Finding Your Perfection

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Today I watched you stand in front of your mirror, your face barely reaching above the top of the dresser – in one hand you hold your plastic curling iron, pretending to fix your long, dark hair for whatever pretend adventure you and your baby sister have planned for today. I know you both will grow up way too fast. I imagine you both crowding in that same mirror that will someday be too small for both of you to use. One day you will have no use for the plastic curling iron and pretend makeup you adore now. You will leave it and your childhood behind. Soon, you will quietly whisper about the boy or boys you are preparing to see. I know one day you may not want to tell me about your dates, and especially the young men that await you, but I’ll still be there, even if I’m still just watching you from the doorway.

Right now a young man can be anything you imagine. He can be as handsome and brave as one in a functional movie, but someday the choices of whom you will want to be with will be more complicated than you realize. I want talk to you about when you give your heart to another person. Your heart is beautiful and precious. I can only hope that you know exactly what you deserve. You won’t learn the majority of it from me, you will learn the most about men from the most important man in your life right now, your dad. I hope when you decide to date, you are willing to wait for someone who is as wonderful as your father.

I had a hard road before I met the man that I’d love forever. Once we met, it didn’t take me long to fall in love with him. It isn’t hard to love your dad, he has a generous smile and a warm personality. Of course, I thought he was the most handsome man I had met but it wasn’t just those things that made me fall in love with him. It was also his generosity, his willingness to give of himself selflessly, and his big, big heart. When we were together, it was like I found a missing part of myself, the best piece of myself. I knew quite soon he and I were supposed to be together.

When he and I met, dated, and fell in love, he demonstrated qualities that assured me he was a trustworthy man. His actions defined him as a man and who he would be as my husband. I was his equal, his partner, and I never worried about what he would do once he held my heart. He didn’t just compliment me, he helped build my confidence. He didn’t just talk with me, he had a genuine interest in me. This is all important because when the time comes, you will want to know if you are with someone who is just as interested in you as he is himself. You will know the relationship will last through the best and worst times because he made time to know you and hopefully you will have done the same. All of this is important because bad times in a relationship will inevitably come. If what is supposed to be the best part of a relationship brings out the worst in someone, don’t be surprised what the worst times in a relationship will bring out. You will want someone who cares about your well being as well as his own during hardships. I know because your Daddy and I have been through a lot together. When we vowed to love one another better or for worse, we didn’t realize how important that vow would be.

We have faced an artillery of difficult circumstances. For example, we never anticipated having a child with a life altering medical condition, or that I would also be diagnosed with one, all within ten years of our marriage. Both diagnoses bring stress to our marriage in various ways.  It is in these times that I have seen the best, not worst, in your father. He has been an example of how to truly love another. He gives of himself and his love selflessly and meets each challenge with understanding and prayer. When there is nothing but pain and hurt on the faces of those he loves, he is patient and non-judgmental. It may sound easy, but it isn’t. It is hard to smile when there is pain inside and I know he hurts too. It’s not easy to be the one person an entire family looks to for guidance and your dad does it so well. When he smiles and says, “It will get better,” and you can have confidence in his words. He can tell me he loves me and thinks I more beautiful than the day we met and although I don’t believe I am, I believe him.

So girls, one day I hope you will wait and seek a man much like your dad. He isn’t perfect, no one is but he’s pretty close. We are all very flawed but love and the love of someone who truly loves you can make a relationship that feels nearly perfect. Until the day you leave us for a family of your own, we want to love you the same…….. imperfectly perfect

Love,
Mom (*d*)

The Road of Suffering and Honesty

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There have been plenty of times when I have wished I could be someone else. This usually happens when the “envy monster” whispers in my ear, “Look who has it better than you,” or “They have it all!”  and I get the feeling in the pit of my stomach that groans about how life has been unfair to me. It’s hard when I hear when these same people have purchased a new car or won the lottery and the only “lottery” I feel we have won is that of incurable and obscure diseases. While other parents think about vacations, taking kids to practice, and play dates, we may never afford future vacations, I am often debilitated due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I have to consider my son’s medical and behavioral issues if the rare opportunity for a play date arises. I think about illnesses every day. It is consuming and it eats away at my me. Bit by bit, the worry, guilt, and fatigue has at times compiled into depression. It would seem happiness is far fetched on the uphill battle we often face, but it isn’t. I can affirm that I have experienced envy, guilt, anxiety, depression, and sadness at the hands of multiple diseases. They have robbed me of sleep, peace of mind, and the luxury of quick decisions. Everything in our life has to be carefully thought out and planned. Life is lived one day at a time and we are sometimes barely getting through the day. So why am I so happy?

