I needed this reminder today.
I have found myself in a spot where all I want is to pack up and move back to PEI. I have found myself wishing and wanting for something different and not focusing on the fact that we are living a fine life. These words come from a song by Said The Whale and tonight I am so thankful for them.
I have a warm bed, a loving husband, adorable son, fantastic friends, a great family. These are just a few of the things that matter.
What if I woke up in the morning and could do anything, go anywhere, buy whatever I wanted?
Would it make me happy or destroy my life?
What if I woke up and had to declare bankruptcy and had nothing at all?
Would I try to make the best of what I had or let it take over my life and ruin me?
Some of the happiest people in life have nothing. I want to be one of them. I want to be happy with where my life is right now. I want to remember that this is a fine life we are living.
Stop and ask yourself if you could have it all would it make you or break you? Would having nothing make you a better person or ruin the life you have?
Or at the end of the day is this a fine life we are living?
When you think of Autism what comes to mind? It could be a variety of things, someone you know, things you’ve been told about the disorder, the debate over vaccines being connected to the development of autism, characteristics associated with an autistic individual, or maybe you know nothing about it.
When I think of autism I think of my cousin. He is 13 years old now and has come such a far way over the years, his communication is unbelievable, although he will do everything to avoid having a conversation with me. I make a point to make him talk, to get him away from the video games or dvds and talk about real life, because I know he can and I love to hear what he has to say. I encourage him to read to anyone who is willing to listen, because he can, and you may spend more time telling him to slow down and read loudly but he can read and that is what counts. He has a smile that lights up a room and a joy within him that is hard to find in a boy his age. He is truly a bright spot in my life that I am so thankful for.
What I don’t understand about the world is their inability to understand the ways Autism Spectrum Disorder affects individuals. Why is it so hard for you to understand that it takes a person with autism a longer time to learn or they need to be taught in a unique way so that they do learn? Autism may affect the way people live their life but they are still people, they still have feelings and want to feel included.
The next time you meet someone with autism that is high functioning and capable of having a conversation, talk with them, encourage them and most importantly ask them what they want the world to know about the way autism affects their life. I guarantee it will be a response similar to that of my sweet cousin.
A conversation my aunt had with my cousin:
I asked him what he would say about learning things, how his brain works. His reply, “Sometimes it takes me longer to learn things, my brain works differently than yours.”
Tonight I am not going to tell you my story but I will tell you that To Write Love On Her Arms is an organization that helped change my story. They are a huge part of who I am today and I wear shirts that have their name printed in bold letters across the front because I believe in what they stand for. I believe that rescue is possible, that hope is real, and this is not where your story ends.
When I first heard about TWLOHA I read the story that began it all. I read just about every bit of information on their website and was totally caught up in everything they stood for.
“You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.”
These words come from their vision, if you go to the website you will find them. They are real. I was living in a world where I was loved, I was in a relationship with people, and I was known but was having trouble noticing all of these things. I didn’t feel like I deserved any of it and that my life didn’t matter and so I had stopped loving, stopped knowing, stopped feeling, and stopped mattering to myself. I felt like I was staring at a dead end road and there wasn’t room for a u-turn.
The answer was simple but I needed to acknowledge it. TWLOHA is not the only thing that opened my eyes to what I needed to get out of the dark part of my life but it is part of my story and I will support it.
I could copy and paste their story and vision but it won’t make you want to learn more. If you are interested visit their website [www.twloha.com].
This past week in the midst of my emotional roller coaster I had a friend send me the link to a Chris Tomlin song. I listened to the song she sent and then continued to listen to other songs and came across the song – Whom Shall I Fear [God of angel armies]. It has been my sweet spot this week, in the lyrics it says “You are my sword and shield though troubles linger still” as well as “Nothing formed against me shall stand”. These lyrics have been my hope this week. I have been feeling defeated and haven’t been getting answers in my time but it isn’t about me. When I am ready and at peace with the possibilities things will happen.
I am so thankful for friends who point me in the right direction when I need it. The lyrics to Whom Shall I Fear are my prayer this week. They are the words I am living by.