Sword, Lightsaber Or Broomstick?

Image is described in the body of the post.

WOMEN ON THE MOVE

So indeed, there are days I choose to use my white cane like a sword. I use it to cut away at the misconceptions people have about my capabilities. I cut through the limitations as if they are coiled thick vines, which others place on my dreams.

~Catherine Harrison, Women On The Move

Fantasy To Reality

There are days I wish my white cane was a sharp sword, able to cut through the complexities of life coiled around my ankles like thick vines.

Or perhaps if it were a lightsaber that glowed in the dark and could vaporize the enemies of my greatness like fear, self-doubt, impatience and my horrible spelling.

Or better still if I could ride my cane like a magic broomstick and use its power to turn my competitors into toads.

But it’s not any of those things.

My white cane is one of the tools I use to navigate life in pursuit of my dreams.

It not only identifies my handicap but it gives me the freedom to travel alone.

Embracing Tool Crushed Fear

I will admit, I was not too happy about having to use it at first. I didn’t like how people stared at me; I didn’t like “looking blind.” It was humiliating having to re-learn how to safely cross the street using a cane. But after I ran into enough walls, stepped out in front of a car and repeatedly fell down steps I got over my pride and embraced the tool designed to help me.

Now, it takes lots of training and practice to travel by myself without getting lost or run over, and I have certainly made my fair share of mistakes. But the experience I gained through the years has taught me to pay close attention to the cues my white cane gives.

My cane is designed to go out in front of me to find the obstacles, curbs or steps I am not able to see. It is long enough to give me two steps to either stop or change direction.

The metal tip makes a noise as it strikes the ground allowing me to hear the difference between a smooth sidewalk or street pavement, carpet or tile flooring. It’s painted with white reflective material for travel at night and comes in several styles for different purposes.

My cane, however, has one drawback…it only works when I follow, letting it go ahead of my steps. It doesn’t work if I drag it along behind me, then wonder why I ran into a wall or fell down a step. I have to unfold it, put it out in front of me, trust what I hear, respond to the obstacles it finds and never take a step forward without it.

Acceptance Is My Superpower

So indeed, there are days I choose to use my white cane like a sword. I use it to cut away at the misconceptions people have about my capabilities. I cut through the limitations as if they are coiled thick vines, which others place on my dreams.

There are also days I choose to use it as a lightsaber. It is a glowing symbol of my independence, my ability to rise strong and defeat my inner enemies.

And better still are the times I use my cane like a magic broomstick. I learned early on in my training just how much power it has when you swing it in a wide arc…people WILL get out of your way! It makes me feel a little like Moses parting the Red Sea when I can clear a path through a crowded airport.

I am fearlessly equipped to walk (in high heels) with my cane in front because I learned to use the tool that will get me where I want to go.

👠Don’t let fear alter your steps.

👠Excuses will kill dreams.

👠Choose your tool and use it!

About Catherine:

Catherine was diagnosed in 1995 with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), only weeks after returning from serving for two years on the mission field in Nigeria, Africa. She has been a national public speaker and article writer for several magazines, sharing her story of learning to walk with strength and faith behind a white cane.

Catherine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Baylor University and had a wonderful career as an operating room nurse. She is a former ballerina and studied dance at Julliard’s School of American Ballet in New York. She is currently a professional commercial print and fitness model with DMG modeling agency in Dallas, Tx. She is the proud mother of 3 grown sons and wife of Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Craig Harrison. Catherine serves on several non-profit boards and regularly volunteers in her local community.

Her mission is not only to successfully work as a model, who happens to have a visual impairment but also to empower women of all ages to step into their strength, regardless of their circumstances, with poise and courage.  

You can find Catherine on:

Image Descriptions:

  • Photo credit Julia Wagner at Feather and Root Photography.
  • Featured image shows Catherine walking with her white cane wearing a white long-sleeved keyhole dress.
  • In this headshot with short blonde hair and mesmerizing green eyes, Catherine is wearing a blue halter dress. The neckline on the sleeveless top is cut to partially expose Catherine’s shoulders. 

46 Comments

  1. Another brilliant feature, Steph! I really like Catherine’s saying, “Choose your tool and use it!” Pretty powerful.

    1. Khaya,
      Thank you for your kind words, I am humbled. I am pleased that you found some empowerment in my words. That was my goal so mission accomplished.
      My Best,
      Catherine Harrison

  2. Stephanae, as I see it, you and Catherine have a lot in common. Both of you are brave. Both will not hide. And both reach out to help others. IMO, both of you are incredible women!!

