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Monica Pickard spent twenty years of her adult life as a child care provider. During that time, with the help of her husband, she raised her son who has been diagnosed with Autism and Developmental Delay. She learned to navigate a world that was new to her – the world of Special Needs. She now shares these experiences and the wisdom they taught her, with love and heartfelt compassion for the human condition.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Poor in Spirit

Joshua in 1990
Spirit: The nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character.

I used to be the mom of a child with disabilities; an unwilling participant in a life I was given but did not consciously choose. I chose to have a baby, but not a baby with needs outweighing my perceived capabilities. I did not consciously say to God, “I want a lifetime of heartache, fear, and sorrow. I want to watch my helpless child grow up in a cruel world. I want him to be poked and prodded with needles and tests, only to find out there is no cure. I want to spend my days at therapy, hoping for a breakthrough in my child’s cognitive and physical abilities. I want to be jealous of other moms whose children are able to get good grades, play sports and grow up ‘normal.’ Yes, give me a lifetime of worry, dear God, because that is the life I want!”

I did not consciously choose to live life in hell, but I did choose it. The choice was made with my attitude and my judgment. I chose it unconsciously because I was asleep in my mind; living in an unreal world that my mind had created. My spirit – the seat of my emotions and character – was wealthy with judgment, resistance, and negativity.

“I have no choice about whether or not I have Parkinson’s. 
I have nothing but choices about how I react to it.” ~ Michael J. Fox

When we are going through life wrapped up in our thoughts and beliefs, we don’t know we are unconscious and living in darkness until the day comes when a light flicks on in our being. If we are fortunate to have this happen, this light shines on a reality so clear that we are amazed at its brilliance and all the beauty we have been missing. We are astonished at all the clutter our spirit has been holding. When this light showed itself in my life I went from being the mom of a disabled child to being the mom of a very special child who teaches me how to let go of the clutter, how to live a happy life, how to love every situation, how to be grateful for everything.

I am now a mom who sees the joys of life and the lessons in the sorrows. I see the kindness in the world and the people who are there to help my son when he cannot help himself. I have compassion for those who are cruel because I know how it feels to be unconscious. I understand that, through the poking and prodding my child endured, my life and the lives of everyone he encountered are changed forever. I know there is no need for a cure because there is nothing wrong with him. He is perfect in his creation. I see that I have been the one in therapy, not him. I am the patient and he is the therapist. My child has abilities far beyond anything I could have hoped for. He is a teacher to anyone who wants to learn how to love and be loved; how to accept life as it comes; how to see past the surface of humans and into their souls; that we all just want to be known, loved and accepted the way we are just because we are here. We all deserve that.

I am not jealous of other moms because I recognize the beauty and gifts in the so-called ‘abnormal.’ I do not worry anymore because he has taught me that the future is not where life is lived. The only time is now. 

My special child’s life spends the currency of my spirit. Joshua brought me kicking and screaming into this light of acceptance and love. He shows me how to stay conscious of my contribution to the world and to my own happiness, to see the beauty in all things, to feel my emotions and not become them. Through his example, I learn from the past but never allow it to control me.

Oh, Creative Force of Love, I thank you for blessing me with this child! I thank you for this light that shines on my spirit, washing away the judgment, resistance, and negativity, revealing to me the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

This is one interpretation of what Jesus meant.

Take care, My Friends

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1 comment:

  1. I shared this post on Soul Pancake and got some interesting responses! I'm not sure the respondents actually read the post. They thought I was saying that being mentally challenged means being poor in spirit. I hope that is not what anyone else understands from reading this post!