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Rebecca Holland | Blind Beauty #67

Rebecca Holland | Blind Beauty #67

“Poetry has always been connected to music. Blindness is not a reason for silence. My loss of vision has inspired me to keep singing out in a darkened world.”

~Rev. Rebecca L. Holland
Rebecca Holland in a bookstore image description is in the body of the post.
Rebecca Holland in a Bookstore

My name is Rebecca. I am a preacher, writer, and a musician. I also have low vision.

Growing up, I grew used to hearing people tell me, “You don’t look blind.” I struggled during my school years because many students, and even some teachers, accused me of feigning my poor vision.

During my college years as a music education major, one important professor informed me, “I’m sorry. I don’t teach students with disabilities.”

In graduate school, one of my supervisors told me, “I feel sorry for any congregation that you serve because they will have a blind pastor.”

After five years of effective ministry, I am still frequently told, “You don’t look like a preacher.”

This statement always dumbfounds me because I do not know what a preacher is supposed to look like. I have known preachers, both men and women, who are all ages, shapes, sizes, and skin colors.

In the same way, I have met people who are blind or disabled who are more varied in appearance than you can possibly imagine.

Just as there is no “right way,” to live life with a disability, there is no one “right way,” to pursue your dream.

Destination Love and Acceptance

At last, after my very long journey, I am beginning to start to feel love and acceptance for myself. I now view my sight loss as an important part of my identity.

I have been blessed to meet so many wonderfully supportive people along the way. For every negative voice, there were even more positive voices in my life that resounded just as loudly.

I want to be a positive voice who inspires other people the way others have inspired me. That is why I was decided to publish my chapbook, Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse. This small book of poems is my love letter to my beloved church. It is also my statement to the world that people with disabilities can do anything that people without disabilities can do- we just do it a little differently.

Poetry has always been connected to music. Blindness is not a reason for silence. My loss of vision has inspired me to keep singing out in a darkened world.

About the Author:

Rev. Rebecca L. Holland holds a Bachelor of English Education and a Master of Divinity. She is especially passionate about working to make the church more inclusive for people who have been traditionally marginalized, especially people with disabilities. She blogs about faith, diverse books, and disability awareness at BeckieWrites.com

Rebecca Holland | Blind Beauty #67 Featured Image Description:

Featured image is a faux fashion magazine cover titled Blind Beauty is black & white. Rebecca sits on a plaid picnic blanket in a sunny park in front of a 1959 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. She is wearing a blue dress and smiling. She has long dark hair and wears glasses.

Blocks of text superimposed on Rebecca’s photo are: “Bold–She Keeps Pressing Onward, Blind–She Has Deeper Insight, Beautiful–She Sees To The Heart Of Others.” “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers.” “Makeup Trends for Fall 2019–How To Maintain A Flawless Complexion.”

Rebecca Holland And The Bookstore Image:

Rebecca stands on a stool in a bookstore in front of a large shelf full of books. She smiles as she takes a volume front the shelf. She wears a striped dress and denim jacket.

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Bodacious Beauty, Acceptance & Self-Esteem

Bodacious Beauty

Bodacious Beauty, Acceptance & Self-Esteem

Loving yourself while working to become the best version of yourself for YOU is key!

A Recent Outing

Image 1
Image 1

I love the humorous banter between my son and I. Here is a recent exchange between him and me on a shopping excursion for exercise apparel. 

Me: Do you know what body shape I am?

Son: (Laughing) Round?

Me: (Exasperated tone) No! I’m a triangle.

Son: (Still laughing) Don’t you mean you’re a cone shape? Like a traffic cone?

Me: **crickets** (Then I begin laughing hysterically)

An Authentic Hot Mess

I’m a hot mess and I know it! According to my medical chart, I’m obese, a fact of which I’ve lived in denial for a few years now.

Do you know how hard it is to take pictures from the right angle to hide present a more pleasing view? No longer a spring chicken it’s almost impossible to suck in an overabundance of a stomach that used to be a waistline.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed the willpower I used to have has given way to “oh, what the heck?” It’s a plan that works very effectively. I eat what I want when I want and it feels so GOOD. That is until I have to look presentable and find to my dismay my clothes don’t fit—surprise.

What I’ve learned is there’s only so much one can consume before it becomes a serious problem. The “head in the sand” approach is no longer working and I have to, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, exercise and eat right.

My son thought it was hilarious that I was wearing skinny jeans that showed every bump and bulge. His thinking was skinny jeans are for skinny people. But my thinking is skinny jeans are for anyone as long as the fit is right. Obviously, with my increasing poundage mine have not been fitting right for some time, another case of denial. But, and this is huge, I’m going to use that gym membership I secured last year. And, I’m gonna make better choices when it comes to eating (at least I hope so). I just may resort to the “Oh what the heck?” philosophy.

Getting To The Point

The point I’m trying to make is while my image is important to me I try to balance it with humor. We only come this way once and I want to make the most of it by not being too hard on myself. The understanding I will never be pleasing to everyone is freeing and magnificently beneficial to my psyche.

Accepting yourself while working to become the best version of you for YOU is key! What was life-changing for me was realizing that being my best for myself was what mattered most.

Here’s a little perspective: there are over 7 billion people on earth, all are unique and all won’t like everyone.

Bodacious Beauty Featured Image Description:

This shot is a pose of me with ‘black’ #WhiteCane, taken from the perspective of me looking down at my feet. My cane is to the left of my right foot. I’m wearing white skinny jeans paired with tan ballet flats with a little poofy floret type thing on top.

Image 1:

Mirror selfie of me wearing a black polo shirt with an embroidered design of Abby, text, and braille.

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Acceptance Of Sight Loss | Abby’s Reflections 26

Acceptance #26: After the trauma, and accompanying period of adjustment to losing my sight, it seemed like there was a built-in coping mechanism where my brain forgot previous vision. It became a mixed blessing that allowed me to continue moving onward with my life. Complete image description is in the body of the post.

Acceptance Of Sight Loss | Abby’s Reflections 26

“After the trauma, and accompanying period of adjustment to losing my sight, it seemed like there was a built-in coping mechanism where my brain forgot previous vision. It became a mixed blessing that allowed me to continue moving on with my life.”

Acceptance of any loss in our lives is a process. Losing eyesight and how you respond to it is different for everyone. For me and my friends, our lives have not only gone on after sight loss but we are living abundantly.

While the process of losing eyesight is not easy, it boils down to choosing how you want to live. By placing more focus on what you have instead of what you’ve lost you can handle most anything.

Many of us come to appreciate our sight loss as an opportunity to become a beacon of hope to those new to the experience. As we continually adjust to living without sight we gain new skills while leaning on our other senses.

Another huge piece to the puzzle is for people to remember we are not our eyesight or lack thereof. The word “blind” has no special power over us and we are not subhuman. Our eyes simply do not function.

Abby’s Reflections Description: 

A gray, teal, and white boldblindbeauty.com template utilizing the ‘Abby’s Corner’ image of Abby sitting cross-legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.