“… you have to love yourself, unconditionally.”
Allié: In addition to being a mom, you are also an artist. You do amazing things with your feet that I could never do with my hands. Let’s take your painting for instance. When did you fall in love with the art of painting?
Sarah: It was really only 5 years ago. I think we never stop discovering ourselves. Usually, we think that everything is done during childhood. If you like something when you are a child, you will be a painter when you are an adult. It’s not true. You are still a child. You are still looking for yourself. So, it was when I was an adult that I discovered drawing with pencil. I discovered it accidentally. I began drawing, then I decided to go to a class that was in my city for adults. I started drawing, and this teacher told me, “Yes, you have something. Why not try to paint?” I said, “Ok… Maybe I can do that.” And I fell in love with watercolor. I discovered this painting was not like oil or acrylic. It was water, and I think that water is very difficult to control. It teaches you not to control everything. Don’t try to control it. When you do watercolor, water tells you, “You cannot control me.” You just try to do your best. It might not be exactly what you want, and it’s okay. I just fell in love with watercolor. It is not the same with oil, because oil is really controlled. You have to control everything. Since the first time I started painting, I never stopped.
Allié: One of my favorite hashtags I’ve seen you use is #LifeWithoutLimitations. It seems you do indeed live your life this way without any self imposed limitations. As for society in general, do you find limitations there? How accessible is the world for you?
Sarah: Yes, #LifeWithoutLimitations is a beautiful hashtag, but I think that in real life limitation is to know your limitation, to know where you can accept and to not suffer from the limitation. This is what, for me, it means. It doesn’t mean that there are not limitations. Of course, there are. But if you accept them they are not anymore a limitation. Of course, there are many things I can’t do… like opening a door when I’m outside and I have to push the door. You need an arm. You need a hand. So, of course, I can ask for someone to help me, and it’s okay to ask for help. It’s my limitation, and it's not a frustration… to not be able to open something or to need to ask for help because I accept it. My main frustration like I said was when I became a mom. This was very difficult because I don’t have any problem to put someone between myself and my disability… but I had a problem to put someone between me and my baby.
Allié: A wise woman once said, “When you accept yourself you don’t need to be accepted anymore.” This wise woman was you in a post you made alongside a photo of yourself raising a glass with your foot. You share yourself with such confidence and self acceptance. So many struggle with that. What advice would you give to those trying to find a way to accept themselves?
Sarah: To accept yourself, you have to love yourself - unconditionally. It may seem very narcissistic to say that, but it’s true. Love is the secret. Self-love is also the secret. To love yourself, you have to do things that you love because you will be proud of yourself. So, I paint, and when I paint, I’m proud of me. When I’m proud of me, I love myself. I travel. I love traveling. So, when I travel, I like myself too. So, put yourself in a situation where you will love yourself. And once you love yourself, you will accept yourself. You will not need to be accepted or loved by anyone… What is difficult in that? It seems difficult, yes, to love yourself, but it’s not. Society told us that it is, but it’s absolutely not. When I see my child, for her, life is so easy. Everything is easy. She’s just enjoying her life. She doesn’t ask herself all the questions that as an adult we do. Life is easy. So, let’s be a child and life will be easy. There’s so much we can learn from each other. Sometimes people will ask me why I am smiling. I say, I’m smiling because I’m talking to you, because you make me smile. This is an exchange. When I’m alone, I’m not smiling to myself. ∎
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51 AWARENOW / THE SOURCE EDITION