Each of us has a cross to carry. All of us have particular strengths, but we also have handicaps. Some people are born with physical disabilities; some are born with mental disabilities; some are born in families that struggle with poverty, hatred or addictions. Some are born in countries with turmoils, while others have medical problems or face tough jobs. It will be hard to find anyone on this planet who at the age of 50 or 60 didn't face at least one major crisis in their life-time.
Despite these realities, we often pity ourselves during these tough stretches in our life and think that we face exceptional hardships, when as a matter of fact we are all sitting in the same boat. Take a step back and look around. There are terrific people with a loving heart who go after their problems with the intensity of the energizer bunny. Today is a good day to start it all over and follow in their footsteps.
I came to this realization as I was trying to help my autistic son. For years, I couldn’t help asking, "why me?", "why do I have to work so hard helping him develop when others seem to have such an easy life?". However, as I observed what I was doing to myself and others, I saw the negative ripple effects everywhere. There was increasing bitterness in all my interactions. I then realized that this is not the way. I realized that the disability or the difficulty is not the problem at all. It is the attitude! It is how you perceive the whole situation that you are in that decides how you experience your life.
As I tried to help my autistic son, amazing and inspiring stories showed up almost daily. These are people who experienced major tragedies, for themselves and their loved ones, but they live their life to the fullest and are full of joy. There are people who need to take care of their family members at a very young age, who have to make a living for themselves, and who are full of love. There are people who overcame their disability and radiate wisdom and love. There are people who had near death experiences and now become messengers of love.
All these stories tell me that facing difficult stretches in your life is not the problem, neither is hard work and poverty. Love, purpose and determination decides how we are going to experience our life. I want to thank my autistic son for showing me all of this! Enjoy peace and joy every step of the WAY no matter what. Live your life to the fullest regardless of what difficulties you might be facing. Let's give thanks to life!
By Su Zhen