I’ve been asked that question a few times now: “How do you manage to stay so positive?.” I don’t know if they just mean because Lila is autistic, or that she (for the time being, anyway) is severely affected and non-verbal. First of all, I’m NOT positive sunshine and rainbows ALL the time. That’s impossible. I’m human, and I definitely have my moments.
I’m blessed that I have a wonderfully loving and supportive husband (Bill) who loves this Little Lady as much as I do and is always there for me in those difficult times – he always knows just what to say. I also have Janet, who is always there to listen and to help me formulate a plan of action.
In general, here are a few tips I’ve found for staying positive:
I take things one day at a time. Every day, every minute of every hour – happiness is a choice. I may not be able to handle thinking about the next week, month, or year. But I can handle today, and if that’s too much for you on any given day – trust me, I know those days – take it hour by hour.
Being Mired Down in Negativity Doesn’t Benefit Anyone – Especially Your Child:
If I sat around and worried about Lila, her future, and our future constantly, I would be an absolute basket-case. I AM a worrier by nature, and a planner as well. She’s incredibly intuitive and picks up on the feelings of others, whether that be negativity, stress, or genuine happiness and love. Lila has taught me so much – including how to “let go” of things I cannot control.
I Know She Will NEVER Stop Growing and Changing:
There is always something else to try for any given issue when the first thing (or the second or the third) has not helped. We’re just constantly trying to problem-solve for her and help her be OK every single day. Things are constantly in flux for her, so what is so this week is most definitely not guaranteed to be true the next. She does things in her own time. No one knows what her potential is except her, and my husband and I are just here to help her reach HER best potential (whatever that may be). More than anything we just want her to be healthy, happy, and to always know that she is more than good enough just by being herself.
LOOK at Her!!!:
Pure, unadulterated JOY. I can’t even… It’s truly one of the most genuinely beautiful things I have ever seen in my entire life – sheer perfection. That’s one of my favorite things about her -she’s always so unapologetically and unabashedly….. Lila. Whenever I start thinking how difficult things are for us as her parents, I instantly shift my focus to how much MORE difficult this is for her. If she can find such beauty and joy in every day despite her struggles, who am I to disagree? It’s taken her to teach me that it truly doesn’t matter what others think – at all. Spin, flap, be as different and as “you” as you want to be. Life is short -always strive to find the beauty, happiness, and love that is around you.