The ability to choose JOY, in all circumstances.
The ability to say what is meant, and mean what is said.
The ability to overcome and persevere, despite countless obstacles and opposition.
The ability to shine light in places that have none.
The ability to see & understand things in spiritual realms, that other people can’t.
The ability to make people smile, with one glance.
The ability to see good, where other people see bad.
The ability to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.
The ability to NOT be corrupted by the world’s standards of beauty, strength and intelligence.
The ability to LOVE deeply, fiercely and unconditionally, despite hate.
ANd….The ability to forgive quickly, without blame or grudge.
When I was younger and no child of my own yet, I used to feel pity for those families who have to deal with special needs children. Whenever I encounter such a family, I would sympathize and empathize and say all the nice things I could think of, just to try to probably make them feel better. Needless to say, when we have an encounter with them, we try to be polite. But to be honest, I didn’t really know what I was talking about. I didn’t understand how they feel, what they feel, what they are going through. I could say all the nice things I could think of but it would not really matter. Because they knew that I didn’t understand what I was talking about.
Until I had a son of my own with special needs.
I was living the fast-paced life before I had Z. I was getting sucked in the kind of life where you get what you want at the snap of your fingers. Well, not literally, but you get what I mean. Everything was instant, everything was on demand. My world was going so fast, I didn’t realize that I was already missing out on a lot of things in life that I should be enjoying. Becoming pregnant kind of slowed things down for me but I was already planning on going back to the kind of life I used to live. Little did I know that becoming a Mom was going to be a pivotal role for me.
When Z was born, all my expectations of having a “perfect” son and experiencing a “perfect” motherhood were shattered. I pitied myself, I pitied my son for having Down syndrome, I was blaming myself why he was born that way, I was actually wallowing in guilt. During Z’s first months in life, I wallowed in people’s sympathy, too. But as time goes by, I learned to let all that go and I saw my son as someone who is perfect. Someone who I need to have in my life.
Letting go of all those expectations and accepting the fact that Z’s life will be taking a different route than what I knew was the first step. I also had to understand that my life will have to take a detour, so to speak, and run in parallel with Z’s route. I needed to learn to see things from a different angle, a complete paradigm shift, for me to be able to understand my son’s journey. And once I learned to accept and understand, I have learned to appreciate what my son can do and start to see the potential of what he is capable of.
He may be taking a longer route but who ever said that everyone needs to be on the same shorter road, on the same journey? Everyone has their own journey to go through and everyone has their own prerogative on how to go through it.
For Z and the likes of him, they are taking a longer route. Their pace may be considered slow, but I believe that they just know how to appreciate the little things. They know that they have to see and appreciate everything they see along the road. For me, my son is my breath of fresh air.
So, when you see kids or families with someone who has special needs, don’t be polite. Rather, be genuinely happy. They don’t need pity. We don’t need pity. What these kids, these people, need is appreciation and acceptance and understanding. Not because they don’t belong to what society defines are “normal” means that they no longer belong. They do. They still do. Only, you have to see it from their perspective, from our perspective, so you will begin to understand.
All of these abilities are seen in the very people that are said to have a “disability”. And you, as “normal” human beings, struggle to achieve even ONE of these things.
Everything I have quoted above came from this story I found in Facebook. Please do take time to read. Make sure to have tissues handy. 🙂