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What I thought was my biggest flaw became my greatest strength

Let me love myself as I am.

I've been living with an ileostomy for over three years now, and I’ll never forget the feeling of not wanting to look at my own stomach. After surgery, it took me three days to even look down at the bag. I was on my knees asking God to somehow make sense of all this pain. I was so disgusted with myself and didn't know how I could possibly live an entire lifetime in a body I despised. It was paralyzing.

But what I thought was my greatest weakness/flaw became my greatest source of strength. I am most thankful to my family and friends for not letting me give up during those dark days. What was heavy then is now ✨l i g h t✨. Peace. But that doesn't mean I'm in a place where there is no noise. Some days are hard. I used to think people wouldn't want to be around me when they found out about my bag. Turns out, I'm more connected with others than I was before the surgery.

NEVER GIVE UP. I hope you never let anything stand in your way. I pray that you are brave. I pray that you have the courage to love and embrace yourself. Because when you do, when you really do, you’ll find that fear is just an illusion. Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Coming from that place, you can begin to heal. I know now that the most painful parts of my life are not in vain. I love my body just the way it is (ostomy bag and all). There simply aren't enough ways to say thank you for being alive.