For one, I live by faith and believe my life has a greater purpose. I believe I have learned to be a better person through all of my suffering. Suffering is inevitable and to many, suffering is pointless but I dare you to consider the contrary. I have had a better look at the lives of others who have suffered around me by experiencing the same. I was ignorant and there was so much I didn’t understand until I also had to experience my life at it’s lowest. It was from the bottom where I could appreciate the strength of people who were experiencing great difficulty. It was also there where I became more aware of my weaknesses and failures and desired to be a better person. I learned how to find strength and happiness in the face of adversity.

It sounds simple but I no longer hold myself to an unrealistic standard. I allow myself to feel envy, sadness, and heartache and it doesn’t make me a bad person.  Too often, I feel like I have to live up to some ridiculous, unspoken standard that says I have to be happy, or at least pretend to be happy all the time. I don’t. Life has been unfair, other people do seem have it better, and there are numerous health issues in my family. The pain is real so shouldn’t the acknowledgement of my own feelings also be real? Once I decided this, I also stopped sugar-coating my response to the question, “How are you?” I give an honest answer and if someone didn’t really want to know, they will not likely ask again. When did it become necessary to omit difficulty out of normal conversation? Difficulty is a part of life. Why should I feel guilty about talking honestly about my life?

I have also put unnecessary guilt to rest. I have spent too much time feeling guilty about things I could not prevent or did not cause. Guilt by its own definition should only be felt when one purposefully does something in contrary to what he or she knows is right. Trying my best is not something I should feel guilty about. Life should not be based on hypothetical scenarios that can’t changed. What’s the point? I also stopped feeling guilty about what I could not do. If life demands that I leave the laundry pile up and the house remain dirty, so be it. My house and my laundry will wait for another day.

On that note, I stopped telling myself that I had to maintain the perfect image. I made myself crazy cleaning house, painting walls, and making everything around me look perfect when I was falling apart on the inside. Yes, sometimes having other areas of my life in order helps me feel better but it should never take priority over my own or the children’s needs.

Lastly, I remind myself that everyone is struggling with something, even those people I envy and people like me who try to maintain that perfect appearance on the outside. Honesty can be very freeing. I appreciate those who are also honest when I ask, “How are you doing?” It helps to know I’m not walking the difficult road alone.

*d*

Thirty Lessons From a Special Needs Parent

A few events today had me thinking about the following post. I had originally posted this on my personal Facebook page and I thought I would share it here. I haven’t been a special needs parent for very long but it has certainly changed me in a short period of time.

1: Patience is needed and taught on a daily basis.

2: “Slow to anger” is an important saying that does wonders when practiced.

3: Someone should never be judged based on their disease and/or disability.

4: Never judge someone if you are not coping with their problems.

5: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

6: Whispers, stares, and gossiping about a situation that can’t be helped, hurts.

7: Difficulty teaches compassion.

8: We want to help but are often hindered by our circumstances.

9: Guilt is a part of every day life.

10: Depression is real and is felt a lot more often than we want to admit.

11: Help is not requested as often as it’s needed. It seems important for others to think we aren’t falling apart.

12: We stay at home and shy away from gatherings if we know it will cause stress all around.

13: Choosing a baby-sitter is a big deal, thus we don’t go away as often as we would like.

14: We appreciate the opinions of others but rarely take advice from those who spend very little time with our child.

15: We need and love support, support, support.

16: We rarely want sympathy. We just want someone to talk to. It helps us unload some of our burden.

17: We want to know about your family and notice when you stop reaching out to ours. We realize our life seems depressing, but it is ours.

18: Our hearts break a little when we see others doing things we know we may never be able to do.

19: Negative people and opinions hurt, we are doing the best we can.

20: Love reaches deeper than we ever expected.

21: What seems like a burden to others, is a blessing to us.

22: We are sad when others refuse to see the joy our children bring to our lives.

23: We have seen more compassion and love from others through our difficulty than we ever expected and it’s humbling.

24: Celebrate the little things.

25: Choose the battles that really count.

26: We worry about losing our spouse profoundly more than other people. We know how difficult it would be to raise our children alone.

27: We no longer measure great achievements by the world’s standards.

28: Some of the best friendships we have made are forged through a common bond.

29: With each struggle we become stronger.

