Beauty Buzz/Blog Biz
Just a quick message on A.I.R. before sharing Sylvia Stinson-Perez’s insightful self-love blog post. I constantly struggle with finding appropriate imagery that truly embraces the spirit of Bold Blind Beauty. Self-love, for example, is an important topic for everyone yet to find imagery including people with disabilities under this topic is almost nonexistent. Don’t believe me? Try searching for images of people under any topic unrelated to disabilities and see the results for yourself. We are making progress yet we can do better. Just something to think about. ~Steph
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
Many of us have heard or read this beautiful poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861):
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
How Do I Love Me: Can I Count The Ways?
February is the month we celebrate love, with Valentine’s Day a day to celebrate romantic love. But, I ask, do we also celebrate a love of our unique selves? Can we say the words of this beautiful poem to ourselves? Let’s celebrate the Bold, Blind, and Beautiful individuals we are this month.
Many of us have difficulty loving ourselves with all of our unique strengths, and yes, even our challenges and limitations. We all have dreams and goals. We all want to be proud of ourselves; to be appreciated and valued for who we are, and to be loved. I ask you to find the beauty in every person—including yourself.
I recognize and celebrate that being blind requires me to live a courageous and bold life. Admittedly, I often encounter challenges, frustrations, and experience grief over the losses that go with not being able to see. Yet, I also know that this journey has led me to experience many moments of grace, compassion, and admiration from others. Let me remember to always show myself grace, compassion, and humble pride as well.
Helen Keller said “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched but are felt with the heart.” I greatly miss seeing the many beautiful faces of the people I love and the amazing beauty around me in nature. However, I have learned to find beauty in new ways: in the sound of voices of those I love, laughter, rain falling, birds singing, and even the text to speech software I use to access the computer and phone. May we recognize the beauty that surrounds us, and may we bring beauty to the world around us.
What is one amazing thing about you? What makes your heart sing? What beauty do you bring to the world around you? I challenge you to join me in the journey to love the amazing, unique, and beautiful individuals we are!
Connecting With Sylvia On Social Media:
- Facebook: @Sylvia Stinson-Perez
- Twitter: @SylviaSPerez101
- National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University (NRTC): www.blind.msstate.edu/about
Sylvia Stinson-Perez is a leader in the blindness field helping individuals and organizations succeed through innovative strategic planning and implementation. She has Master’s degrees in Social Work, Visual Disabilities Rehabilitation, and Business Administration. Sylvia is blind as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), however, she believes that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential, a conviction she promotes through:
- her position at the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
- projects she leads such as Speak With Confidence public speaking training, and mentoring
- service on advisory committees and boards of directors.
- Self-love, mindfulness concept image of a quote “Don’t fight with yourself, fight for yourself” notecard next to a white rose on wooden paneling.
- Woman wearing a light colored chunky sweater is hugging herself. Self-love, self-acceptance, hapiness concept image.
- Pretty girl demonstrating self-love embracing herself