Yesterday I was riding my bicycle and passed a man riding towards me who had two prosthetic legs. We nodded hellos and smiled.
My first thought was, "What a hero!" Whatever he's been through, or however he came to be missing both legs below the knee, here he was alone on a bike ride, having done the work to be more mobile. I later saw him putting his bike in the trunk of his car, getting ready to drive away.
This had my mind going in many directions. Where I ended up, though, was thinking of fifteen years ago in a group study of spirituality. There were forty students and a leader. My mentor, the leader, had us all put our heads down during a group exercise and she asked some questions. The one I've never forgotten was, "Raise your hand if you feel you are damaged goods". Would you believe every single one of us raised our hands? (She shared this a week later, after she had processed it, and wanted to share her insights about it). I think of this when I go through the dating sites and see divorced and widowed men, and know at this age it's very likely there could be physical issues people aren't comfortable sharing, and a myriad of ways we all feel "damaged". I am grateful for all the good information I have gleaned from seminars, classes, online, through movies and books. I have more self confidence now and admit the mistakes that I've made, and I feel the joy of my successes. It's a beautiful thing to be this age and comfortable in my own skin.