30: Our journey has helped us love the differences we see in others.

If given the choice, we would not choose a disease or disability for ourselves or for our children but we have been blessed by the difficulty it has brought us. We know what it means to make every day count and we understand why each day must be appreciated.

*d*

Should We Forgive or Forget?

Have you ever fooled yourself into thinking that you don’t care? For example, has someone broke your trust by sharing secrets about you or have you caught a group of co-workers gossiping about you and although it hurt you said, “I don’t care”? You knew when the words were muttered that it was just an illusion but for some reason you thought by saying the words the pain would cease. I’ve done it. When things like this happen, I think of what’s next and the old saying “forgive and forget” comes to mind. I want to forgive but forgetting hurt is difficult.

Hurt is an unfortunate part of life. No matter how much we shield our feelings from people, events, and unpredictability, hurt will eventually find us. Since hurt is coming, it may be a good idea to think about how hurt should be handled once it arrives and how we act once we decide to let it go. There is always advice to be found on the subject. In my thirty plus years of life, the quote, “No one can make you feel that way without your permission,” has surfaced multiple times. Maybe I don’t understand these words as I should, but how I feel doesn’t always seem like a controlled emotion. I have been at the receiving end of insults and lies with the sole purpose of hurting me. The culprit knew just what to say and went straight for the kill. If my enemy knew how to cut me where it hurts, wouldn’t I? We know how to hurt each other because we know what would hurt us. There is no internal process with me that can shut off the negative feelings resulting from negative actions. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have a choice about what I permit to hurt me, just who.

So brings us the quote, “Forgive and forget.” It is a lovely sentiment but somewhat foolish. Yes, in a perfect world we could forget all the bad things someone else has done to us but that would be difficult, even for someone like me who has a terrible memory. So, I don’t think we should forget. Why? If we were to forgive someone for continually hurting us and allow that person back into our life, we can predict with some accuracy what will continue to happen. We will get hurt. We have to allow ourselves some recollection of the way other people treat us. If not, we will have to start getting used to fooling ourselves into thinking that we don’t care. I am tired of pretending that I don’t care about how I have been treated. I am tired of feeling like I will never be good enough to earn equal respect with some people. I am a reserved person in many ways and my trust isn’t easily earned. It is hard to gain my trust again once I have been hurt. So I have had to teach myself to back away from some people and keep a protective distance. It is a hard thing to do because I like to give people as many chances as I can to have some sort of relationship with me but that isn’t always possible. The best I can do is to forgive differences but not forget that my trust was broken.

That is just how life is; we can’t get along with everyone and not everyone wants to get along with us. Honestly, there are people who don’t want to get along with anyone else. It is also a great part of the diversity of being human, we are all so unique. With this we must accept that pain will come at the hands of others. The best advice I can give about getting along with others is this: make sure opinions about other people are not based on any opinion other than your own, especially not based on gossip. Also, never judge someone based on outside appearance. I have received some crappy gifts wrapped in pretty packages. Haven’t you? This means we will sometimes be hurt by people before we know what they are made of, but we will have the peace of mind that we know for ourselves.

Upon finishing up this post, I ran across a verse of the Bible. Not everyone is religious but this verse is a good piece of advice that sums up what I want to say very well. Luke 6:31 (NLV) “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” I have had a hard time wondering why some don’t allow me an opportunity to get to know them. At a recent trip to the grocery store, my husband and I ran into a mutual acquaintance. I have previously shared with my husband that she has been known to avoid me or fails to even acknowledge my presence. On this day, she did it in front him. She spoke to him for a minute and I said “Hi!” She then walked away. She heard me, looked at me, and proved my case. My only question was, “Why?” The times I have spoken to her have been pleasant enough but what about me makes her shut down? I may never know. I can speculate that maybe she formed her opinion of me based on gossip, maybe my shy nature comes off poorly (I get that a lot), or she just chooses not to associate with me. I don’t know but I will continue to try to give her a greeting or smile, even if she doesn’t like it because that is how I would want to be treated. Maybe someday she will return the pleasantries.

I know when I am treated like I don’t have feelings, it hurts. The only thing I can do is try harder to follow a good piece of very old advice and treat others kindly. I know I won’t always make the right choices so I will have to rely on someone else to forgive me but I can’t expect them to forget the way in which I have hurt them. All of us will make mistakes, how we handle our own mistakes and those of others may define who we are and how happy we want to be. When it comes down to it, don’t most of us want to become better people, if not for someone else, at least for ourselves?

