Today I am talking about acceptance. Accepting your child’s diagnosis, whether they have autism, epilepsy, special needs, whatever it is, we are talking about it all. We all think we accept our kids. They’re our kids, we love them, of course, we accept them. But if they have autism and you can’t wrap your brain around it, or try desperately to figure out why it happened, what you did to deserve this, or how to fix them, chances are you haven’t really accepted it yet. We all want our children to be the best that they can be. But I am here to challenge you because if you want your kid to be the best that they can be, acceptance is the very first step.
Have You Really Accepted Your Child?
Wherever you are in your journey, I want you to think about if you’ve really accepted your child exactly the way that they are. Part of you might not want to accept your child because you might be feeling like if you accept the autism or special needs, then you are saying that it’s okay and you don’t care.
If you haven’t come to the acceptance part of your journey, then all of the trouble, sadness, and depression that you are going through right now is probably there all the time. Once you’ve accepted your child exactly how they are, you get those moments of sadness or depression, but they don’t last very long. And you know how to overcome them much easier than when you are just stuck. The reason why I made this entire podcast is because of the transformation that acceptance had in my life.
Why I Struggled With My Child’s Diagnosis
Remy was born really healthy, and when she was nine months old, she had seizures and an autism diagnosis. Every day it felt like a knife was thrown in my heart. I felt like God was torturing me by giving me a child that repeatedly had seizures and I had to sit and watch her suffer. That brought me into a deep depression. I felt overwhelmed by all of the things on my list of to-do’s. I was at the lowest point of my life. Happiness felt foreign to me because every day was hell. I didn’t know if a seizure would take Remy’s life or how autism would affect her.
How One Thought Changed My Life
We went on a family trip, and I remember looking out the window at a gorgeous lake, and suddenly I had this realization that I was depressed. This type of depression was something I’d never experienced because I had been feeling like that for so long. I didn’t even know what joy felt like. But then I tried on a new thought. The new one was, what if my life could be exactly the way that it is, but I could have joy in my life?
I knew that nothing was going to change. But I thought that my question was worth exploring. That little tiny thought that I had on that day changed the course of my life. I am sitting here right now thinking about how amazing my life is now, and it’s all because of that little thought I had years ago. How my life has changed because of that little thought is what I want for every single special needs parent. What if your child could be exactly the way they are and you could be the happiest you’ve ever been?
How I Learned To Accept My Present Situation
I started going on an exploration of my soul. I began watching youtube videos of motivational speakers and spiritual teachers, and compilations of people speaking. Some people have gone through horrendous things in their life and to hear how they came out of it was life-giving to me. It started to get me to ask better questions of myself. If she could do it, could I?
I started watching videos of Eckhart Tolle and read his book called The New Earth. It changed me in a way that no book has ever had. One of the things that Eckhart talks about is accepting the present moment as if you’ve chosen it. It was a very hard concept for me to understand. Because in my present moment, I knew I had a sick child and I was overwhelmed. How was I supposed to accept this?
One night, I felt like I was experiencing an anxiety attack. Constant negative thoughts were running through my mind. It was spiraling out of control. But then a verse in the Bible came to my head. The verse was, “Be still and know that I am God”. It calmed me down immediately. It meant that everything was not my responsibility to figure out. If I could just let God be God and I could accept Remy exactly the way she is, then she was going to be okay and I was going to be okay.
How Our Children Can Change The World
When you accept your child exactly the way they are, you will realize that they are a gift. It was put in their life because that is how they fulfill their purpose.
I see the gift that Remy gives the world even though she struggles in so many areas. I used to think your worth was based on how much you could produce, how smart you are, or what talent you have. But then I look at Remy, who struggles in speech, education, has debilitating seizures, has difficulties relating to others, and yet, she is the happiest little girl I’ve ever known. Remy has overcome so much and she is still smiling. She has the gift to make other people better. What an incredible superpower!
I talk about acceptance because it is the very first step. When we look out into the world right now, we see the evidence that this world is not built for kids or people with disabilities. The world needs a lot of work. I believe that the work starts with us parents. We have a very big job to do, and a lot of work to do on ourselves first. There’s so much work to be done in the world and the only people I believe that can make an effective change are the parents of kids with disabilities. It starts with us as parents and us just being able to accept our kids the way that they are.
- All of my anxiety was because I was trying to control the situation. But I didn’t have to be worried, scared, anxious or fearful anymore. What would change if I let all of that go? That’s when I knew that God gave me everything that I could handle and the rest wasn’t important. It 100 percent shifted all of my thoughts.
- The beauty of acceptance is that you get to throw away all of the garbage in your mind and only keep the things that bring you joy. The most beautiful part of being a special needs parent is that you can choose the thoughts that you think and the way you think.
- When we are stuck with our negative thoughts, the window we look out of is cloudy. What acceptance does is it cleans that window to see life the way it is and not through the lens of your limiting beliefs.
- When I say that your child having autism or epilepsy and special needs is part of their purpose, I really believe that. Remy has the ability to make other people better, which is an amazing impact to have on the world.
- There’s so much work to be done in the world and the only people I believe that can make an effective change are the parents of kids with disabilities. We can see how amazing our children are, so it is up to us to challenge the incorrect belief that the world has about special needs.