The last couple weeks I have been speaking about the issue of poverty and the more lethal effects of invisibility syndrome. Plainly, when society doesn’t see an individual aside from negative assumptions and circumstances, it can kill you (Carr & West, 2013. pp. 121; Human Concern International, 2022). Fortunately, this week I feel I can speak to something that is much more hopeful and in line with the holiday spirit of joy and peace.
Recently I was on a podcast talking about Faith and disability. Basically summarizing my previous articles talking about taking more chances and how my Christian faith helps me change the internal label of social reject to beloved. Given that those closest to me gave me a very happy childhood, the rest of this work constitutes a clarification. For I do not want to disregard these individuals love and care throughout my life. Without them I would not be here.
Consequently, it’s not that I was never happy before I found Christianity. The difference is that my joy and hope is fixed within my heart rather than being dependent on external circumstances which are subject to change. For example, if those I love were happy and everything went the way I planned I was a peach. But if something went wrong, like an argument or different project suggestion, watch out!
I wish I could tell you this was only primary school. Or use the buzzword of discrimination to justify that I have a fiery temper. Truth is, my sensitivity, as beautiful as it can be, can make my internal world hell from one moment to the next.
However, I’m also happy to tell you that consistent practice of spiritual exercises and attending church as often as I can has strengthened my communication and extended my fuse substantially. More importantly, I can more easily comprehend when my fuse has been ignited and, if not snuff it out, at least be able to explain to those around me what caused it and, most often, handle it constructively.
Again, I’m not perfect, but because I realize that I am loved on a universal scale, it helps me not to pour gasoline of self-condemnation onto the fire of my feelings; something that only leads to more mistakes. I think the biggest reason for this is I know I have value outside my closest relationships. Before this, my happiness was very fluctuating because of being easily prone to stress and being so particular.
So, my intention is not to disregard the love I received but celebrate the fact that the conditions surrounding receiving it have been cancelled. A gift that is not only for myself but for those around me and it has made all the difference.