There is some difference of opinion in the Autism community when talking about "acceptance." Some parents may say they will never "accept" their child's Autism diagnosis, and others choose acceptance pretty early on and do little to navigate through the maze of biomedical opportunities and various therapeutic treatment options. I fall somewhere in the middle of this dichotomy, and am choosing to "accept" some of the "truths" of Avery's condition, while at the same time working as hard as I can to help heal her, and give her brain and body the best shot possible to help her be all that she can be.
Acceptance is a loaded word, because in no way am I totally "okay" with Avery's struggle, but I am beginning to recognize that through her circumstance we are finding hidden gifts that are unfolding qualities in our soul we never knew existed. The day by day, and let's face it, hour by hour ordeal of having a child with special and medical needs is cultivating virtues and talents within me that never could have come to be without this experience, and so I can certainly accept that and can be grateful. Grateful for the lessons in patience, TRUE unconditional love, tolerance, endurance, compassion and serenity.
Early on in this crisis, I didn't recognize that the crisis itself was actually a threshold for something much bigger in my life. It has been the greatest lesson in spiritual growth I have ever witnessed, less well experienced first hand. The crisis was in itself a crossroad. It marked the end of the world as I knew it, and through time, has helped me let go of fear, false concepts, misconstrued ideas and false identities. Gradually, I am learning to stop projecting so much, and start living for today. To really BE in the present. I don't want to waste my time and energy on the "what ifs" and instead, am trying to use that energy in loving my kids and husband. It doesn't mean I can't grieve, in fact, it means the opposite. It means that in feeling life deeply, I can really feel the sadness, but then in turn, I can also totally bask in the joy of what is working for me right now.
If I am going to survive this, and come out a stronger more true and complete individual, then I have to let go of the "why me" breakdown, and be in control of my own thoughts, intentions and actions. So I choose to accept the challenge. But rest assured I will do so with a ferocious desire to continue to heal my sweet daughter at the same time. She deserves that.
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