I recently attended a fundraiser that I started with 2 amazing woman 3 years ago that benefits a local equine facility that supports individuals with an array of physical, mental and emotional challenges. I LOVE meeting people committed to helping those with special needs as their stories are always ridiculously inspiring to hear. It’s incredible how profoundly the stories of WHY people commit to the causes they do can impact you in the moment and quite possibly for the rest of your life.
There are three types of people in this world, in my humble opinion. Optimists, pessimists, and the confused. I’ve found such solace in meeting other parents of individuals with special needs as it is incredibly common that they’ve learned to appreciate the everyday things that most of us take for granted. They are, for the most part, the eternal optimists. What choice do they truly have other than to believe it’s all for a reason and that somehow someway things will one day make sense? Now, I say this of course as a parent of a special needs child myself, so please keep in mind I too classify myself in this bucket and am a bit biased saying they are my favorite! But being an analytical thinker and one that tends to need to know the WHY behind everything, all association aside, it’s an inspiring road to travel. It doesn’t mean never having a tough day or moments of weakness and despair, but overall.. it does mean truly believing that it is all ok, and that we are all here ON purpose, and created WITH purpose.
The pessimists in this world I classify as the “Why Me?” bunch. Now look, I have love for the “why me?” bunch. I really do. What an emotional toll it must take to have this perspective. I mean, just think of it? To day in and day out feel that you have been targeted to be a victim of such a terrible thing. To have that reiterated by every day first hand challenging reminders to boot. As an example.. think of it.. having a child who EVERY SINGLE DAY struggles. Everything from being self injurious to biting others, non verbal to being brilliant but socially awkward, emotionally strong but physically impaired, joyfully innocent to having incessant seizures.. All, as you their parent, stand idly by with no way to make it better for them? Truly, it is not hard to understand how many could feel that life is unfair and lose their faith because of the struggle they witness day to day. Judgement is truly the last thing needed here.. and I will not be the one to pass it.
The confused, well, I adore as well! (Probably again because well… yes, I’m a glass half full kind of gal). But this group, God love you all.. I will pass judgment (sorry God).. you all DRIVE ME CRAZY!!! I mean seriously, jump on a wagon for crying out loud! Just take a moment and think of how old you are right now. Now think about how many years you have gone on trying to figure yourself out and stress about your “why”. Now, here’s the big one.. think about how many more years you have in your productive adult life. Where are you? Are you lost? Are you desperate, or possibly just fed up with it all? Well I would say to you this: You can agree, I am certain, that there is a lot in this world that needs a changin’, no? Well then… apply yourself. If not for yourself because you are not “called” in a specific way, then “phone a friend” as Regis would say. Not just any friend though.. a friend you LOVE. There is someone you know who is moved by a cause or even personally in need. Apply yourself to their cause. When you do good in this world and live for others, you find yourself, I promise you. I say this because even as the mother of a child with profound special needs, I struggled for many years trying to find my WHY. To many it may have seemed like an obvious choice, but frankly all I had done in my life, my career, was so far removed from helping the intellectually disabled that I couldn’t see the way. But then I surrendered, I listened to Him, and it all made sense. The “Why” for my life came full circle. I learned to live for my son and the 5 million others in our country with intellectual disabilities, and found out who I really was.
So who are you? Do you often think about who you are and WHY you are? You know for sure that one day, you will be no more. So the question becomes then, while you figure out who you are, will you commit yourself to living for greater purpose and do something OR will you just live day in and day out waiting to figure out what you are doing here? So much can be done to make this world a better place but it’s all about just starting with ONE choice. You can’t get to a hundred, a thousand, a million or billion,.. unless you just start with just one. Is that you?
Jack (5yrs old): Momma, I can count to 100! (and he proceeded to do just that)
Me: Wow!! That’s amazing!! How did you do that?!
Jack: Momma, you start with 1!