Accepting Yourself (On Being Authentic)

Accepting Yourself (On Being Authentic) | Twin Cities Moms Blog

{Photo credit: Anna Lygocki Photography}

“It’s peaceful,” is what I normally tell people who ask what it’s like not to hear. I don’t hear anything. I’m Deaf. With hearing aids, I hear noise or cues that help me understand what I’m hearing. Being able to take out my hearing aids and shut off all noise is peaceful. The stillness is tranquil.

Serene as it may be, as a mom, it can be unnerving. We have cry monitors and video monitors, mirrors, and other aids that help me identify my children’s cues. But I’m scared sometimes when I can’t see my two daughters or frustrated when I can’t understand what they’re saying. My husband is hearing and so are our daughters, ages three years and eighteen months.

My kids still don’t really get it. When we are driving at night, they expect me to hear them when they’re talking in the dark and understand them like their dad does. Both of our daughters know basic signs, but just like spoken language, it’s not always clear.

Growing up, I lost my hearing throughout high school. I was so embarrassed to be different than my peers. I got my first pair of hearing aids at age 19, and even then I only accepted the small hearing aids that were easily concealed. Why, I wonder, did I care so much? Why didn’t I embrace who I was and who I was becoming?

Even when I was pregnant with our oldest daughter at age 30, I had insecurities, not about being different, but other self-doubt. Yet, once I had my babies, three realizations clicked. Motherhood brought me into authenticity.

My body is amazing. 

I first realized that my body had carried, birthed, and nurtured this perfect baby. Therefore, my body is perfect too. I learned so much about my body and my emotions while I was pregnant, in labor, and postpartum. Watching it all come together gave me so much confidence in my body and in the world. For example, in pregnancy I could tell what nutrition my body needed because I would crave it. If I need more calcium, I wanted cheese or milk; if I needed more protein, I craved eggs. In watching my body biologically adapt so seamlessly, I was able to trust in the purpose of things. I was also able to trust that my body is exactly the way that it should be, and that’s perfect.

In someone’s eyes, I am perfect too. 

Secondly, I realized that just as my baby was perfect to me, someone else felt that same way about me. My mom! That infallible love is powerful. When I look at my daughters, I know they can do anything! And I know that they are above the trivial setbacks they will experience. I realize that my mom must feel the same way about me, so I need to apply the same reasoning to myself.

Be true to my authenticity and trust my compass.

Lastly, my daughter was born with a personality all her own. Innately, she and I have different personalities. This observation made me trust in the authenticity of my own personality. Who was I as a little girl? What traits come most naturally to me? I must use them. I need to cultivate those strengths and stay true to them. Those unadulterated characteristics are ME; they create my inner compass, which should be trusted.

Author Jess Lair once made the following reflection. I could not agree more, but I need to remember at times to apply it to myself too.

Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.

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