    1. Amy, Thank you for your kind words, I am humbled. I never thought of myself as brave, only a gritty gal who found courage by rising instead of whining.
      Everyone has circumstances that happen to them in life. I believe people will never know what it is to be brave until they put themselves in a situation where courage is required! Step out in your strength…it’s where the adventure is!
      Catherine Harrison
      @catherineharrsion_model

      1. You are very welcome, Catherine. You and Stephanae IMO are inspirations. There are times for some of us, when life hands us a very heavy burden. Yet that burden can, IF that person allows it, turns into our greatest blessing. I may not be blind, yet I know what it is like to either cower under the covers or insist on shining brightly and as I do, tackle some very difficult circumstances. You need to be so proud of yourself! xo

      2. Amy,
        I quickly learned that everyone has something they have to deal with in life that calls courage into action! You got this, just keep stepping out strong.
        Catherine Harrison

  3. Wonderful perspective from someone with blindness! Very inspiring! Thank you for publishing!

    1. Angie, Thank you for your kind words. Inspiration will come and go a little like the tide, but your inner strength remains stedfast. My goal is always to help others find that strength and then have the courage to step out into it. Let your voice be heard.
      Catherine Harrison

  4. So inspiring! I like to picture that white cane as your sword, striking down all the negative energy in your life and in the world! This is an excellent post. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hey Parker, thank you for coming by, reading and commenting. I will pass your comment on to Catherine.

    2. Parker,
      You win! That is exactly what I wanted readers to do…to grasp the mental picture. I appreciate your feedback very much.
      My Best,
      Catherine Harrison

  5. Great post. Using the tools we’ve been given, whether they be white canes or something else, is important. They add to our arsenal to transverse life using all our gifts and talents.

    1. Katelon, You are spot on gal! I don’t know about you, but I love nothing more than a tool belt that has everything in it I need to step out strong, to build a life worthy of my calling and empower others along the way. Thank you for your comments.
      My Best,
      Catherine Harrison

  6. A new year wish full of days full of joy with happiness for you,
    and many blessings from above in everything you do.

    1. Hey Kally, how are you? Happy New Year to you!! I must swing past your blog as it’s been way too long. ~Steph🤗💗

      1. I’m great, Stephanae! I’m so happy that you are still going strong with your website!

      2. And I’m glad to hear that you are doing well. I just returned from a 3 day out of town conference and will be catching up on blog visitations this week. I can hardly wait to see what you’ve been up to. Have a fabulous Monday Kally! 🤗💗~Steph

      3. Ahh you must been exhausted. I know I would be after a long out of town conference. Take care and have a good rest before you dive into anything else.

      4. You are absolutely correct I’m exhausted and stubborn and I know it will catch up with me.

  7. You are one brave lady! I have the start of dry age-related macular degeneration, and my sight in bright sunlight isn’t what it used to be. Every two years when I re-visit the optician my sight has deteriorated a little bit further. It takes much courage to step out with a white cane, but I don’t think I would have that courage.

    1. Stevie, I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis and while everyone’s walk with sight loss or any loss for that matter is unique you’d be surprised what you can do when faced with the options before you. Also, for many of us it takes many tiny baby steps to get to the point of acceptance and while heartbreaking some people never get there. Just based on the little I know about you I think you’re a survivor.

      1. Yes, by working in a hospital I’ve learned that acceptance of the ‘new normal’ is the key to a happier life. As you say, some people cannot accept what life throws at them. We don’t know what life’s going to throw at us, and perhaps that’s a good thing!

      2. Indeed it is and I’ve found that if you’re adaptable it makes life so much easier because I think you see it for what it is, and our expectations line up with our view of life.

      3. I found that many people want a pill to make it all go away. When they realise there isn’t one and have accepted that fact, then they are more eager to learn strategies to help themselves. Until then there is anger, much anger, which doesn’t help at all.

      4. I can see how anger would be a part of the process of getting to acceptance. Of course the problems occur when we remain in anger and can’t move forward.

      5. Absolutely. Instead of saying ‘Why me?’, the answer of acceptance is ‘Why not?’

    2. Stevie,
      Thank you for your kind words, I am humbled.
      I will tell you courage only came to me when I put myself in circumstances that required a leap of bravery and faith. Because I intentionally learned how to rise with grace, dressed on point and stronger than when I fell, only then did I no longer fear failure…that is where I found courage waiting for me. It is also where all the fun, creativity and adventure is!
      I want to encourage you to celebrate what you still have, embrace that loss is normal/natural and courage is within you.
      My Best,
      Catherine Harrison

  8. What an inspirational woman Catherine is, Steph, rather like yourself! Thank you for sharing her story – it is enlightening to those of us who don’t have that experience 😊

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Clive. I can’t say enough good things about Catherine as she’s so full of wisdom. It’s also good to hear that people enjoy these stories.

    2. Clive, Thank you for your kind words. The goal of my stories is to connect with all people and empower them regardless of what their experience is. Everyone has challenges in life, mine just happens to be vision loss. I am so glad this article provided some perspective and hopefully entertained as well. If so , then mission accomplished.
      I am just a glorified story teller who is not afraid to challenge perspectives, empower people and come out swinging.
      My Best,
      Catherine Harrison

      1. You’ve certainly achieved that goal, Catherine. I feel both educated and entertained after reading your article, and I admire your positive attitude. Keep swinging out!

      2. Hi Clive, thank you so much for this lovely message. I’ll pass it along to Catherine.

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