able to hold myself together cost me dearly. Have you ever encountered a cranky worker, and thought to yourself, “I bet he’s having a bad time at home?”

So how do you see yourself? Do you define
yourself as a person who happens to be disabled? When we say we’re disabled people, we must remember we are people first. As much as possible, we must try to get others to realize this too. We can do little or nothing about the ones who stand in our way and put up barriers that make our lives miserable, but if we do our
best to navigate around them, especially in our minds, we can handle these challenges, and often overcome those obstacles.

Is your life a struggle, do you feel like a
victim, loser, unworthy, hopeless, useless,
pittiful, or are you a champion, star achiever, doer, go-getter, happy, content, fulfilled, motivated, driven person; is your life meaningful, can you accept and make the best of your situation?

How well do you handle stress, sorrow, adversity and pain? Do you just put up with life or do you make an adventure of it, a challenge to be mastered?

These questions are mainly to encourage you to think and be aware of yourself, your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. Be true to yourself, however you choose to look and act.

You want people to see the real you, right? Then you need to bring that person out from within. I know we can’t always reveal our true selves in every situation, but you can still carry with you your basic traits, like being sincere, honest, responsible, working hard, for example.

You can do it! Don’t worry about how others see you, their perceptions are usually inaccurate anyway, right? Remember, you are a gift, a valuable human being with feelings and rights.

Believe in yourself, minimize exposure to those who look down on you, and be around compassionate people who will recognize you for your abilities,and encourage you. Whatever your situation, remember your good qualities.

If no one’s around to support you, you always have yourself as a best friend. Perceptions, like anything else are
in the eye of the beholder. Can you see how
wounderful you really are?
What do you do when you feel down or depressed or lonely? Let us know at the Online Forum or send us an email at .
We want to post your suggestions in an upcoming issue of Audacity.