Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Look Beyond Appearances & Find the Treasure Inside

Good things come in small packages; you can't judge a book by its cover - we've all heard these sayings but do we truly believe them? Don't we look at the stars of stage, screen and television and wished we looked just like they do - the perfect face and body, hair and makeup or for the men the suave, debonair, perfectly groomed or perhaps rugged look. We hold these people up as icons and value their 'perfection'.

On Twitter this morning and all across the net, there is a buzz about Susan Boyle Tony Robbins tweeted about Be inspired & remember to never to judge a persons capability too quickly!...(By the way, it has had over 5 million views!)

For decades, as a polio survivor, I felt less than, ugly, different, like an outcast because of my limp, needing to wear a brace and funny polio shoes. I was always judged based on my appearance - braces on my teeth, short straight hair and was taunted and teased by my peers. I grew to hate my body and developed my academic prowess. What a price I paid!

God in all of Her glorious wisdom, gave me the gift of post polio syndrome to at last have a chance to heal the wounds of polio and an abusive childhood. I had to learn to love and cherish myself just as I was - brace, cane, at times a wheelchair, overweight and definitely out of shape (mind, body and spirit). But if I didn't learn to love myself just as I was, I could never have embarked on this healing journey to become the shining star of my life.

An online dictionary defines star in two ways:
Star - a celestial body of hot gases that radiates energy derived from thermonuclear reactions in the interior
ace: someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field

In just five days, I will be taking my place at the starting line of the 113th Boston Marathon.
In February of 2008, I wrote a poem dedicated to my personal trainer Janine Hightower called, "Follow the Star". Before experiencing polio as a child, I loved ballet. I was a beautiful little ballerina - a vision in pink tutu, pink tights and those little black ballet shoes. I was flexible, graceful, and so light on my feet. I adored my ballet teacher Miss Patricia. Polio had taken my dream of being able to work up to being on point and being the star of a ballet, but it did not take my dream of emerging as a beautiful, whole, graceful, shining star on the stage of life. When I wrote this poem, I had no idea that I would be taking center stage at the 113th Boston Marathon to be a shining star of hope for those who are facing incredible challenges, and to be so blessed to raise money for Spaulding Rehab Hospital.

Follow the Star
Dedicated to my personal trainer – Janine Hightower

Stairs looming – my Mt. Everest I faced them with such dread
“Would my muscles make the climb?” - the thought inside my head.
Hug banister so tightly – my lifeline – climber's rope
Lead-like legs – they'd find their way – up the staircase slope.

Grateful I can do it and for all things great and small
But tired of the struggle not to mention fear of fall.
“I sent a training angel – you know her, she's your friend
To help your muscles strengthen – on her you can depend.”

Unsure of what was possible – unsteady on my feet
But pictures dancing in my head of graceful times so sweet.
A ballet star at 4 years old, but virus snuffed its light
So God sent me an angel – for healing now in sight.

The gift of caring for myself – unleash the fear and doubt
Allow this loving angel to help turn the tide about.
My mind transforms the body while love transforms my soul
I feel Your strength within me – broken places now made whole.

I'm a prima ballerina filled with confidence and Grace
Muscles work in tandem – center stage is now my space!
This joyous journey of my life-Your guiding star takes lead
The soul now healed, the heart renewed my body now be freed.

No matter what life challenges you have experienced or may be experiencing right now, be sure to always remember that you are a beautiful shining star. We all possess that energy which comes from Source - the Love which helps to propel us on life's journey to sparkle and light the way for others.
To quote Nelson Mandela, " And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same"

See you at the finish line!
God bless!

Be sure to order my book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings: Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World". 20% is donated to the Spaulding Rehab polio fund. Order now through

And speaking of Spaulding Rehab - we are almost to 10K - you can donate at

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1 comment:

Wes Hazlitt said...

Thank you for reminding me why I was blessed with polio. It caused me to turn inward away from the stares and whispers to develop my Academic side. At 16 I participated in a 35 mile "Miles for Millions" walk(56.32 km)on crutches with my full leg brace. Why, because someone said I couldn't. May 11, 1968. I buried the words " I Can't" and went on to succeed at everything I set my mind to - Good Luck in the 113th Marathon Mary - Wes Hazlitt