*d*

More Children After the Disabled Child: Is It a Good Choice?

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When my husband and I found out that we were expecting our third child, we were very excited. One of the joys of expecting a child is sharing the news with friends and family. Unfortunately, instead of hugs and congratulations, we received critism and half-hearted blessings. It was disheartening. By the time I shared the news with my co-workers, I was in tears. This baby was making his or her way into the world and we felt very alone in our joy. The scarce number of people who were sincerely happy for us was not enough to extinguish the guilt and sorrow we were beginning to feel. It was not what I wanted or expected when announcing a pregnancy. My husband and I may have took the hard road to find each other but we had a strong marriage, probably because of it.  We had problems concieving our first child but were eventually blessed with two boys. We also worked hard to care for our family. The doubt about our third pregnancy was surrounding our disabled son. We were met with questions and disappointment as if we never considered what it meant to bring another child into the world while navigating the issues related to raising our disabled son. We were treated like the pregnancy was completely unplanned and the decision to expand our family was rash. I will never forget how the reaction put a dark cloud over my excitement.

Our disabled son was two when we conceived our third child. I was told by my doctor that we should consider having another child if it was something we may want to do in the future. I had health issues that could possibly halt a chance to get pregnant again. When faced with this information, we considered all of our options. Yes, raising a disabled child had it’s difficulties but we had decided that we wanted him to be a big brother, even before his diagnosis. We also weighed the risks and benefits to having an infant in the home. We knew we had to be careful allowing him around a baby because he didn’t fully understand how to be gentle and boundaries were something he was struggling to understand. We knew his health issues took our time and resources. We also knew the mutual benefit of having another child in our home would be for our disabled son and another child. I realized with some sorrow that a new child would most likely surpass his cognitive abilities but with that would be a chance for him to have a playmate close to his cognitive level. After discussing and weighing these risks, benefits, and more, we carefully made our decisions based on what we desired for our family. Neither of us wanted to let his disease also take away the joy of expanding our family. It had already taken so much. We didn’t want him to grow up knowing he was the reason we never had more children. How did we know he would not enjoy the company of another sibling? We didn’t. We decided  another little person would join our sometimes crazy, chaotic family and we trusted in something bigger than ourselves to help us if it became difficult. We had to ignore the nay-sayers and be happy about the decision we had made because it was best for us. I wish we would have felt supported in our decision. Instead, we were explaining why we came to this conclusion to people who really had no true understanding of our family. We felt like we were two teenagers trying to explain our unexpected pregnancy instead of a married couple announcing a joyful pregnancy. In hindsight, no one would have got the lengthy explanation we were giving, we would have asked for the respect and support we needed. We would have to let time prove we were strong enough for the challenge.

It’s three years later and we have no doubt that we made the best decison. We were also surprised with a fourth child. We had decided to stop at three and elected to have  surgery to help with my health issues. It was a week before my scheduled surgery date when our youngest daughter snuck in under the radar. We were met with the same skepticism by the same people. Yet another announcement was shrouded in gloom due to the lack of understanding. Most people waited for our reaction because they knew another baby would take more time and resources. My husband and I were once again elated to have the opportunity to bring another life into the world.  I think some people would rather try to be a voice of reason than that of support and it’s sad. Sometimes it’s needed but not in a situation such as this. No good was going to come from criticism. No matter what, the baby would arrive in several months. Sharing doubt and disappointment would only make the critics feel better about themselves. It didn’t do anything but snuff the joy out of our announcement. I would hate for anyone else to feel the way we did.

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I wrote this post because the question of having more children after a disabled child comes up in support pages often. I wanted to offer my advice and share our experience. My husband and I knew we had a strong marriage and we supported one another. We knew if no one else supported us, we were okay with our choices. We did what was right for us. We knew our son’s weaknesses and we knew bringing another child into our family was within our capability and within his capability to learn how to interact with another sibling. Our oldest daughter is now his best friend, she tells us often. She sets up his play bowling set in the hallway over and over because she knows he can’t do it himself. Sometimes he yells at her or gets aggravated but she keeps helping. They are mutually learning something from each other. She is learning tolerance and he gets a chance to socialize. My disabled son has just as much to teach us as we have to teach him. He is teaching my typical children that friendship isn’t based on ability or disability. Friendship is time spent together and learning to love differences. They look forward to doing something they enjoy together, like playing pretend bowling. I can only hope his life with us will effect our typical children in a positive way. Maybe they will choose to play with the ignored child at school that reminds them of their brother or they will stand up for intolerance because they have already been taught to meet disability with understanding. I am sad no one else could see what my husband and I did three years ago. It is sad that I will always think of the disappointment others shared instead of joy when we found out my beautiful daughters were going to be a part of our family. I have forgiven but it isn’t easily forgotten (a subject of my next post). If we had decided to stop having children, that decision would have also been made with love. We would have appreciated the same support and understanding with either decision. Being blessed with a special needs child also means taking extra care with decisions for our future. We did consider both paths before making our decision and we respect anyone who faces the same.

