I just finished the most wonderful book.
I had seen this video before, and when I heard Stephanie Nielson had written a memoir, I was interested in reading her story.
Heaven is Here was deeply moving. I laughed. I cried. I learned a lot about myself and the kind of person I want to be, particularly the kind of mother I want to be.
Something she writes in the epilogue particularly struck me:
"I know, now, without a doubt that the true source of happiness, self-worth, and authentic beauty doesn't come from the outside. Women are constantly persuaded to want something unachievable, to look younger or thinner and above all to fit in because being different is too painful and embarrassing. I have accepted myself in a world that does not accept me, because I have learned--and more than any of the lessons of my accident, this is the one I wish I could teach everybody--that our hearts matter most. Your heart matters most, so be gentler and more patient with yourself, and their hearts matter most, too, so be kinder and more compassionate to others. It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life."
Here's to being more gentle, patient, kind, and compassionate.
You should go read it. Really.