Monday Must: Advocating for Your Best Natural Self
Hi, whassup whassup! I’m Mara Lauren. A 39 year old, legally blind woman and mother. I have so many things that bring me joy; food, traveling, shopping, working out — but I have to say, my family brings the most joy in my life. I have the most handsome little boy, Bronx, who is 4 years old. A wonderful, most supportive best friend and husband, Bas. And overall, my support system — they are a huge part of why I live this life of mine.
I have a rare eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, that is causing me to lose vision and also a condition called Usher Syndrome, that has caused me to lose a bit of my hearing as well. Living with my disabilities for 11 years now has transformed me to the woman I am. I’ve built a platform on social media to advocate for the disabled community. I’ve used my platform since 2010, helping many people from all over the world that are losing vision to continue living life. Despite our disabilities, no matter what, we can still have the life we envisioned for ourselves. I share my life journey on social in the hopes of inspiring someone who is going through something similar, whether it’s about my disability, motherhood, or just everything. I always say, I never want anyone to ever feel what I felt when social media wasn’t a big thing yet — the feeling of being alone. Not knowing that there are so many also battling eye conditions, people like me. And if I can somehow change and help someone, even one person to look at life differently, then I know I did something right.
A lot of people would look at me and would probably, think how I do it? How do I continue to approach life the way I do, being my natural self? You see, I’ve been through many battles in this lifetime; depression, suicide, postpartum depression and currently grieving the recent loss of my mom. Every single day is about how we approach it, how we go about taking on the life we want. Being myself, whether I am down one day, or the next, so high off of life. I’m not afraid to show the world all my struggles, and also my big or small wins. I wouldn’t look at life the way I look at life or be where I am in this life, if I wasn’t being real. Being me.
Acceptance is always key.
If I didn’t allow myself to accept my disabilities, I really don’t know where I would be. I was in a very, very dark space years ago, attempted suicide many times but the only thing that can help me find some sort of answer and purpose to continue living life the best way I can and to make things happen is to accept that my disabilities are a huge part of who I am and what my future will be. Accepting whatever challenges and struggles you are in, will always play with how you look at life and how to go about the life you want. I choose to accept whatever battle I am in and continue to live.
Tune the noise out!
I used to focus so much about what others thought of me. And especially what they have to say about me. Whether it’s strangers, friends and even family… I put so much energy into what others have to say regarding every aspect of my life, that I felt like I was living for them, rather living for myself. You can’t go far in this life if you worry too much about what others say. Forget the noise and just do what makes you happy and what you believe in. I always say, keep it moving!
Always be you, the real you.
Always be proud of the person you are. I always say, the more you show the world who you truly are, the more real connections will happen. If you’re goofy, that’s ok. If you’re an emotional person, that’s ok. If you’re into certain things and no one else is, who cares, that is ok! Whether it’s with business, the people you will meet along the way or just everything else in this life… being you, the authentic you, it will attract many real things in this life. So go and show how special you are!
Keep doing what makes your heart happy and what is good for your soul.
Life is a rollercoaster ride. Keep doing what will make your heart happy and good for your soul. Put your own needs first and make sure you put yourself first. The only way to be living the best version of ourselves is if we are happy, healthy and well. So whatever you think is good for you and what will make your heart happy, do it! Don’t even question it, just do it.