If you are reading this and are on the outside watching a family with a disabled child decide whether or not to welcome a new family member, be supportive. Offer an opinion only if you know the situation is dire or if the family asks your opinion. If you are a family member or friend of a strong family who decides having a baby is a good choice for them, don’t be the gray cloud lingering over the parent’s joy. Chances are, that disabled boy or girl will be a pretty awesome big brother or sister and those babies you aren’t sure about will grow up to be tolerant and loving children because of those special circumstances. There is a lot of love in a big family, especially in a big, special needs family. If you have been told that having another child is not the best choice for a special needs family, offer the same amount of support and understanding. Be a comfort if needed. Sometimes deciding to stop having children is a difficult choice and if circumstances were different, the family would love to grow their family. These parents have plenty of variables that weighed in on a their choice. It may not be the choice they envisioned but it is the best choice for them and their special needs child.

In the end, there is no cookie cutter decision that suits every family. There will always be strong opinions on the subject but families have to decide what is best for them. Bringing a child into the world after a special needs child can have good and bad points but it is a choice parents need to consider carefully. Chances are, if another child is announced in joy or a decision has been made to stop having children, they have thought about all the possibilities and it’s best to share in the joy and/or offer your support and leave the criticism for another subject.

*d*

Reply by ~L~

I know I am guilty of the knee-jerk negative reaction and I know that you know that I apologized because after I thought about it,  knew I’d hurt your feelings with my thoughtlessness. Not all people are willing to see something from someone else’s perspective but I always try to make sure I at least give it a shot. I didn’t immediately realize that I wasn’t considering it from your angle.

And you couldn’t be more right about the benefits and I know you would never need a lecture about the hardships of adding another child to a special needs family. If everyone had a disabled sibling to grow up with, the world would probably be an exponentially better place instead of the judgmental, intolerant place it can often be.

Your kids are loved immensely, taught well, and being brought up in such a way that they will be good human beings. To me, that’s what really matters.

A Hard Pill to Swallow

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It’s hard to believe any of us ever catch on to the English language. It has a multitude of words with multiple meanings. For example, two of the many meanings of the word “trip” is journey and misstep. How do my children ever decipher what I mean if I were to ask, “Do you want to take a trip?” How do they know I am not getting ready to come knock them over? Or why are they not equally as confused after hearing ‘tennis match’? Is it a stick to burn a tennis racquet? Maybe a date between two tennis players? It is the frequent use of these words in real life that help us understand how we intend to use them. When that fails, out come the kid’s typical one hundred questions. Experience and knowledge help decipher the true meaning behind our words.

Words are very powerful. When the meaning behind a statement is misunderstood, it can cause havoc. When a statement is taken out of context, the same mess can occur. Then the problem would no longer lie with the person behind the words, rather with those who hear them. I get rather disgruntled when something I say is misconstrued or taken out of context so I try to make what I share verbally clear. That can be hard for a shy individual such as myself. I have to sometimes think very hard to make simple conversation, let alone a complex conversation that could change the way someone views me. Miscommunication can be a hard pill to swallow, or do I mean a pill that’s hard to swallow….. “Geesh.”

The only way we will ever know what others are trying to say is to ask questions and be knowledgeable. My biggest pet peeve is social media. There is no filter for the mess spread through social media. It is a great place to take one sentence of an entire forum and twist it to confirm the end of the world. People read, comment, or forward without finding out if there is truth behind what they are reading or sharing. I can laugh and pass off a good part of this, but when it comes down to respecting others, everyone should make an effort to find the facts and speak the truth. Maybe I am barking up the wrong tree, so to speak. Gossip isn’t a new problem and it has always spread like wildfire, long before the internet. Is it more important to form an opinion of someone based on what you want to believe about them or what you know? I know the easy answer, but what is the right one?

