Hi and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friends. I am so happy to see that you decided to stop by and visit with me. You are always welcome around my table. I have been thinking about the topic of empowerment. In some of my previous posts that I have published on Second Chance to Live I have mentioned that for many years I felt like a man all dressed up with no where to go.
Although I had diligently applied myself to prepare myself to be of service to my fellows, no one seemed to want what I had to give. I found myself being hired and then fired from one job after another, my longest lasting only 16 months. With each termination I experienced frustration and anguish. The invisible nature of my disability kept me in a state of bewilderment. The cycle of my employment / unemployment lasted for 20 years.
Consequently, I experienced ongoing financial instability / insecurity. Out of desperation I applied for SSDI, but was denied. Approximately 1 year later I reapplied for SSDI but again the SSA denied my application. Several years later, after being terminated from yet another job I re-applied for SSDI. I also applied to begin receiving services through the department of vocational rehabilitation.
To make a long story short my caseworker with the department of vocational rehabilitation determined that I was unemployable. Shortly thereafter my application was approved for SSDI and I began receiving benefits.
For the next 6-7 years I remained discouraged and despondent because I continued to buy into a denial system that told me I “should not” be impacted by my “head injury”. The subsequent messages of denial left me in a state of shame and guilt, because I bought into the notion that “if I just tried hard enough I would not be disabled”. The insidious insinuation of denial led me to believe that I should be able to change the unchangeable.
Consequently, I continued to wrestle with myself in the face of denial until I realized what I was doing to myself.
Through my struggle I have come to accept my reality. I have come to recognize the insidious nature of the denial system that I had bought into for many years. With my acceptance I have come to realize that I needed to stop fighting against myself. I needed to break free from the imposed snare that denial had placed upon my life. I needed to stop defending a denial system that had kept me entrapped for many years. I needed to accept my reality. I needed to learn how to accept myself.
When I stopped fighting against myself, I was able to develop my gifts, talents and abilities. The energy that I once used to defend my denial was released to foster my passion.
With my acceptance I have discovered that I no longer need to defend any denial system. Instead, I am free to use my gifts, talents and abilities in ways that work for me. My passion — once entrapped by denial– is now free to fly like a bird that has been released from a cage. In my freedom I am learning how to use what has been given to me. I am learning how to channel my passions in ways that work for me. I am learning how to pursue my destiny. I am learning how to be me.
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us. Helen Keller
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