Monday, September 26, 2011

Blending in isn't ALL that Bad!

Model Burned in Vicious Sulfuric Acid Attack

I continue to be in awe of the power of awareness! There’s no limit to it making our life better, every day in every way.

Have you heard of Katie Piper? She’s a young woman who, because of her tenacity and courage, is responsible for taking my consciousness to a new heightened level.
3 years ago, this former twenty-something model was the victim of an acid attack. From the severe burns she suffered from this horrific act of violence, her face, chest and throat have been damaged for life. Blind in her left eye, skin grafts from her back to reconstruct her face, multiple surgeries on her face, eyelids, and throat (because of damage from swallowing some of the acid when it was thrown on her) this woman presses on with a mission- to turn her personal tragedy into triumph for herself and for others.

Katie. My Beautiful Friends is a four part documentary that caught my attention several weeks ago. I found it airing on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) while channel surfing late one night. Katie has formed a charity, aiding those who are dealing with severe deformities, allowing her to make personal visits and offer a support group. Throughout the documentary, she introduces us to her ongoing challenges, as well as those she’s met and encouraged. Some were born with severe deformities, some are victims of burns and others are dealing with growing, life threatening tumors. All are incredibly courageous and great examples of, not only how our circumstances could be much worse, what is possible with perspective and perseverance – two of our greatest (two of my strongest) gifts.

I was impacted greatly after viewing only the first of Katie’s four episodes. Each week my heart has been opened more. These individuals are suffering greater pain then what’s evident physically. They are suffering unnecessary mental, emotional and spiritual pain, because as a whole, we’ve chosen to look the other way and not treat them as the beautiful souls they are beneath the skin. I’ve resolved to make eye contact with anyone whose path I cross, especially those who aren’t used to experiencing eyes gazing into theirs. The extent of my compassion has increased tenfold!

This week I’ve been gifted my own personal experience, as if it were to be an exclamation point for this life altering lesson Katie’s responsible for gifting me. After taking a close look at my lower lip last week, my dermatologist decided a quick freeze of excessive sun damage would be the best treatment. With her ‘gun’ she zapped another spot just above my upper lip also. Two large blisters formed and within a couple of days, the spots have begun to scab over. So mindful of the challenges Katie and her beautiful friends deal with every day as they go out, to be either stared at or treated as if they were invisible, I’m ever present to the blessing of being able to ‘blend in,’ even with a couple unsightly blisters.

I’ve had exposure to the pain caused by staring. Not one to cry over her circumstances often, one thing that could bring Jonnae’s spirit down and lead to tears, was the staring that happened as a result of her bald head. Still, as a cancer patient there was plenty of support and compassion for her to experience. The embrace and support far outweighed the stares and galking that made her so uncomfortable. That’s not the case when it comes to these individuals with severe abnormalities that Katie has made ambassadors for her charity.

The reality check these brave people offer us is of incredible value! I’ve recently been introduced to another burn victim carrying on with life and exuding what spirit and tenacity is all about. JR Martinez, one of this season’s contestants on Dancing with the Stars, was burned on more than 40 percent of his body when his Humvee hit a land mine while he was serving in Iraq in 2003. The injuries left him with scars on his face and the loss of his left ear.

Seems life continually leaves me in a state of awe, with heightened awareness and increased gratitude. To some my challenges seem so large, yet I continue to see others with hurdles just as looming, if not larger. And…they’re clearing theirs. No greater source of inspiration than seeing what’s possible and committing to doing the same. I’ll keep clearing the hurdles and climbing the mountains, knowing that I’ll always have everything I need to accomplish whatever I want…it’s simply a matter of choosing to press on for the prize – a life lived in peace, joy, happiness and love NO MATTER WHAT! I love, Love, LOVE being awakened to the multitude of abundant blessings that surround me! Don’t you?

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