He will always have prosthetic legs.
That will never change.
He’s chosen to embrace it, he’s chosen to embrace the thing that’s made him different. He uses the story of his injury, and his positive outlook on life to inspire and motivate others. He wears shorts without giving it a second thought. It’s been seven years so he’s had time to work through any self-consciousness he’s felt. He’s made peace with himself just exactly as he is. And if you ask him, he’ll say that he wouldn’t change a thing about the accident or his injury, because it’s made him into the person he is today. And he really is amazing.
But I’ve had my own process to work through in dating this man, this double amputee that I’ve fallen in love with...
~Seeing him without his legs on- Everyday he takes his legs off before he goes to sleep at night, and puts them on again when he wakes up in the morning.
~Worrying about whether or not he'd fall in yoga class, and worrying about him feeling embarrassed if he did.
~Getting comfortable with the attention he receives, because everywhere he goes, people look and people ask.
~And wondering, would the kids feel embarrassed at the attention he receives, at the playground or at school?
The worries and the self-consciousness made me feel guilty. I felt like I was being shallow.
And then I wrote about it. I finally moved through the writer's block I'd been having and wrote about what had been just underneath the surface. I took my feelings out of hiding. Surely he had had his own process of embracing his legs, embracing the attention, embracing the falls, and I would have mine too. Instead of feeling ashamed of my feelings, I met them with compassion and understanding. And I was honest with him about my feelings. I spoke from the heart and I was met with love.
And now instead of feeling self-conscious, I feel proud, thanks to a friend’s loving advice. His legs are a symbol of all he has been through, of all he has overcome.
Ultimately it’s about accepting him for ALL of who he is, and isn’t that the magic ingredient for unconditional love, and isn’t that the challenge in so many relationships? Accepting the ones we love just exactly as they are? And isn’t that what we’re all here to do- support, love, and lift each other up?
Yes, I believe it is. And a part of the process of accepting ALL of him has come from accepting ALL of me, and meeting my real feelings with compassion and understanding, instead of judgment.
Inspired, challenged, and filled with gratitude for this path that I’m on, and in love. I am in love with a man that is teaching me how to love better.