The Momentum of an Evolution
Our youngest child Connor was diagnosed with Autism in 2001. At that time, all we knew was, we were going to cure his disability that kidnapped our happy, verbal, playful boy. I set out to find messages of hope. I searched and searched for other parents that had been where we were at that time. I wanted a method to follow that would transform this child from one with a disability, back to the child I dreamed of while he grew within my body. The sweet angelic child we knew the first year of his life……I could not find what I was looking for. In fact, I was inundated with messages of despair, I was warned to get a really good lawyer because we would need one in the future. I was given the facts of how the school district would try to keep services away from us. The regional center within our county was sure to withhold services from us. The general population would tease and be unwilling to interact with our child. As I thought of the future I was being shown by other parents, I saw a life of struggle, defensiveness, sadness, despair, fighting, the possibility of divorce, since the rate of divorce is high of parents with children with disabilities. Nothing to look forward to……for the rest of my life?
I bought into it. I prepared myself for a life of great discomfort and then I fell into great depression. I felt like I was being suffocated, someone had a pillow over my face trying to smother me. I was in a very dark place and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. The only relief I felt was at the thought of taking my own life…but only for a moment. But I felt relief when I contemplated it. I could not leave my children or my wonderful husband to handle everything. I would not live my life this way. I have always been one who smiled easily, I was mostly a very happy girl. It was and is who I am…..Did I have to follow the path so many parents had found, living a life with so much discomfort?
When I made the decision I was not about to follow a path of despair, struggle, defensiveness or fighting, my world began to open up. I knew I would have to find my own way. I was ready to find a new direction, trial and error, I was determined to feel better. Over the past 11 years I have blazed a new trail. It was not always easy, it was filled with ups and downs. As time went on, the view of our future became more and more brilliant, crystal clear, high-definition and it continues to this day.
Today I have the absolute pleasure of meeting so many wonderful families, parents and children that have faced and continue to face the challenge of Autism. Yet, what I see emerging….like a phoenix rising from the flames and ashes, parents and children are emerging with stories of profound hope, of miracles, of realizations, of magnificent stories of their lives.
Yes, we all still have struggles, but this is real life. Without the struggles, the accomplishments could not be so sweet. Without problems, the solutions could not feel so victorious. Story after, after story, these precious children are teaching all of us what it feels like to BE who we really are ~ What it feels like to be in-tune with who we really are ~ These children are showing us the evolution of our human experience ~ What a magnificent ride ~
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