In life, there are many forces that want to convince us that unless we conform, we are nothing. Going along to get along can leave us feeling as though we do not have a voice. Having and living with a visible or an invisible disability can further lead us to believe that being different needs to be denied or defended.
Being different and unable to change our realities can leave us feeling alone and isolated. Our disabilities can also leave us feeling depressed and dejected. Depressed and dejected, we may find ourselves among other people who are “different”. In response, we may feel as though we have no other options but to accept our lot in life.
In our compliance to not “rock the boat”, we may find that we have become increasingly complacent. In our complacency, we may discover that we have been led to believe that we powerless and helpless to do otherwise. Powerless and helpless to the influence the agendas of a patriarchal system that, by “it’s” behavior; does not have our best interests at heart.
In this conditioning, we may have been led to believe that we are powerless and helpless to impact both our lives and our generation.
But there is good news. We have more power than we may realize. We can bring about change, as Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther Jr. did in the civil rights movement. We can speak up Equality, Inclusion and Brain Injury Recovery.
We can have a loud voice if we all speak up!
Let me share something that helped me to realize that I had more power than I was being led to believe.
In life, sometimes we don’t know how to give ourselves the permission to do what we need to do for ourselves. I am thankful that I have had people in my life who helped me to realize that I had the permission to do something different. To be something different. Something different from what I had readily, but unknowingly; been led to believe about myself. I could decide to separate myself from the crowd and pursue a road less traveled. I no longer had to allow myself to be defined by what other people believed or denied. I could follow my own path and be happy about doing so with my life. I could stand out from the crowd. I could be uniquely me. I could follow my dreams by learning to use my gifts, talents, and abilities in ways that would work for me. I could live life with a new freedom.
Let me give you the permission to be different.
Let me give you the permission to be uniquely you.
Let me give you the permission to follow your dreams.
Let me give you the permission to live your life with a new freedom.
Below are several quotes that inspire, encourage and give me the permission to be Different, to be Uniquely me, to Follow my Dreams and to live my Life with a New Freedom.
“Regardless of your lot in life, you can build something beautiful on it.” Zig Ziglar
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
John Quincy Adams
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”
“If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.”
“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
If you move confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined…You will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, “This is the real me” and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”
James Trusdale Adams
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Break the rules, not the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you’re too well-behaved and don’t want to break the rules. You have to think outside the box. That’s what I believe. After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?”
“Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude.”
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
“Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.”
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
J. K. Rowling
“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.”
“Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.”
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine as children do. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light to shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same, as we are liberated from our own fear. Our presence automatically liberates others. Sir, I just want to say thank you. You saved my life.”
From the movie, Coach Carter, quote attributed to Marianne Williamson
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