Wanna Be Alive
I have challenges, but so does everybody else. However, I will be the first to tell you that I embrace my challenges. I believe in the power of a story to change lives. I have Cerebral Palsy and in 2013 my family and I endured the loss of my older brother. Adversity does not discriminate, at some point in everyone's life you'll experience it, but it is how you respond to that challenge that shows the measure of your character. I am grateful. But why? My challenges have allowed me to see the bigger picture to relate and empathize with people in a way that I might not be able to do if I didn't have a disability.
It is through sharing my story that I have found fulfillment and happiness. Through sharing I have discovered my passion and my purpose. I feel amazing knowing that my experiences will help, profoundly encourage, and motivate others to be the best they can be. I have been told that it's sometimes hard to understand how I am so positive. How do I not let things bother me? The truth is that things do bother me and I am not perfect.
I just know that what I'm going through at the time whatever frustration, sadness, anger or discomfort I'm feeling I know it's all temporary. In my inner core I understand that I am a positive person and I choose to focus on positivity. It is easy to get caught up in all the negativity that exists in the world. It is easy to think that you are too small and insignificant of a person to make a profound positive impact. It takes courage to step out and find your voice, and speak for those who can't do it for themselves. Your voice is something that is uniquely yours, YOU own it and nobody can take that away from you. There are many people out there struggling to figure out what makes them special.
I encourage you all to step back and take a look at your life. What can you offer the world that only you can contribute? I am grateful for the way that my life is, I wake up every day with the mindset to see life as a gift. I dare to believe that my challenges are my greatest strength because there is beauty in every struggle. Open your eyes try to see your own challenges as an opportunity to empathize with another person in the same situation.
Find common ground, make friendships, create bonds, and foster community. I believe in authentic relationships and being real with what you face in life. Bring people together, be mindful, accept differences, and start to bridge the gap of understanding that exists between people. Still don't think your story has power? Still don't think you are strong enough to make a difference?
Take a second to listen to these lyrics from hip-hop artist Logic and maybe they will open your eyes like they did for me. There has been, and there will be many more motivating factors for me and all of us to use the gifts and talents God has provided to make the world a better place.
"I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home.
It's holding on, through the road's long
And seeing light in the darkest things
"I know where you've been, where you are, where you're goin'
I know you are the reason I believe in life what's the day without a little night?
I'm just tryna shed a little light
It can be hard
It can be so hard
But you gotta live right now
You got everything to give right now
I just wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive right now"
It is true that not all of us have a big platform, or are up on stage. What is also true that we all have the power to connect. What is life without connection, bonding, and fellowship? God created us this way in His image. It’s our life's journey to make the best of what we are given because we only have one chance to do this right.
If you believe in my message to do something about peace, love, equality, and positivity for everyone remember this; no one is too small, no one is too insignificant, and your voice matters, especially in the eyes of God.
Never apologize for your experiences, your challenges in your life, because they make you who you are. Whether you're disabled or living life after losing a loved one like me, these give you a unique power to be there in support of your fellow man. You can offer a hand or a shoulder to cry on just as God intended. Don't be afraid to be alive, don't be afraid to experience emotions because you are perfect the way you are.
Let your fire burn, wear your passion on your sleeve, and always show your heart.
I JUST WANNA BE ALIVE, CAN YOU RELATE?
Jamey Breen, Storyteller