Who inspired you? Challenge you? Shaping you? In honor of Women’s History Month, we are recognizing the women who made us what we are today. Thank you to all those who came first, mothers, grandmothers, mentors, teachers and those who went ahead… thank you. Here, Paralympian Mallory Weggemann looks at his own reflection with pride.
In March, we celebrate Women’s History and honor the brave, strong women who have walked ahead of us – who paved the way we are on the path. But sometimes, in the midst of commemorating those pioneers and pioneers, we forget the importance of honoring the bravery and strength of women whose names may never have done. name titles or history books. Just as we have dedicated space to honor these remarkable women, it is equally important that we find grace to honor the reflection that looks back on us.
I have found throughout my journey that we are often our own worst critics; we lift others up but we lower ourselves. Many of us have grown up hearing the same feeling, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.” However, when it comes to our own lives, bodies, faces, and experiences, we seem to ignore that idea, giving way to negative self-talk. The truth of the matter is, the story we tell ourselves is a direct reflection of our sense of self-worth.
After becoming paralyzed at the age of 18, I resented my reflection, feeling as if my body had betrayed me. I fight the story that I am telling myself, not only negatively speaking myself, but also carrying other people’s perceptions and judgments like mine. I have allowed all those limited ideas to influence the way I see myself and even more so, what I value.
I allow all those limited ideas to influence the way I see myself and even more so, what I value as myself.
For the past month, we have supported each other. And today, I want to encourage all of you – the strong, courageous, fearless women out there – to give yourself room to honor those friend Exactly like you are. When you look in the mirror stop, pause for a moment and focus on the words you use, the story you tell yourself.
For me, my story is …
You, Mallory, are resilient. You are strong and brave. You have bravely passed some of the most challenging seasons, but you not only survived but thrived. Above all, you have done so while being true to who you are.
The scars you carry are not meant to hide, but are worn with pride as a reminder of what you’ve survived. The wheels below you do not define you, but a structure of who you are, making you unique. Your body, which has changed since the last time you walked you 18, has not betrayed you. Rather, it adapts and is the vehicle that led you to your wildest dreams.
Your smile is a symbol of understanding that happiness is not made up of a life without suffering, loss and grief, but instead experiencing the depths, living through them and making choices. Don’t let them embarrass you. Those times have finally brought light to your life and led you to the fuller you are.
The positivity that exists in you comes from the understanding that true fulfillment is found in living a life of purpose and holding onto the belief that the good will transcend. As Dad has always told you, “You are the best, you can make a difference and you can change the world.” Believe in the power of your fire.
And for you, readers, remember that you deserve all the splendid things in the world. Which is the “thing” about you? Whatever you have said to yourself that makes you different? Celebrate it, because it makes you so unique and that’s what this world needs. Our beauty is not just about how we look, it’s about how we perform and who we choose to be. Our beauty comes from the women we are, in our hearts.
When you look in the mirror believe her – the woman is looking back at you – because she has survived everything that you have overcome to get to this moment right here. Lift her up, praise her, encourage her, and tell her stories she deserves to hear.