One of my favorite books to read to my son is I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont with wonderful illustrations by David Catrow. It was given to us by my Aunt Carol and really celebrates the idea of accepting ourselves for who we are. The exuberance the young girl the book uses to express that, no matter what, she is truly happy to be who she is and there is no one else she’d rather be, transcends into a universality of self-acceptance.
I am often asked after performances or presentations if I ever wonder or wish what it would be like to have both my hands. I always tell the story that I certainly had moments in my life when I made that wish, when I thought that all of my problems would be solved if I could just be like every other two-handed person I saw around me. The point I didn’t realize at that time was that many of these other two-handed people around me had things that they wanted to change about themselves!
I came to the realization that my hand is just one of the many, many differences about me that make me…well, me. If I were not born without my right hand I wouldn’t have this story to tell that allows me to go all over the country to remind audiences that we are all wonderfully unique individuals. No matter what our differences may be, if they are seen or unseen, we must embrace all of ourselves and celebrate all of who we are.
So take the words of Karen Beaumont to heart this week and celebrate all of who you are!
“Even when I look a mess,
I still don’t like me any less,
‘cause nothing in this world, you know,
can change what’s deep inside, and so…
No matter if they stop and stare,
can make me feel that what they see
is all there really is to me.” -from I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
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