There are many people in my son’s life and mine, who are especially kind to us. People who go out of their way because of his special needs. I’ve asked them in the past “why”, and this has been their response; “there by the grace of God go I”.

Their comment surprised me but I think I get it. They were saying they’re grateful they didn’t have a disabled child and perhaps because of that, they’re now choosing to make life a little easier for us. It’s true that I’ve found life difficult at times because of my son’s autism. However, repeatedly confronting the challenges it has brought, has led me to a sense of peacefulness no matter what comes. It made me wonder how someone finds contentment when facing life’s biggest challenges.

What journey did I take from the time he was first diagnosed and I felt “shock and awe”, (it felt “otherworldly”) to my current state of contentment? “Abandoning ship” was not an option because I had a precious little boy who needed his mom. That left me only one other choice. Change the way I thought about the situation. I must be honest and tell you it was “messy”. It happened gradually over many years and required me to change in numerous ways.  With great reluctance, I eventually let go of the way I thought things were “supposed” to be and tried on some new ideas. The part that really amazes me to this day is that it ever happened at all!

What about you? Are there things in your life, current, past or future, that you feel there’s no hope of changing? I’m here to tell you, that’s never true! Though like me, you may need to be patient with yourself and utilize the help of other resources, you always have the power to make a choice that leaves you feeling a little better. But making that choice is up to you. You can’t change the past but you can change how you think about it so that you feel a little better instead of how you usually feel. If you’re wondering how to do this, here’s my suggestion. Experiment with new thoughts (that you actually believe) until you find one that makes you feel better. You will FEEL it when you find it. And when your old thought comes up again, and it will, replace it with the one that feels better.

With love, Jackie

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