Who said you can't?
3 min read

Who said you can't?

Who said you can't?
Photo by Brett Jordan / Unsplash

This world can be an unkind place, and we often put ourselves down even before the game begins. Well, I am here to tell you otherwise. Do not, for one second, think that I have gotten it all together. These are things I struggle with as well, but I am a work in progress.

The spirit of “I can't because I have sickle cell,” can cripple you. For a long time, I used to think the same thing about myself. For example, I would say, “I can't work out because it would make me sick.” I proved this mindset when one day when I decided to go to the gym with a friend, I went hoping to prove myself wrong, but by the end of my 10 minute session of the treadmill, I was on the floor of the gym. I didn't care about what was happening around me, all I knew was that I couldn't move. Oyiwaa...it was true. I can't indeed.

Limitations were put on me by others, and I began to believe them myself. However, I quickly began to reject those limitations. I soon realized that people will project their insecurities and fears on you and that will cripple you. You will begin to limit your possibilities because someone else said it was impossible. I quickly began to change my mindset. I said, “Vanessa, even if you have sickle cell, it is not the end of the world.” My parents never limited me, so why am I limiting myself now? A change in mindset allowed me to realize that I am capable of anything in spite of my condition. After all, the word of God said, “He that is within me is greater than He that is in the world.” So, if God himself is within me, is it sickle cell and the opinion of others that will stop me?...NO, please.

Today, I share this to tell you that anything is possible. With God, all things are possible. I have come to learn quickly that one person's inability to achieve something does not mean you cannot achieve it. I am sure you have heard this so many times, but I will still add my voice to it. I have concluded that because others think sickle cell anemia will limit me to achieve what I want to achieve, does not mean that it's true for me. Today, I am able to work out for a full hour and walk out the door of that gym myself. I am aware of how far I can go, and I accommodate that. People have said, if you have sickle cell, your life will always be one of pain—I reject it. If you have sickle cell, you may not have children, or have many complications—I reject it. If you have sickle cell, you cannot live a normal, happy life—I reject it again! Anything you say I cannot do because of sickle cell—I reject am! Tofiakwa! We are so much more than what others think of us. So many people will try to put you in a box, just make sure you do not believe them and put yourself in that box. Get out of your own way!

Some may say, let's be realistic, and I agree. Does this mean that I do not have challenges because of my condition? Nope, that is not what I am saying. I am saying that in spite of those challenges, I will still press forward. Even when I am crying in a crisis, I will not use that situation to say, then I will never do anything, but sit still to avoid a crisis...me, I cannot live like that. So, I will embrace my challenge, learn from them and then surge forward. That be all I dey talk.I hope that this message makes sense to you. You may not have sickle cell, but you are tied down because of a fear someone else has, remember to reject it, it is not your portion. Change those “I can't” statements to “I CAN.” I leave you with this quote from Marianne Williamson, " Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

So, my people, go forth and be great...in spite of what everyone else says!