Sunday, August 17, 2014

Can you fail at Spiritual Awakening? I did :(

I thought I was pretty darn "awakened" but if I go with this list, not so much :(  I agree that there's an A out there with my name on it, but it stands for Autism. Reading this list I was struck by autism's impact in my world, and through my autism life lens here's my response to each item question.

1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
Grade: F
I understand that in reality I control very little, and what little I control is me. However in my "A" world I have the opposite I have increased tendency to make things happen. I have to make sure my kids are okay. I have to make sure they are making progress. I have to keep the house clean, the frig full. If I don't make things happen who will?

2. Frequent Attacks of smiling.
Grade B
I do this!! Living with Autism can help you appreciate all the things that are going right. My kids make me smile. My family makes me smile. Our dogs make me smile. The "Tribe" that help raise my kids make me smile. Having a home makes me smile. Yummy food and wine makes me smile. Working legs and hands and arms make me smile.Nature makes me smile. Music makes me smile. A job well done makes me smile. In general life makes me smile.  In this case "B" stands for I could smile more :)

3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.
Grade A
I'm connect to everything and I get it. My ex husband used to call me an open wound, because I feel everything around me. I call that compassion and empathy, things we need in this world.

4 Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Grade A
Strongest is when both of my kids are right next to me and they are happy and safe I feel so grateful. I get this overwhelming feeling of appreciation when I realize how blessed we are to have each other, how blessed I am to be able to take care of my family and how many things that could have turned out bad, and they didn't.

5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experiences.
Grade C
Ha! The only spontaneous reaction I can count on, is how spontaneously I can react to Nick's spontaneous actions, and I am good at that.

6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
Grade B
I'm a pretty happy person and autism has made that both easier and harder at the same time.

7. A loss of ability to worry.
Grade C
Autism means not outgrowing the worries you have with children, only adding the worries you have when your children become adults. So, no I have not lost the ability to worry, but I have chosen to worry less! I'm not consumed by worry, but I am concerned. I am concerned if my kids are getting all they need, I am concerned that I am make enough money to care for them now, I'm concerned about having enough money for Nick to have some sort of security as an adult and the money to pay for his lifelong care. I am concerned every time my children leave the house, will they be okay.

8.  A loss in an interest in conflict.
Grade A
Conflict is a part of life, but if this question means loss of interest in creating or not stepping up to extinguish conflict swiftly, absolutely. I just no time for it!

9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
Grade B
I'm still asking "What were they thinking?", "Why did they do that?" mostly as it relates to my children, and especially as it relates to people who interact in Nick's world. Oh, and don't let me get started on people who I think are mean to special needs kiddo's. But just like conflict I have less time for the luxury of pondering things I can't control and that have nothing to do with me.

10.  A loss in interest in judging others.
Grade B
Oh my gosh, I don't have a conscious interest, but I still catch myself doing it! I don't know when I realized that I was judging folks up one side and down the other. But I'm sure it happened about the same time I saw how people judged Nicholas. Nothing like watching people judge those you love, and feeling that sting of hurt to wake you up to your own behavior.

11. A loss of interest in judging Self
Grade C
There's nothing like raising a kiddo with an illness that has no known cause or cure to bring out the blame in a parent. I'm always wondering if I'm doing enough, if I have done enough. I still struggle with being "Good Enough" even though I know my definition of good enough is doing all things, everything perfect which is both crazy and impossible.

12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything.
Grade A
My love for my children is unconditional.

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