Physical disability can be a devastating event in an individual’s life, often resulting in a profound loss of direction and purpose. However, profound loss is often necessary to wake us up to a higher calling. To rise above the ashes and see opportunity where others see devastation is the hallmark of the truly heroic. Finding meaning in what appears as tragic calls forth nothing less than the spiritual will of self-exploration and discovery.
This photo essay captures the further reaches of the human spirit by baring the bravery and beauty behind the Canadian Paralympians. Fully revealing the athletes truth reflects the courage of their inspirational journey. It is an insight to the inner strength behind the show of force in competition. This inner athleticism is more impressive than the eventual grace and glory that marvels spectators at home.
The physically challenged athlete reaches a persistent state free of attachment to the body by successfully negotiating the grieving process. A heightened self-awareness faces the pain of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, before a tentative acceptance. Finally, even gratitude for the challenge and the opportunity is the shocking result of a spiritual responsibility to transform a curse into a blessing.
These extraordinary athletes show us what is possible for all of us to overcome but their collective energetic vision uplifts our awareness of what is possible for us to become. Reaching with them toward the heights of human nature, we might just touch the divine nature that supports the poise, beauty, and grace exemplified by these Canadian Olympians.Preface written by Sharon Tenenbaum with Dr. Gary Ratson