The solution is respect and love for eachother. Friendships should be based on what is inside and love above all. I may share my personal opinions on life with those around me but I do not anticipate them to change and follow my beliefs anymore than they can anticipate me to conform to theirs. It is mutual respect. Remember, when all else fails, the best advice is: BE KIND. Kindness goes a long way and it requires little or no understanding of another person’s beliefs so pass it on. It’s a shame when we miss out on the wonderful diversity of the human existance based on misinformation.

*d*

The Rose Colored Glasses

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Beautiful is the view from rose colored glasses. The dreamy spectacles enchant the lackluster world. Nothing can spoil the view when the world is tinted in the hue of rose. Storms roll in and candy colored drops fall from the sky. Just open your arms wide to receive the gifts imparted from a world radiating a floral glow. All have worn them and all have felt immune to the world. The newly in love, the couple having their first child, or maybe newly acquired wealth. While in this transient state, nothing else matters. No words or advice can penetrate the feeling. I was there many times. It felt glorious and no one could change me. All was right with the world and I had all the answers. I only wanted to do as I wished and no one could challenge my flawed beliefs.

Time still passes when in possession of new and pretty things. The dust from the journey starts to tarnish the pretty rose glass, a few stumbles toss and scratch them, and over time, they aren’t as nice as they once were. Some people rigorously try to replace the feeling with a number of different things. Yet, time wears down beauty and life refuses to stay roseate. So when it comes, maybe it’s best to celebrate and relish in the feeling. Everyone has their time when the sun shines a little brighter, the road traveled is smooth, and the air smells as fresh as a new spring day. At this time, some plead for time to crawl. Or even stop. These are the moments that make up the most perfect of memories.  Remembering can flood you with emotions and feelings just as fresh as when it happened. When things don’t seem as splendid, these are the best moments to remember. They act as a glimmer of light when it has been too long since life looked rosy. I often like to remember a time before diagnoses, the days my children were born, or when my husband and I fell in love.

Looking back can certainly swell my heart with joy but it can also remind me of my own ignorance. I don’t like parts of the person I once was. There was a time I was so high on this feeling that I thought I had it all. I had all the answers and I didn’t need anyone’s help. I was ignorant to the people closest to me and that had to change. The only unacceptable ignorance is the ignorance that refuses to be changed and I was full of it. I thought I knew more than people with a lifetime of experience, I had strong opinions of many things with no personal experience , and the only things that mattered were the ones that surrounded my life. I allowed myself to boast but was unable to look past the end of my nose. I had fallen from my perch many times and usually walked away unscathed. I had to take a few big falls before I finally broke. There were times I couldn’t get up. I spent a lot of time kneeling at my broken life, trying to put the pieces back together. Some parts of it are still not put together.

A lot of people pass along wisdom during times of tribulation. Many people quote the saying, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” The more hardships I experience, the less I like this quote. I know I have been given more than I have been able to handle. This quote has made me feel inadequate. Where was this strength equal to the turmoil I was facing? Why was it so hard to pick up the pieces of my rose colored life? I was broken down until I was folded over with my face resting on my dusty hands. There was nothing left but to lay down my ignorance and plead for help. I think we will all be given more than we can handle alone. There are times we must silence ourselves, kneel down, and ask for help. I have replaced this saying with one of my own, “God will give you more than you can handle because breaking you down is the only way He can get you to kneel.”

In those most dismal moments you can choose to desperately hold on to the beauty that is slipping away or you can kneel. You can cling to the ignorance that refuses to change or give up your turn peering through the glass and find something deeper. The only way I was going to learn was to be broken.  I wasn’t changing any other way. Something terrible would occur, I would reflect and realize I needed to change. Time would pass and I began to forget. I would forget the gifts suffering allowed me and went back to my old ways. I was stubborn and it took a lot to change me. I only wanted to be happy when I was peering through the rose colored glasses. It was easier that way. These days, I try to find happiness even when I am broken and dirty from the journey. I admit, it can sometimes take effort searching for a reason to be happy. That’s when relying on those reaching out to help and something bigger than yourself is worth it.

The world can give us many reasons to lose hope. Several years ago I wanted to change everything in my life. I wanted to move, find another job, and start over. I had lost hope in other people. My plans changed when my son was diagnosed. Those same people I thought I lost hope in began to reach out to my family. I found the love and compassion I had feared was lost in this world and it took my own devastation to see it. Disparity is not the end of happiness but possibly the best way to find it in the most unlikely way.

*d*