Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Perspective to reality
When I was a kid, and still to this day, my mother has a saying framed in her house on "attitude." I can't remember exactly what it said, but the premise is that we can choose to have a good attitude. Pretty simple really, but harder than it seems when the going gets tough. I think about this quite a bit, and about how to really change my perspective when examining my reality. This involves more than a shift in attitude, but an entirely new way of looking at what really matters, and what life is really all about. It's not about 'what other people think' or material things or even accomplishments. It's also not about what we "can't do." I have to re-focus on relationships as being my # 1 priority. But here's the kicker. My child has a REALLY hard time "relating" to anyone. She does better with me and her Dad than anyone else, but for the most part, avoids interaction at all costs. So now what? Now is when I change my perspective. Here is how it works: she's different... and that makes her unique! She doesn't look at us too much, but when she does, the light in her eyes is glorious. She flaps her arms when she is happy... so she can express emotion! How wonderful is that! She is a picky eater... but she doesn't complain! She can't talk yet... so we don't have to deal with talking back! and so on. There is always a positive side... sometimes we have to hunt for it, and in some circumstances we may not know for years or even decades what it is... but just knowing that it is there is what makes each day so beautiful. To some extent, we really can choose how to react to and think about things. Sure, we all grieve for the "what could have been" but I am choosing to celebrate what "is now." Right now, Avery is happy. She loves birds, airplanes, trees with moving leaves, swings, little people, ANY penguin, trains, music and going bye bye. She is here with us, and I can choose to enjoy her, (while also working tirelessly to help her) or I could choose to live in self pity and anger, constantly looking and thinking about what she can't do yet. So, I celebrate the ability in her disability. Am I "happy" that Avery has TWO debilitating conditions (Autism and Mastocytosis)... of course not. I hate it, and I will admit that several times during the day I have to take a deep breath and snap myself back into positive thinking mode. But, today is all we have... so why not make the most of it. (and all this coming after a weekend spent with typical children!) Wow, how far we've come... and it's only just begun.
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