Written by Lonnie Ford

A (n)oun that is defined as noble, ready. Often, when asked to introduce ourselves, we tend to introduce ourselves by our age, birthplace, career and academic attributes, and another person’s perception of who they think we are. It is then we build an introduction for ourselves, but is that who we really are, or does it go beyond the surface?

The true identity and introduction of who we are are so complex that we must go beyond our consciousness and dive into the inward and outward framework of our experiences, our ways of learning, our thoughts processes, our characteristics, and our interpersonal relationships and environment because then, we can correlate these pieces of framework
and understand how each piece built the shape of the distribution of our identity.
Fortunate to enter the world with a companion and entering a two-parent home that would eventually transition into a single-parent home, my center of identity has stemmed from having a disability.

Blessed with a beautiful lens for life, my disability has been the center of my identity from the external world and myself, so much so that it’s hard to disassociate myself or my life aside from disability: “Hello, my name is Lonnie Ford, and I have Cerebral Palsy,” has been my go-to introduction my entire life and I had to ask myself, why is that?

Disability is viewed as the incapabilities, fallings, defects, or impairment and, in turn, causes feelings of inadequacy, lack of self-actualization, lack of self-esteem, etc. These feelings resonate with me. The universal construct of the self is the product of the fact that every human being is aware of his individuality. It is a premise that human beings are consciously conscious of their own lives, and it is through reflexivity that we become aware of a deliberately constructed self.

My self-identity is not achieved through the sideline of impairment but through my reconstruction of what is my normalcy. Through my shadow work and reflecting beyond the outside construction of myself, I’ve reached a transcendence.

I am born into a life where God is present and reflected in my life every day. From the other have my soul, my twin who’s offered so much laughter and love. It’s a world of infinite joy and peace. A strong-willed sister who’s my soul best friend and offered me so much strength and profound inspiration, and a radiant, sensational, brilliant, robust and phenomenal mother where the phrase, “She’s my everything,” is not enough justification for this powerful feeling. My mother has brought me abundance in the form of love, light, and belief. My family has shown God’s infinite love, care, sacrifice, and abundance over my life. Collectively, all that this form of love exists for each of us and lives inside us all; it is with us all always, it’s there when you need it, and it comes in forms that you never thought possible.

Every experience has taught me that there’s strength in everything, seasons of change, provide you with everything you need even if not completely visible, endure your faith, there’s grace in everything, there are beautiful lessons in every experience, light prevails in everything, everything else is temporary, and more importantly, I am more than just my Cerebral Palsy.

I am a brother, a son, a person who loves all, and does their best to see the positivity in every facet of life. I am a person who wants food and believes food brings community and love. I am a person who values education and appreciates the gift of knowledge. I am a believer of life and lover of the lord. I am a future therapist who has a nature for helping others reach and have their light. I am a lover of film and storytelling, and through the art of storytelling, I am receiving the blessing of getting to share my story with you. I am a person with adversity, who no matter what life throws my way I’ll always be noble and ready.