Thursday, August 9, 2012

Compassion

Today's gift is compassion!

My daughter has not only taught me what compassion is, but others who are also around her.   Before my daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, I only knew one other person personally who had special needs.  There was a girl who I babysat in college who had spinal bifida (she is in her 20's now!!!) However, to me, I never saw her as having special needs.  She was a believer, a fighter, a go-getter, and did everything she wanted and not even her disability of living with spinal bifida was going to get in her way!  This young lady changed my life then, but it was not until I had my own child with special needs did I realize how much she had taught me.

When I look at my daughter, I want everyone else to see her the same way I do....that she is just like her peers on the inside, but from the outside (what people see) she is a child who has special differences.  No two people are exactly the same (not even identical twins, I actually looked this up!) and our differences are what make us unique.  Imagine how boring this world would be if we were all the same!

My passion (and mission) with my own daughter is helping her to live her life the best (and most typical) life she can as a tween with Rett Syndrome.  I want to take her gift of compassion that she has given me and share that with others to teach them how my daughter (and others like her) can change their world....for the better.  I want to also take this gift that she has given to me and help others who need a friend to talk to as this road of parenting a child with special differences is not straight nor is the scenery beautiful all the time!  The road is often bumpy, curvy, wet, muddy and sometimes flat and the view is always changing from bright beautiful colors to dull, dark and grey.  A parent/care-giver of a child with special differences needs a friend who understands their world and can be compassionate and sympathetic with them...whether it is to share in a joyous occasion only you can understand (their child just drank from a cup for the first time...at the age of 8) or to share in a sad and heartbreaking situation (like their child is so frustrated that they start having self injurious behaviors).

Maybe....just maybe this is the reason God has trusted me with my daughter....to help others understand her  and to help others like her.  I am sure it is not the only reason, but I am pretty sure it is one of them.

Here are some quotes for today...

We don't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts- Pema Chodron

Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion.  When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large.  But when we focus on others, our world expands.  Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection--or compassionate action- Daniel Goleman 

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