LOVE and Appreciation

Those who know me know nothing has shifted my perspective on life than appreciation of life itself, more than merely saying, Thank you but rampages of appreciation often during my day. It has been a journey, a much appreciated, lovely journey.  I met a young man at the age of 15 that I never wanted to be parted from, little did I know he would be my husband. Certainly we had hoped we would marry, but meeting so young did not seem like it could be possible to have a relationship that would last into adulthood, it has…..We married nearly a decade later and I gave birth to our first child, a little girl, our love expanded, suddenly we wanted to add to the expansion of our love and I desired immersing myself into motherhood with two more children, sons. I thought for certain I had invented motherhood, no other woman could have possibly loved her husband, birthed our children and loved her family more than life itself as I did. “^.^” Of course I know others do…..but it felt as though it was mine alone because of the bliss I felt and feel to this day.

We were living happily ever after when our youngest son Connor was diagnosed with autism, and although I loved and adored this child with all of my heart, I must admit those moments when autism was erupting in our life creating such discomfort from within and I thought it was Connor’s fault. I thought it was this damn diagnosis called autism that intruded into our lives. What I did not count on was, this being an opportunity to create a more meaningful, more magnificent life than I could have ever imagined.

Although it took a lot of soul searching and great understanding from within, I understood my greatest lesson given to me by this incredible child I had birthed would be, true unconditional love. Loving him unconditionally meant, he did not need to change his behaviors, his diagnosis, or anything about him in order for me to love him. I found out, I had/have the ability to shift my perspective, shift my focus so that I can feel good no matter what I am observing, we all do. When I realized, when I had the thought, maybe nothing has gone wrong, maybe everything has gone right, and this child is here to teach me something I may not have ever stumbled upon if he had never had autism, suddenly my world began to open up.

As I began to explore this new-found perspective on my life, on autism, on my son and the dynamics within our family, I began to purposefully begin to appreciate everything within my life. I began to love everything unconditionally, not needing anything or anyone else to change so I can feel good. It was all up to me and then I found out my life would become more incredible than I ever dreamed. By making peace with this so-called disability, by appreciating more and by loving everyone and everything more purely, life became a glorious ride. Do we have difficult days, of course, I believe we will always be fine-tuning our life experience while we are focused here in our physical bodies, but then again we knew that. We simply did not plan on being and staying focused on the problem. I have become solution oriented and then I begin appreciating what is to come.

We all have the ability to shift our focus, shift our perspective, shift our thoughts to thoughts that feel wonderful when we ponder them and as we do, not only will life show us more things to appreciate, more things to love but we will feel incredible along the way. Happy Valentine’s day dear ones and may you begin with loving yourself fully so you have so much more to give others.

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