Have you ever felt like you were living in the shadow of your dreams, that you had lost sight of happiness and love?
I have. And it felt like I would never get it back, because I didn’t deserve it. My son couldn’t do anything right and I thought it must be my fault. And members of my own family looked at me sideways as if I was a hopeless parent.
And then this happened….
I accepted the challenge of reaching out to other parents of children who were developmentally delayed. I went to a special playgroup where I saw children who seemed way worse than my child. I met people very different to me. At first, I was stand-offish, but the gentle ways of the play therapists won me over. I chose connection. And guess what? In less than a year, my life opened up. Feeling accepted, I stopped judging my son and myself. He had a disability and that was okay. I wasn’t a perfect parent and that was okay too, because I had a community around me helping me to grow and find joy in the role. It didn’t just happen overnight. I had counselling. I found a job. I took up every opportunity I could find to get the right kind of support. But where before I’d been overwhelmed and stuck in my self-blaming cycle, I was now connected with a group that accepted me unconditionally. Feeling connected gave me focus on what worked rather than what was going wrong. I felt the love of people whose job was helping mothers and children.
I follow the news. I know there are bad things happening in the world. But I have had the opportunity to get to know many good people and to be one of those feeling the reward of love and kindness. I want to expand the circle of kindness.