I’m Disabled, 20-Something, and Believe in Love

By Kristin Duquette

This piece is an excerpt of writings regarding love and self-acceptance. Regardless of societal differences- from ability, gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. - you are a powerful source of love.
I never knew how much I was loved. It’s honorary. It’s scary. It’s overwhelming. It’s amazing.
If only we reached into these emotions more often and lived from a place of deep love, much of our daily lives would truly change- from our relationships, friendships, family bonds to strangers we pass by.
I never knew how much I was truly cared about and that I actually influence people’s lives.  Society has a tendency to see me as a broken individual, but with love, I’ve learned to shatter those lenses and begin to see myself as a source of love.

It’s overwhelming to see how much I’m loved- that I’m actually important to others and accepted for who I am in my most basic, natural state. Sometimes I solely see my flaws, downfalls, fears, insecurities, and instead of accepting that aspect of myself, I continue to push these emotions further within, and hope they can never be acknowledged. But if I know that I’m loved, and deeply loved, maybe I’ll know that I’m okay and enough, just as I am.

If I reminded myself everyday how much I’m loved and looked up to, maybe I wouldn’t be so hard on myself. Maybe I wouldn’t live from a place of perfectionism and constant insecurity. Maybe I’d finally realize that there’s nothing inherently wrong with me, but that simply I’m deeply loved. Period.

If I reminded myself that I am an incredible human being, maybe I’d realize that I am a deep source of love. That the love I give to myself is coming from my core being- a place of deep peace and serenity. But more importantly, that I am capable of love and being loved. My heart has been unleashed and is my forever compass.
If I spoke from a place of openness, maybe I wouldn’t shut people out. If I told people how much I loved them on a daily basis, maybe I would experience vulnerability; but maybe that vulnerability makes me pure. If we all acted from our vulnerable points, maybe our world would be more humane. And maybe that vulnerability comes from a deep source of love- a deep love that radiates within every human being. Maybe love is a gift that all human beings are inherently given. Maybe this entire earth is a continuum of love.

If I spoke from a deep place of love, maybe my hardships would seem more manageable. Maybe I’d be able to see people- and myself- for our humanness, instead of annoyances, mistakes and past disappointments.  Maybe I’d be able to see myself as a pure source of love.
I have a viable voice and although there are times when growing up can be painful, I lay comfortable in knowing that love surrounds and engulfs me at every stage of my life. When nerves are shaking my core and every fiber in my being appears unsteady, just knowing that love is within me provides a beacon of hope and strength- a strength I never fathomed could exist. I’ve realized that I don’t need to look for love, but it purely exists within our world- within ourselves, others, and all living beings on this earth.

And if I’m a source of love, then I have the capability to fully love myself. I have the capacity to fully love others. I have the ability to love this breathing life. But not only that, with deep love, I have the ability to positively embrace all the challenges, upsets, and roadblocks I continue to confront. And even when times seem too overwhelming to face, love is deeply rooted within me; a powerful source that will never leave my side. Even in death love will still be with me. With love, I can overcome anything.

I’m made from love. I was chosen to be on this earth out of love.  I grew up around love. I was talked to with love. I have been thought of out of love. I’ve learned to love. And I’ve been ignited by love.

So doesn’t that make me an ever-flowing source of love?

It has to be.


Kristin Duquette is a 20-something swimmer navigating the adventures of life while living with a disability. She is an activist, writer, and swimming against societal currents one stroke at a time. Her writings can also be found in the Huffington Post. Follow Kristin on twitter @KristinDuquette


  1. Kristin, thank you for being at Camp Hemlock........I love the bond we have made ...... I certainly love you, admire you and take great pride in all of your magnificent achievements......You have matured into a fabulous role model for women...never underestimate your capabilities nor the power of your commitments....you are a very strong force.......and your humility sometimes overshadows your strengths....!!!!!!....love your "stream of consciousness" on subjects.......it would make a wonderful read in book form........even garnering other people to submit their take on a subject matter........Happy Valentines Day, my friend!!!!!

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