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Self-reliance can be difficult when you have a disability. Other people, especially loved ones, want to offer protection and will do what they can to help; however, depending on others can foster beliefs about what cannot be done for oneself.

Sometimes, the first step is the most important. When a situation arises that challenges you to attempt something difficult, you can learn and you can grow. If a particular goal is not achieved that does not mean the attempt was a failure.

“How many times do infants fall down, before they learn to walk?” said Henrietta Beach, who facilitated the discussion. “Every fall you take, you learn something.”

As peers, we encourage each other to continually work towards being our best self, even when we are scared it’s not possible. We gain confidence, empowerment and independence as we learn to adapt and teach ourselves a new way of life.

The same is true when we look for the beauty in other people’s experience. It can be difficult. We must learn to turn off the mind long enough to be truly present with another and have an authentic conversation. However, if we do the work of being a peer, new resources will reveal themselves and that empowers everyone.

On Friday, June 19th, three peer support specialists attended a RealitySeeker conference call: Carmencita Pinckney, Ryan Christman and Henrietta Beach.

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