An Excerpt from the Anthology Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction, and Illness.
“Turning Disability into Opportunability” by Lydia M. Crabtree
Nature seems to say, “Adapt.” It is, in fact, the very basis of evolution. As one form of adaptation is no longer needed, another rises to take its place and be utilized for the greater good.
If nature is encouraging us to adapt, then there are several adaptations those of us with disability should take on. First, we should adapt an attitude of loving acceptance that we are as we should be. Whether our disability comes from unhealthy living, accidents, wars, genetic defect or disease doesn’t impact our wholeness.
As my acquaintance Drake Spaeth wrote me, “The eternal, formless you–of which your material body and life is an extension that is crafted for learning what needs to be learned–is not corrupt or deficient.”
Disability should perhaps be renamed to oppertunability. It’s not a word but perhaps it should be. I do not have a dysfunction. I have a unique opportunity to learn something that I would not have learned otherwise; a complete efficient and wholesome way to further my spiritual journey that the universe has crafted for the eternal, formless me.
Our next adaptation should be the acceptance that time is essential to healing. The time table is not waiting on the disability to have an epiphany that leads to healing any more than the ground is waiting on some sign from the soil that the acorn is ready to sprout. It is the acorn that tells the universe when it is ready to break ground. In turn, it is those of us with oppertunability that wake each day and determine what time it is in their adaptation. Perhaps today’s adaptation is to sleep, rest and store up energy. Maybe tomorrows’ adaptation is enough to see us doing house work or going out to lunch or to circle. Perhaps today’s adaptation is as simple as giving undivided attention to those who love us and share our life. As nature is not really affected by our calendars and our clocks, those of us with oppertunability should set our own internal time tables and allow our adaptations to be affected by the clock within.
Our next adaptation should be the weeding out of our own heart and soul all condemnation of others. How can we expect that those around us look at us without condemnation if we are busy bolstering our own fragile existence on the back of the judgments we make of others. We must within ourselves divorce our being from the ideas that some lack of character or will or faith keeps others stuck in the places they may be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Perhaps if we can reach out and give others a place where they are allowed to be whole and useful, perfect in their imperfection, we may then find a place for ourselves to be those things as well.
About Lydia M. Crabtree
Lydia M Crabtree suffers from the genetic disorder Dsyautonomia, which affects her autonomic nervous systems. She has been accepted to be seen by Vanderbilt University, the premier study center for this rare disorder, in August 2012. Before Lydia’s Dsyautonomia became disabling she had a contract with Llewellyn Worldwide to publish a book on family spirituality. She lost the contract when her disability prevented her from completing the project. She also suffers from B12 deficiency, Major Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of being an adult survivor of incest, physical, mental and emotional abuse. She is an ordained High Priestess who trained several other High Priests and High Priestesses before she was forced to retire from teaching. She lives with her husband, teenage son and service animal, Alice. This is the first article she has had published in three years.